In August 2010, I was offered admission into two different graduate schools. After weighing the options, I elected to attend the Graduate Center (GC), City University of New York. My decision to attend GC was based on the warm reception that I received, notably from Professor Theodore Brown, during my visit to the Graduate Center a year earlier. Professor Brown would later become my first academic mentor, helping to shape my view about scientific research; he provided me with the limitless opportunities to further my academic training and offered innumerable nuggets of advice throughout my graduate studies at GC. I have no regrets about my decision choice to attend this remarkable school.
I enrolled in the Computer Science doctoral program in order to embark on research in the field of Pattern Recognition. I later transitioned to the research area of Network Science, ended up in the field of Wireless Networks (with emphasis on Cognitive Radio Technology). I had the privilege to study under distinguished professors such as Melvin Fitting, Amotz Bar-Noy, and Subash Shankar. Their combined efforts helped to invigorate my passion for research in the field of Computer Science. They also facilitated a better understanding of key concepts and theories in several courses such as Computer Logic, Algorithms, and Fundamentals of Programming. Even more so, these courses have been highly effective in helping to enhance my problem-solving skills and build a strong intellectual foundation. In fact, due to the positive impact these course played in the development of my current career, I have started to recommend them to prospective students.
At GC, my research was primarily focused on the problem of self-coexistence in Cognitive Radio Networks. With recorded shortages in spectrum resources, these intelligence-equipped radio devices need to operate in a manner that is efficient and minimizes contention. My dissertation work suggested novel approaches towards enhancing the efficient use of the radio spectrum, while reducing spectrum contention in wireless networks.
In 2015, I was selected as a data analyst and programming intern at Deloitte and Touché - a multinational professional services firm. The experience I gained during my graduate studies helped me surpass the company’s expectations and generate success stories right away. Four months into the internship program, I not only received a full-time job offer from Deloitte but I was asked to come on board as a Senior Consultant with the Financial Technology team. In my current capacity, I manage two client-facing projects and also the lead the development of one of Deloitte’s internal QA tools.
I am eternally grateful for all of the knowledge I have acquired from my advisors - Professors Shamik Sengupta and Ping Ji. Together, they helped me expand my skill sets, build confidence, and learn how to persevere in the face of challenges. For this reason, I am proud to have graduated from the Graduate Center.
Kenneth Ugonna Ezirim