Kylan Race: Freedom to Make an Impact

Kylan Race, MCS alumnusKylan Race, MCS ’18, has thrived in every aspect of CS, from lectures to summer jobs.

“I’ve had internships at Google and Dell. I’ve worked in collaboration with Apple, NASA and gained a great deal of research experience. I liked just about everything,” he said.

“I didn’t want to go into industry just to do something I don’t really like. As I learned more, I chose machine learning and deep learning as my focus,” Race said.

Before enrolling as a graduate student, Race visited the Rice campus with his parents, Paul A. Race, M.D., J.D. ’81 and Theda Daniels-Race, Ph.D. ’83.

“I really like the environment as I have been on campus before.  My parents came back for various meet ups.  I also appreciate the proximity of the library, as I’m a very heavy studier,” he said.

Race, who is a GEM Fellow by the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, studies to know what’s on the cutting edge of research.

“I make it a point to read new research papers everyday. A lot of the advances in machine learning and deep learning have come from academia, more so than from the industry.  Therefore, as a student, following the literature is essential.  That’s the best way to keep your knowledge fresh,” Race said.

The information Race learned at Rice is not the only thing he will remember. He found value in meticulously researching different topics.

“Graduate school teaches you a methodology of learning which is even more valuable than any specific class. You will learn throughout your career, so being able to do so effectively is very valuable,” he said.

During his limited spare time, Race likes to sew costumes. He learned how to sew while he was an undergraduate. He has produced a variety of costumes, from cartoon characters to Victorian era outfits.  He has even learned how to work with foam, fiberglass and resin to add a creative edge to his designs.

“I started out sewing small garments and then moved on to costumes.  “It’s really relaxing,” he said.

Race said he believes in investing time in his hobby because of the peace of mind it brings.

As to his professional endeavors, Race said, “One of my goals, whether in industry or academia, has been to have the freedom to make an impact in my field.  I believe that I’m on track for that.”

Upon graduation, Race will move to California to work with Intel’s Data Center Group in deep learning solutions.

–Cintia Listenbee, CS Publicist