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January 2013

Freedom to flourish

When asked what motivated Cheng to apply to Mitacs Globalink, he said it was simple: “Ever since I was a child, I dreamed I would someday come to Canada. My internship through Globalink is the realization of that dream.”

Currently in his fourth year of study, Cheng comes from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, which is based in Chengdu, the hometown of China’s national symbol: the giant panda.  A Globalink internship at Ryerson University in Toronto, Cheng felt, was an excellent way to expand his horizons while gaining practical, engineering experience in another country.

His research project at Ryerson focused on multimedia security – specifically audio fingerprinting – which is a current and popular topic, as copyright protection is an increasingly important issue worldwide.  His work involves researching ways to further develop pre-existing software so that it is more user-friendly and has wider applications for the multimedia field.

The biggest thing Cheng noticed about Canadian universities is that they provide an atmosphere of autonomy for students, which allows them to continuously learn and improve.  “In Canada, I must motivate myself.  I learn from my own mistakes and push myself to new limits,” he reports.  He says the enthusiasm that Canadian researchers have for their work continually inspires him to strive for nothing short of his personal best.  Having the power to choose which direction he will take his project is both fulfilling and motivating, because he feels that he can truly make a difference if he puts his mind to it.

“My experience with Globalink has only reinforced my idea that Canada is a great country to live, work and study in,” asserts Cheng, who plans to return to Canada for graduate studies after he completes his Bachelors of Engineering in China.  “All in all, my time here in Canada has no doubt been one of the most unforgettable and rewarding experiences of my life – I can’t wait to come back.”