Student feature: Kira Tarasuk
Meet Kira Tarasuk, a 5th year student at the University of Guelph, majoring in Math with an emphasis in Computer Science. Kira established herself as a champion for the Math and Stats program by becoming involved in both extracurricular and academic activities.
When asked why she chose the U of G, Kira said, “I was influenced by the personalized welcome cards sent to me that encouraged me to come for a tour, and now I’ve become involved in writing those same cards to new students who apply.” After taking a tour with Professor Kim Levere, Kira was sold. She got to meet people in the Math and Stats program and loved the small campus community vibes.
Kira is currently a tutor through Mathnasium Guelph, where she instructs kids ranging from kindergarten to Grade 12. She enjoys mentoring younger students and helping them understand the curriculum. Kira has helped other students too by working at the Math and Stats Learning Centre in the library, and as a Teaching Assistant (TA), where she supports first-year students with the wide range of classes available to them. “It’s interesting to see and help them understand all the different materials they cover,” she said.
Kira’s also been an executive on the Mathematics and Statistics Club for the past 3 years, enlisting in various roles such as the VP of Recruitment, Secretary, and Vice President this past year. Being a leader in the club can be a challenge, as she says it can be difficult to engage and hold large events because of the small community, but she enjoys the mentorship aspect and getting to meet all the lower year students.
This summer, Kira worked as an Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) with Professors Monica Cojucaru and Mihai Nica, where she researched AI, Machine Learning, Game Theory, and Optimization. After finishing her final few classes, she has left in her undergrad this fall, Kira hopes to expand on her learnings by enrolling in grad school next year. She wants to research related topics to her URA, specifically relating to AI methods used to solve Generalized Nash Equilibrium methods. “I remember learning about Nash Equilibrium in my first-year game theory class, and I hope to build off my research this summer that relates to it.”
Kira’s advice to future and current students, “The main thing I would say is to get involved in things in your department and program! Some of my main highlights on campus have been getting to know the people and faculty in my program.”