-By Taruna Rapaka
Grigory Malinovsky joined KAUST this fall as a M.S./Ph.D. candidate and member of Professor Peter Richtarik's Optimization and Machine Learning Lab. Grigory holds a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics and physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Russia. Malinovsky first came to KAUST as a visiting student and was instantly impressed by the research facilities and working atmosphere. His outstanding internship experience was a catalyst in choosing KAUST as the next step in his academic career.
What was your main subject during your undergraduate degree? Why did you choose it?
My main subject was machine learning. I chose it because artificial intelligence is prevalent nowadays. Moreover, I like that machine learning combines theoretical aspects and practical approaches to solve problems.
Why have you chosen to pursue a M.S./Ph.D. at KAUST?
I first came to KAUST as a visiting student in January 2020. My collaboration with Professor Richtarik was very productive. I also enjoyed working with other members of the research group. Indeed, the proof was in the pudding: KAUST does provide good opportunities for education and scientific career.
When did your interest in applied mathematics and computational sciences begin? What are your research interests?
My interest started to focalize in high school when, after taking part in several physics and mathematics Olympiads, I won a prize at the All-Russian Physics Olympiad. So, for two years, I studied in the Physics department of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. Those foundation years made me realize that I have a knack for applied mathematics, machine learning, and optimization.
My current research interests combine machine-learning, optimization, and applied statistics. Specifically, I am interested in the theoretical aspects of optimization algorithms that can be applied to real machine-learning problems.
What do you do in your spare time? What are you passionate about?
Sport is my passion: I play basketball and football but I also enjoy individual activities such as the gym and yoga. I spend the rest of my time with my family and so far, KAUST has offered a perfect balance between career and private life.
What is your future outlook?
At KAUST, my first objective is to absorb as much as possible from the exciting courses on offer. I am also willing to make the best of my time and resources by producing scientific papers and getting to know other scientists through collaborations.
Can you give a piece of advice to students who plan to pursue a M.S./Ph.D. at KAUST?
I would advise them to contact their supervisor at a very early stage, before applying. I did so, and I’ve received recommendations about the academic program and research project. An excellent option is also visiting KAUST and the supervisor before the admission. KAUST internships and summer camps are designed to help prospective students discover the university before enrolling.
As I said, the proof is in the pudding. So, come and taste for yourself.