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Prince Barpaga, Student

Prince Barpaga, Student

“I was born in India and grew up in Italy. I speak, English, Italian, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Spanish (basics). I moved to Italy at the age of 7 and I lived there for 10 years. I came to Canada in 2015 to pursue my university degree. Since I was a tech enthusiast since childhood, and I was always curious about learning new things (science and technology in particular), taking my interest into consideration I started my degree in Computer Science at the Lassonde School of Engineering.

I still remember when I came to Canada, I had lots of unclear dreams and blurred vision of my life’s purpose. As a new international student in Toronto, it was very challenging for me to settle in the new environment, since English is not my first language I found very hard to develop relationships with people and make friends. During my 1st semester there was a point when I went through depression and I decided to quit my university and go back to Italy. I am very grateful to the York International department, Diana Ning in particular, who helped me as a new international student from my 1st year by providing me the opportunity to work for York International and be a leader for new international students.

When I started my degree I actually didn’t have much interest in Computer Science field, at one point I decided to change my major to Film/Production since I had more passion for it. However in summer 2016 my mentor Shivam gave me a chance to volunteer with his company, Hero Engineering. I worked on a cloud based data warehouse and web application which allow users to visualize their energy consumption data historically. I had very limited experience when I started working on this project. I had the support of my mentor (Shivam​) who guided me through the project. Working on this project was perhaps the most enlightening experience for me, as it sparked my interest into coding and in technology overall. I realized, coding is more about creativity, and that developing an interest is a journey, it takes time and efforts, moreover willingness to learn. It was an eye opening experience.

I genuinely believe if these people did not come into my life I would have not found my purpose and my passion. They did not only inspire me to work for what I really like, but also
helped me to learn and grow as an individual.

I had the opportunity to visit Silicon Valley last semester through my Faculty (Lassonde School of Engineering), where I experienced the tech capital's unique entrepreneurial culture. Being in Silicon Valley was one of the greatest experience I've had so far, especially visiting high tech companies like Google, Uber, Twitter and many other startup companies was an eye opening experience. I learned a lot about the tech world specially about Artificial Intelligence how it is changing our lives and will in the future.

This summer I’ll be going to Technion Institute of Technology - Israel for 3-week “boot camp” focused on entrepreneurship. This program is a credit course based on classes and workshops at the Technion campus in Haifa. In addition to the content delivered in Haifa, students will also be making site visits to: incubators, venture capital organizations, startups, research labs and a two-day visit to Tel Aviv University. I am really looking forward for this new adventure and learn more about the entrepreneurial world.

Recently I developed great interest in AI/ML. My dream is graduate and then to specialize in the stream of Artificial Intelligence and work in this field. I also have great interest in entrepreneurship and I am aspiring to develop a social enterprise in the late future in the field of AI.”

Prince Barpaga, student
BA. Hons. Computer Science at Lassonde School of Engineering
Watch his recent TEDx talk
Twitter: @PrinceBarpaga
Instagram: @PrinceBarpaga

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