For Daymond Ling, Physics is more than a body of knowledge: it is a way of thinking, and he credits his UBC professors with teaching him both.
After earning his undergraduate degree in Physics (BSc ‘76) Ling went on to study statistical analysis and optimization combined with business administration (MSc (Bus Admin) ’78) at the graduate level. That fusion of skills opened the door to what became a long and successful career in data analytics. Physics, he observes, creates a base from which many different careers can develop.
“UBC Physics professors taught me how to think,” says Ling. “And they encouraged me to explore. They gave me the mindset to tackle any kind of problem logically and analytically and that has been absolutely indispensable throughout my entire career. Without that Physics foundation I would not have had the very satisfying career I’ve had.”
For Ling, Physics is a calling; even today he continues to read about advancements, such as the work at CERN. “Physicists are right now using advanced statistical methods to search for signals in very high dimensional problems,” he notes, “and that’s exactly what I’m doing, just in a different setting.”
Working in business, Daymond gained an appreciation for the importance of communication, and of being able to distil complex mathematical concepts and scientific analysis into a story that business stakeholders can understand and use. He believes that the ability to explain with simple constructs what findings actually mean and how they might solve a problem or improve performance is an exceptionally valuable skill in all fields where Physics is applied.
Ling has come back to his alma mater to pay it forward. He would like to share the joy he has found in Physics with the next generation and, as he has become a storyteller in his work, to highlight the value of good communication skills. Thanks to his generosity, the Daymond Ling Award in Physics has been established to recognize third- and fourth-year undergraduate Physics students who have demonstrated exceptional aptitude for scientific communication.
“I’m coming close to the end of my working career,” says Ling, “and so when I look back I just have this really deep sense of gratitude for what UBC and Physics enabled me to do in my work life.”
Colin Gay, professor and Head, Department of Physics & Astronomy and our two 2022 award recipients, Yuka Ma and Ryan Curtis.
Donations to the Daymond Ling Award in Physics are welcomed and will grow the fund. For information, please contact PHAS Communications Coordinator Kirsty Dickson (email@example.com; 604-822-0596) or donate online directly.