It started in year 12
I arrived at Durham University in 2018 as a member of Josephine Butler College but I actually began my journey at Durham when I was in Year 12 on the Supported Progression program. This involved a spring residential at Grey College and a Summer School at Van Mildert College in 2017 which gave me the opportunity to experience what life was like at Durham. After beginning my degree at Durham, as a member of Josephine Butler College, I got to take part in societies and committees in college and I was also a member of the Durham University Hill Orchestra and was given the opportunity to perform at Durham Cathedral.
Undergraduate Computer Science at Durham
During my undergraduate years, I completed an integrated masters in Computer Science. In the first and second years, all computer science modules are compulsory, designed to teach the fundamentals of computer science necessary to understand concepts taught in the following years and consisted of lectures and practicals. Practicals allowed me to work closely with other students and demonstrators to deepen my understanding of concepts taught in lectures. In the third and fourth years, I was able to choose which modules I wanted to do so I decided to focus on modules related to artificial intelligence and deep learning.
One module in the fourth year that truly stands out is the advanced project, which carried half the credits designed to give us a taste of research. This was my first time to have the opportunity to do research and I worked on an AI-based speech feedback system for second language learners to help learners better identify their speech issues. Whilst carrying out my fourth-year project, the opportunity arose to do a PhD at Durham University within the field AI in Education and I decided to expand on my undergraduate project for my Phd.
Starting my PhD
I have recently finished my first nine months of my PhD at Durham, studying AI in education. I have gained valuable research experience through my PhD and as a research assistant, and during the first year of my PhD I’ve had the opportunity to go to several countries including Denmark, Germany and Japan for workshops and conferences.
A particularly memorable moment was when I presented my research paper at the International AI in Education Conference in Tokyo. I also took the initiative to volunteer and contribute to the smooth running of the conference, gaining insights and forging connections that will undoubtedly shape my academic journey. These experiences have not only deepened my knowledge in AI and education but have been an excellent opportunity to meet with leading academic and industrial researchers in the area of AI in Education.
As I reflect on my journey so far, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities that Durham University has provided. The skills and expertise I’ve gained have positioned me for exciting prospects ahead, setting the stage for a rewarding career as a computer scientist.
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