Discovering “La vie en rose”

Montreal’s natural beauty inspires Globalink student Qiquan Shi to return to Canada

For Qiquan Shi, coming to Canada from a tiny village in Guizhou Province in China was the opportunity of a lifetime.  A 2011 Globalink student had told him about the program and he recognized it as his chance to explore the world, despite coming from an impoverished farming family.  Overcoming all obstacles, he achieved outstanding academic success at Wuhan University in China, which gained him the recognition he needed to be selected for the highly-competitive Globalink program.  It enabled him to come to Canada to do advanced research at l’École de technologie supérieure in Montreal.

Under the supervision of Dr. Christian Desrosiers, Qiquan has been researching a novel approach for identifying trends in time-evolving data streams, using a method based on a manifold.  Manifold is a recent research method which can convert high-dimension (complex) data into low-dimension (simple) data without changing the nature of the data.  This makes analysis much easier for researchers without compromising the accuracy of their results.  The main focus of his project is analyzing how social networks evolve over time, but his findings have implications for everything from marketing and intelligence analysis, to predicting traffic jam patterns and animal migration.

Mitacs Globalink recognizes that high-achieving, international students like Qiquan will help drive future innovation.  “This program is cultivating leaders by giving us a chance to communicate with people from all over Canada and the rest of the world,” he states.  He recently attended a tour at Google headquarters in Montreal along with other Globalink students, where he was inspired by the innovative work environment.

Qiquan seizes every chance he gets explore his new Canadian environment.  His favorite trip so far was a visit to Cascades Mill, where he was impressed by Canada’s system for recycling paper:  “I appreciate the consciousness of Canadians and their drive for innovation of sustainable systems – other countries should look to them as an example.”  He was excited at a chance to travel to Toronto where he was “awe-struck by the magnificent Niagara Falls” and fascinated by seeing the top of the world at the CN tower with other Globalink students from Brazil and India.

Abandoning previous plans to complete his Masters in the US, Canada is now one of Qiquan’s top choices for pursuing graduate studies.  He is living ‘La Vie en Rose’ in Montreal, and hopes to return after he graduates and begin a life here.

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec for their support of the Globalink research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Saskatchewan, and Research Manitoba.

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