WIMTACH Student Profile: Terry Tan

Terry Tan’s internship journey at WIMTACH began with a stroke of luck. Previously a student in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) program at Centennial College, he learned about WIMTACH when a friend contacted him to help with a task. Before this moment, he didn’t have a clear plan for how he would gain professional industry experience for future employment, so the information came at the right time. “It’s kind of [because of] luck, I would say,” he said.

Eventually earning the role of a Student Researcher for an applied research project in collaboration with Emote AI, Terry was hired as a student Deep Learning Engineer. His task was to assist a team of WIMTACH researchers in developing a model to recognize facial expressions. Before joining the project, he had many expectations, some of which included an expectation to increase his skills and knowledge on methodologies for targeting specific models and in the end, he felt that his internship at WIMTACH proved to be the challenge he needed to practice these concepts. Although his role provided many challenges, he felt immense satisfaction after resolving every issue he faced. One memorable moment during his internship was when he achieved a positive result after months of iteration and problem-solving for a persistent problem. “Two months after the project was due … the result was quite good. That’s the moment I couldn’t forget because it’s like six months of development,” he said.

While gaining the space to learn how to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) recognition and a file system in AWS S3 bucket, his internship at WIMTACH also enabled him to learn how to use EfficientDet for end-to-end modeling, Open Neural Network Exchange runtime, and Grad-CAM for explainable AI. Beyond these technical skills, he attributes his improved communication and time management skills to his internship at WIMTACH. His role as a student Deep Learning Engineer was multifaceted. Not only did Terry have an in-depth role in the development of the project, but he was enabled to take on more of a leadership position to assist other Student Researchers with their tasks which greatly improved his ability to communicate effectively. “Communication is the fruit I [gained] from this experience,” he said.

Now, a graduate of Centennial College and an alumnus of WIMTACH, Terry works as a Back-end Developer at BBD Insights. He hopes to eventually transition towards a career in data engineering to oversee some of the tasks he was doing at WIMTACH. In his immediate future, his goal is to grow his technical skills and expertise. Ultimately, Terry is happy with his decision to join WIMTACH, and he highly recommends the program to other students who are looking for professional work experience. “I do recommend this opportunity,” he said. “It’s based on you having built a strong foundation on basic computer software and theory … this place is a good place to practice your actual skills.”

For more stories, please visit: https://wimtach.centennialcollege.ca/news/