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Anne-Sophie Poulin-Girard

PhD Student and Lecturer, Université Laval, Center for Optics, Photonics and Lasers, Canada
Country of birth: Canada

Educational background: MSc, BSc Physics, Université Laval, Canada


Anne-Sophie Poulin-GirardWhat are the primary responsibilities of your current job?
I am currently a PhD student in optical engineering and computer vision. My PhD is about building a stereoscopic panoramic system-special robot eyes that can see almost all around. This kind of system could be used on an assembly-line robot, as part of a driver-assistant system, or in surveillance applications. I read books and papers, write programs on my computer, find and order equipment, perform experiments in the lab, write and submit articles, go to conferences around the world and meet many interesting people in my field. I also teach a classical mechanics undergraduate class for future high school teachers.

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome in your career?
My mother tongue is French and when I started my graduate studies, I felt that this was a handicap. International conferences and publications are in English and I had no confidence in my ability to write, speak, and understand that language. I was too hard with myself. I did not have to speak perfect English to be well understood, and I could ask people to repeat if something was unclear to me. My attitude towards this issue was the real problem-more than my abilities in English.

Do you have advice for young women considering a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics)?
Eleanor Roosevelt said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Sometimes, we think that only a certain type of person makes a good scientist. Science needs every type of personality, various talents and ways of thinking. Stay true to yourself, success lays in differences and diversity.