Graduate student feature: Guanlin Li

May 20, 2021

Originally hailing from China, Guanlin Li joined the Weitz Group as a PhD student from the School of Physics in 2017. We asked Guanlin some questions about his background, his time in the Weitz Group, his advice for the science-minded, and his plans for the future.

Where were you and what were you doing before you joined the Weitz Group?
I was in the math department at Georgia Tech finishing my M.S in mathematics and doing research in numerical PDE and theoretical analysis on some PDE system modeling chemotaxis. 

Describe your primary research project in 100 words or less.
We combine dynamical modeling of population-scale virus-host systems with optimization- and control-theoretic principles, to devise the timing and composition of therapeutic phage cocktails in phage therapy.

How about 5 words or less?
How viruses ‘cure’ bacterial infections.

What initially interested you in viral ecology/quantitative/theoretical science?
The many cool applications of applied math tools in biological sciences.

What three words would you use to describe your time in the Weitz Group?
Pleasant, motivated, coordinative.

What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time?
Playing basketball, hiking, and watching movies.

What are your plans after graduating from Georgia Tech and the Weitz Group?
I’ll be going into the financial industry to develop trading strategies using math tools and algorithms.

What advice do you have for future graduate students?
Just learn about something you are interested in, not necessarily something related to research, academia, or industry. Always ‘hedging’ the future makes one anxious, and limits the skills you’ll learn. Do something different and unique that interests you.

What advice do you have for those interested in becoming a scientist?
If you have free time and don’t know what to do, then learn more math! You can never know enough and it’s always useful.