Scott Ferdinand Renegado

Mathematics and Computing Science Joint Major

In my research project, Resistance-conferring defensive symbionts and the evolution of parasite virulence, I explored the ecological and evolutionary effects of defensive symbionts on host-parasite systems using mathematical modeling, numerical analysis, and simulations.

Why did you choose to come to SFU?

I originally chose SFU to enter the SIAT program. My interests at the time were leaning into the creatives. But after a time of introspection, those interests began to change in my first year: I went on to take more mathematics and computer science, and from then on I gradually made the switch into MACM. 

How would you describe your research or program to a family member?

In my program, I do mathematics and coding. That could mean time spent on reading and writing with a pen and tablet. Or that could mean testing and debugging code on a computer. It could even mean having a walk, being in my own head while thinking a problem through. Either way, it really is about problem solving.

My research is not too far off from my program, at least in terms of the work I do, which lies somewhere between mathematics, coding, and biology. Instead of assignments and exams, I have meetings and e-mails. So, through a mixture of communication and independent work, I apply what I learned in university to fill a gap in knowledge within an area of mathematical biology.

What are you particularly enjoying about your studies/research at SFU?

Studies and research are difficult at times, having their highs and their lows. And I find that meeting people who relate to these kinds of experiences, like classmates or a supervisor or other undergraduate research assistants, helps me in moving forward with what I do.

What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?

To those who may be hesitant on whether undergraduate research is the right decision for you and your career, there is no need to worry about it too much. Be confident in your decision, and make it work as best you can. And if that decision is a step into undergraduate research, then I can say from my experience, it can be well worth it.