Sept '95-Apr '00 — Bachelor of Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C.


I graduated from Simon Fraser University in June of 2000 with:

  • Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours)
  • Major in Honours Applied Physics
  • Minor in Computing Science
  • Successful completion of the Co-operative Education Program

My cumulative GPA, averaged over all the courses listed below, was 3.92, while my upper division GPA, averaged over all the 300 and 400 level courses I took, was 3.98.

Majored in Honours Applied Physics

This is a new program offered at SFU, which allows students to prepare for jobs in high technology industries, as opposed to moving on to graduate school. There are several streams to choose from in this program, depending on interest. I chose the semiconductor/optics stream, which meant taking fourth year (advanced) courses in optics and solid state physics, and which fits well with my honours thesis topic.

As is recommended by the department, I completed PHYS 432, which is the Undergraduate Honours Thesis. This involved a semester of independent research under an advisor, written up in a thesis, and presented to a group of students and professors. My undergraduate honours thesis was

Some of the research I did for my honours thesis resulted in two published papers:

  • "Local vibrational modes of carbon in GaSb and GaAsSb"

    • Authors: X.K. Chen, R. Wiersma, C.X. Wang, O.J. Pitts, C. Dale, C.R. Bolognesi, S.P. Watkins
    • Location: Applied Physics Letters, vol. 80, pg. 1942 (2002)
    • File: PDF, 53 KB
  • "Heavily carbon-doped GaAsSb grown on InP for HBT applications"

    • Authors: S.P. Watkins, O. Pitts, C. Dale, X.G. Xu, M. Dvorak, N. Matine, and C.R. Bolognesi
    • Location: Journal of Crystal Growth, vol. 221, pg. 59 (2000)
    • File: PDF, 54 KB

Minored in Computing Science

My main focus in completing this minor was to have a good knowledge of computers and computer programming that would complement well my Physics major. I tried to focus on the hardware end of Computing Science, taking two courses in Digital Circuits and Systems, and also Networking. I also took Computer Simulation and Modelling as the subject is very relevant to the sciences. However, I also had the opportunity to take many programming courses, and found myself to be an adept programmer in almost any language. I learned the following programming languages in classes:

  • Visual C++
  • C++
  • C
  • GPSS
  • Simscript II
  • Lisp
  • Maple
  • VHDL
  • Modula-2
  • Turbo Pascal
  • PC Assembly Language

With this large variety of languages behind me, I find that I have an excellent capability to pick up new languages very quickly. So, I have self-taught myself the following languages, either for work or for personal interest:

  • Visual Basic
  • HTML
  • PHP
  • TeX and LaTeX
  • LabView
  • LotusScript
  • SAS
  • JCL

Completed the Co-operative Education Program

For completion of this program, four 4-month semesters of work terms are required. I chose to do this in two 4-months and one 8-month semester. These semesters are listed below, along with links to more information on each job.

Semester Location Job Title
Summer, 1999 McGill University Research Assistant
Summer, 1998 TRIUMF Research Assistant
Spring & Summer, 1997 ISM-BC Junior Programmer

List of Courses Completed

Discipline Number Course Name Grade
Engineering Science 850 Semiconductor Device Theory (Graduate course) A+
Physics 465 Solid State Physics A
Physics 455 Applied Optics B+
Physics 432 Undergraduate Honours Thesis A
Physics 431 Advanced Physics Laboratory I A+
Physics 430 Digital Electronics and Interfacing A
Physics 415 Quantum Mechanics A
Physics 395 Computational Physics A+
Physics 385 Quantum Physics A
Physics 384 Methods of Theoretical Physics I A-
Physics 365 Semiconductor Device Physics A
Physics 355 Optics A-
Physics 345 Statistical Physics A
Physics 332 Intermediate Laboratory A
Physics 331 Electronics Laboratory A+
Physics 326 Electronics and Instrumentation A+
Physics 324 Electromagnetics B
Physics 244 Thermal Physics A+
Physics 234 Introductory Physics Laboratory B A+
Physics 233 Introductory Physics Laboratory A B+
Physics 221 Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism A
Physics 211 Intermediate Mechanics A
Physics 131 General Physics Laboratory B B+
Physics 121 Optics, Electricity and Magnetism A-
Physics 120 Modern Physics and Mechanics A
Computing Science 390 Digital Circuits and Systems A
Computing Science 371 Data Communications and Networking A
Computing Science 361 Introduction to Computer Graphics A
Computing Science 305 Computer Simulation and Modelling A+
Computing Science 290 Introduction to Digital Systems A
Computing Science 201 Data and Program Abstraction A+
Computing Science 112 Intro to Additional Programming Language - C B
Computing Science 105 Fundamental Concepts of Computing A
Computing Science 101 Modula 2 A
Mathematics 310 Intro to Ordinary Differential Equations A-
Mathematics 252 Vector Calculus A
Mathematics 251 Calculus III A
Mathematics 232 Elementary Linear Algebra A
Mathematics 162 Honors Supplement for Calculus II Pass
Mathematics 161 Honors Supplement for Calculus I Pass
Mathematics 152 Calculus II A
Mathematics 151 Calculus I A-
Mathematics and Computing Science 316 Numerical Analysis I A
Mathematics and Computing Science 101 Discrete Mathematics I A+
Chemistry 115 General Chemistry Laboratory I A
Chemistry 103 General Chemistry II for Physical Sciences A+
Chemistry 102 General Chemistry II for Physical Sciences A
English 101 Introduction to Fiction B-
Fine and Performing Arts 137 The History and Aesthetics of Cinema II B-
Philosophy 100 Knowledge and Reality B
Statistics 270 Intro. To Probability % Statistics A
Actuarial Mathematics 310 Mathematics of Compound Interest A