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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Career Opportunities with a Graduate Degree

Event Type
Illinois Computer Science
200 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 707, Chicago, IL 60606
wifi event
Feb 16, 2023   5:00 - 6:00 pm  
Charity Freeman

Link to Zoom meeting:

You completed your graduate degree - congrats! Now what?  Are there opportunities that are open to those with a master's degree that you cannot do with a bachelors? What about with a PhD?  Or, are there fewer options available to you if you have a graduate degree?  Does it pay off, financially or otherwise, to invest more time and money for another degree?  What is different about job searching when you have a graduate degree?  The panelists for this seminar will discuss such questions and will share how they are using their graduate degrees in their careers.


Reza Farivar
Principal Software Engineer

Reza Farivar

Reza Farivar is an experienced software engineer with over ten years' experience in distributed cloud-based backend development. After receiving his PhD from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, he has worked on a variety of data processing pipelines across the industry, both at production scale as well as future-looking research prototypes. His most recent product is an internet-scale pipeline processing 1 million requests per second at near-real-time latencies. Reza is passionate about keeping up to date with the latest trends in technology, and in turn, teaching students what he has learned in the industry.

Sandra Faust
Senior Staff Research Scientist
Google Brain

Ran Libeskind-Hadas

Aleksandra Faust is a Senior Staff Research Scientist, Autonomous Agents research lead, and Reinforcement Learning research team co-founder at Google Brain. Her research is centered around safe and scalable autonomous systems for social good, including reinforcement learning, planning, and control for robotics, autonomous driving, and digital assistants. Previously, Aleksandra founded and led Task and Motion Planning research in Robotics at Google, machine learning for self-driving car planning and controls in Waymo, and she was a senior researcher in Sandia National Laboratories. She earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of New Mexico with distinction, and a master's in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Aleksandra won the IEEE RAS Early Career Award for Industry, the Tom L. Popejoy Award for the best doctoral dissertation at the University of New Mexico in the period of 2011-2014, and she was named Distinguished Alumna by the University of New Mexico School of Engineering. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, PC Magazine, ZdNet, VentureBeat, and was awarded Best Paper in Service Robotics at ICRA 2018, Best Paper in Reinforcement Learning for Real Life (RL4RL) at ICML 2019, Best Paper of IEEE Computer Architecture Letters in 2020, and IEEE Micro Top Picks 2023 Honorable Mention.

Ran Libeskind-Hadas
Founding Chair of the Kravis Department of Integrated Sciences
Claremont McKenna College

Ran Libeskind-Hadas

Ran “RON” Libeskind-Hadas received the AB in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University and his MS and PhD in Computer Science from UIUC. He spent 28 years on faculty at Harvey Mudd College and recently moved to Claremont McKenna College as the Founding Chair of the Kravis Department of Integrated Sciences. His primary work interests are in undergraduate education and computational biology. He’s an avid mountain biker and the father of two sons who just graduated from college.

link for robots only