Interview with Robert Adragna

1.       A quick introduction for yourself

My name is Robert Adragna. I am currently a second year Engineering Science student, planning to enter robotics and machine intelligence subdiscipline next year. I really enjoying my study in engineering. Outside of school, I have a variety of interests, such as music, sports and reading pretty much everything.

2.       Any interesting facts about yourself?

Before I joined aUToronto, I am very much into environmental sustainability. I believe that one of the big upside of self-driving cars and all other new technologies are going to allow us to consume less energy. Because in my opinion, nature is the most incredible thing in the world. I had chance to travel to Antarctic three years ago with a group called Students on Ice. The experience was absolutely incredible, and made me fall in love with technology, really because I saw how all the things that we are doing here can start going out and make the real-world impacts.

3.       Why would you like to join aUToronto? What would you like to get out of this experience?

I think for me, what attracts me to aUToronto is that the whole idea of self-driving car industry. Automated processes, especially for those related to Artificial Intelligence (AI), would be the true future of the society. I really want to get some experience in this area, and see some of the brightest minds in University of Toronto coming together to build an incredibly cool project.

Something special about aUToronto is about the marketing role. This self-driving car project, it is challenge that no student design team has ever faced. I want to let the general public to know about how cool the projects we are working on. It is exciting to inspire others with the same level of excitement for future as I feel, and to experience working on large scale project that you can merely believe are happening.

4.       What is your inspiration and passion for your future career?

What really inspires me is solving the real-world problem with high complexity, and creating meaningful products through innovation. It’s like a computer, it has billions of billions of transistors. Each of these are in different states, for example, one has more permutations than the existing one in this universe, but somehow we can package that all together, and make it as a product that someone can use for their pleasant enjoyable experience to interact with. I like to take this complexity and reduce to things which are understandable and usable. That is the thing that drives me to engineering, and the reason why I want to get into the autonomous driving industry and AI industry that taking in sets of data and making them into sensible conclusion.

For the other side of things, environmental sustainability also excites me. Its not about building something, it is also about making an impact on society. There are so much to be done in the world, and I want to be one of people who are out there to make it better.