Thompson Rivers University

A life-long love of (machine) learning

June 4, 2019

Marco Lussetti is the 2019 TRU Faculty of Science valedictorian, graduating with his newly minted Bachelor of Computing Science degree.

Originally hailing from Italy, Lussetti had strong family ties in Kamloops and waded through the immigration process to becoming a Canadian resident before starting his journey at TRU.

He always knew he wanted to attend university: “I think I always had a life-long love of learning.”

It wasn’t much of a stretch to land on computing science, either. He considered some other avenues of interest but job prospects looked good in computing science and the passion was there.

“I’ve always been interested in computing science. Ever since I was five years old, I was always thinking and playing around. It was always an area of interest of mine.”

By his second term at TRU that passion had only grown, and Lussetti landed an early position as an undergraduate teaching assistant. He found a tremendous amount of flexibility and support in TRU’s computing science faculty, who empowered him to explore topics of interest throughout his program.

“I feel a lot of freedom in terms of when there were projects included in the course,” he said. “Faculty has been extremely understanding in trying to make those projects very meaningful to what I wanted to do and the technologies that I wanted to learn. Every faculty member has done something to try and push me in the direction I want to go, and make that easy.”

Lussetti also valued his involvement with the TRUSU Computing Science club, where he got the opportunity to create and host student workshops on themes he cared about and thought others would be interested in.

“The entire department has been extremely supportive. I’ve been given so many opportunities.”

Lussetti is specifically interested in machine learning and full stack development. After graduation, he hopes to become a full stack developer or engineering lead, and continue mentoring others: “I really would like to take all opportunities to share it back.”

Learn more about computing science at TRU

What’s something most people don’t know about TRU?

“I think that people don’t realize the amount of opportunity that is here. Anyone who wants to be doing research, is doing it at TRU. I didn’t know that until my third year. I wish I would have started earlier.”

He’s currently working as a research assistant where he’s helping to generate fake patient data, that can be used in research without the restrictions of working with real patient information.

“I’ve been very fortunate in terms of research opportunities particularly at TRU.”

What does a full stack developer do?

In Lussetti’s words:

“Full stack development is working both on the front end of a web application (or any type of application) as well as the back end. So, for instance, the front is what you see as a user—you go on a website and that’s what you see. Behind, there’s going to be databases and there’s going to be applications to power the entire thing, and that’s the back end. So, a full stack developer is someone who’s versatile enough, hopefully, to be able to do both, because they are very different sets of skills. You take a web application from beginning to end. You might not do that particularly, but you are supposed to be capable of doing that.”

2019 Science Valedictorian Marco Lussetti

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