Reaping the rewards of research

Ottawa winters are a far cry from the California hills, but after a few years in the working world Anthony Whitehead realized returning to Carleton would help further his career, by gaining invaluable research experience.

And he did. Last April, Whitehead received the Student Researcher of the Year Award from the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation.

Whitehead graduated from Carleton with a Bachelor of Computer Science in 1996. After a few years hiatus working in the United States in biometrics, content-based images, video retrieval, and data classification, he returned to Carleton to pursue graduate studies.

“This was a natural place for me,” says Whitehead. “I knew some of the professors, and I knew who I would be working with.”

Originally enrolled in the master’s program, Whitehead scored straight As in his first year, and was able to take the unusual step of fast tracking into a Ph.D.

Whitehead says that while the industry was booming at the time he returned to Canada, he felt that to build a solid career path, he would have to be knowledgeable in research, not just development. He also notes that it is not always wise to make decisions based on market trends.

“Students should take (programs) they are interested in, not what they believe will lead to a job because the job market will likely be very different by the time they graduate,” says Whitehead.

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