I hail from Ga-Rankuwa (A township just outside Pretoria) in South Africa. I attended Tsogo High School in Mmakau Village. Later, I studied Electrical Engineering (Information Option) at Wits. I undertook a Master's degree under the supervision of Professor Tshilidzi Marwala. I was a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science at Rutgers, The University of New Jersey as a Fulbright Science and Technology Scholar.
I have interests in a wide scale of things. During my time at Wits I served in student leadership, becoming chairman of the Electrical Engineering Student Council in 2006. During my time on the council I got to represent the students in the school as well as take part in shaping the future of the school. I also got the opportunity to represent students during readmission hearings which I think is a very delicate time and task for students as well as the university management. In 2008 I joined the Post Graduate Association as Media and Liaison office but I relished the opportunity to be involved in representing Post Graduate students in the ICT Reference Committee, Convocation and Residence Committees of the University Management. During this time I learnt a great deal about how a university runs from the other perspective and also how some challenges students face could be solved by meaningful work from both sides.
After my Masters degree I started working for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Johannesburg in the Modelling and Digital Science division. I specifically worked in Information Security department. MDS (in 2009) was headed by Dr. M. Maserumule (now Prof. Fulufhelo Nelwamondo) and the division is full of talented scientists from diverse backgrounds working on very interesting problems, both scientifically and interesting for the country.
In late 2009 I started out in the USA as a PhD Student at Rutgers University. The time spent here thus was interesting. Adjusting to American culture as well as finding my academic footing has been a challenge I will always cherish. As noted by many the only way to keep on growing is to uproot yourself from that which one is used to, move from your comfort zone. I have grown through the experience and have also gotten to interact and work at one of the greatest institutions in the US. I was based in the Rutgers Lab for Real Life Reinforcement Learning in the Computer Science department under the supervision of Prof. M Littman.
Currently I am a Data Science Researcher, back at the CSIR.
Other than that that's a glimpse about the things I do. I also enjoy music , I watch a lot of documentaries (if you have any interesting ones email me) and I read a lot. I build communities online with impact offline.
I chose to use LinkedIn for this. So you can go to http://za.linkedin.com/in/vukosimarivate.
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