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- BS in Computer Science and Minor in Mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Hometown: Champaign, Illinois
- Field of Study: Database Theory
- PhD Advisor: Wolfgang Gatterbauer
Peter Ivanov is a PhD student at Northeastern University’s Khoury College of Computer Sciences. He graduated with a BS in Computer Science and a Minor in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he discovered his passion for theoretical computer science. Peter is currently working on database theory, and he is interested in finding novel ways to efficiently evaluate queries in probabilistic databases using disassociation and other techniques.
What are your research interests in a bit more detail? Is your current academic/research path what you always had in mind for yourself, or has it evolved somewhat? If so, how/why?
I’m working on database theory. There are some nice theoretical problems that if solved have huge practical applications. I wasn’t certain of whether I wanted to do a PhD till fairly late in college. I took some fascinating graduate courses and got the opportunity to work on a senior thesis. These experiences cemented my desire to pursue research.
What’s one problem you’d like to solve with your research/work?
Using disassociation and other techniques, I’d like to find novel ways to efficiently evaluate queries in probabilistic databases.
What aspect of what you do is most interesting/fascinating to you? What aspects of your research (findings, angles, problems you’re solving) might surprise others?
The thing I enjoy about research is how much of it is a test of patience. No matter who you are, you can be the first to discover cool things if you put in the time. As Thomas Edison said “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
What are your research/career goals, going forward?
I’d like to keep an open mind, soak up as much as I can, and do my best to solve the problems I’m working on.
Where did you grow up/spend the most defining years of your childhood/young adulthood?
I grew up in Champaign, a nice Midwest town surrounded by corn.
Where did you study for your undergraduate degree? Any reason in particular behind your choice (a program you were excited about, a city you love, a researcher you wanted to work with)?
I took a programming course in high school, and I liked it enough to choose computer science as my major. And while I was in college, I found myself more and more interested by the theoretical courses which is why I ended up with a minor in math.