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Humberview’s top grad sees robotics in his future

July 28, 2017   ·   0 Comments

Matthew Reynolds plans to major in mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo.

By Bill Rea
Matthew Reynolds said he’s typically been in the top 10 of his class throughout his academic career, and he picked the last year of high school to move to the head of the class.
Reynolds is the top graduating scholar from the Class of ‘17 at Humberview Secondary School.
“I really buckled down,” he said, referring to the school year that just ended. “I had my goals set pretty high for university.”
Reynolds is planning to go to the University of Waterloo in September, majoring in mechatronics engineering.
“It’s pretty new, but it’s great for someone like me,” he commented, adding it combines a bit of mechanics, electrical and programming, combining into robotics. “I love robotics.”
“I’ve kind of been passionate about technology all my life,” he added.
That was reflected in the top six Grade 12 courses he took, which resulted in a 96.33 per cent average. And while there were a lot of maths and related studies, he also found time to study some music.
The final grades for his top six courses resulted in 95 per cent in instrumental music (band); 95 per cent in vocal music (jazz); 95 per cent in advanced functions; 96 per cent in computer science; 97 per cent in calculus and vectors; and 100 per cent in robotics and control systems.
He was also one of the founding members of the Alpha Dogs Robotics Club, and eventually became president.
“I had great teachers who helped push me into that leadership position,” he said.
He also found time for music and sports in each of his four years at Humberview.
Reynolds said he’s been interested in the saxophone since his middle school days, and he grew to discover the technical side of music, such as through sound mixing, etc. He said that’s helped increase his passion, and also helped him get a summer job doing AV work for events around the GTA. He had already done some volunteer work in that field, at events like the Orangeville Jazz and Blues Festival, but it’s nice to now get paid for it.
When it comes to the secret of academic success, Reynolds stressed the need to not just focus on the classroom.
“You’ve got to get involved outside just the classroom,” he declared, adding he tells that to younger people entering Grade 9. It’s through things like sports that one makes friends, has fun and gets more engaged, he said, adding it’s easy to get bored if one just focusses on class.
The sports Reynolds took part in included cross-country running and skiing, as well as track and field, making it to OFSAA five times. He was also active in pole vaulting.
While he had a great time in high school, Reynolds is looking forward to the university experience at Waterloo.
“I’m really excited about it,” he said, adding it will give him the chance to study something he’s passionate about.
Robotics is also a field that offers a wide variety of career opportunities, such as medical, search and resue, etc. And he doesn’t have to make up his mind yet. Reynolds is content to wait and see where events take him, expecting to find a variety of opportunities.
“I know I want to do robotics,” he said. “I know there will be a ton of opportunities.”



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