Week One At Left

This week I’ve had the opportunity to spend my days working alongside the folks of Left.io in Maple Ridge, British Columbia with the first two interns (Nic and Xuan) of our Mitacs funded research program Mobile Mesh Technology for Improved Connectivity in Canada. It has been a busy but incredibly energizing week.

While I won’t bore you with a play by play of everything that happened this week, I can’t help but feel a wee bit excited at the fact that the program is off the ground and running – and definitely picking up steam.

First and foremost, this week gave me and Nic the opportunity to finally meet Xuan in person. Since she’s doing her MASc at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Victor Leung, our interactions to date have only been via email. Fortunately, Dr. David Wang (Chief Micropayments Scientist, RightMesh, and Xuan’s internship supervisor at Left) arranged a tour of Victor’s lab followed by dinner on Monday night. It was great learning about Victor’s work, and seeing where Xuan spends much of her time.

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Jason Ernst (Chief Technology Officer, RightMesh, and co-PI on the research project) and David to get an update on the work that Xuan has been doing since she began her internship this semester. After exploring some of the data she’s been working on, we managed to develop a plan for the next steps in her research exploring micropayment channels. I may or may not have nerded out as we were doing this.

Later in the week, Nic and I sat down with the broader team to review the logistics of the research program. With a program that requires four postdoctoral fellows and up to sixteen doctoral students, keeping things organized is essential to our success. Fortunately, the team that I’m working with are experts in this space. And despite the large amount of work we have before us, I think everyone left the meeting feeling pumped and focused. It also allowed us to start formulating new ideas, and strategizing how and what we might do to support the students who will be part of this research program.

Another highlight for me, however, was finally being able to meet Dr. Lucien Loiseau (Lead Mesh Networking Scientist, RightMesh), and learning more about his research area. To say that I was impressed would be an understatement. I am incredibly excited to have the chance to work with him and am hoping he’ll be able to sit on the committee for some of the incoming students this fall. I’m also excited about the possibility of developing an intensive graduate-level course with Lucien and Jason for the project interns.

This week was packed, and while I’m a little tired, I am so excited to see what’s next. Better yet, Nic and I still have another week of visiting the Left offices before we return to Guelph and begin preparing for our research trip to Rigolet.

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