Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Jay Lakhupota, from the Department of Computer Science, studied a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science.

Jay Lakhupota sits at his computer at the postgraduate computer lab

"I've always been interested in Computer Science since I was in high school and I liked being updated about the latest technology in the market. That led me to pursue my undergraduate degree in IT. After completing my bachelors degree, I did not have any idea what area in Computer Science I wanted to specialise in but had a little bit of interest in networking. I became interested in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning after attending some seminars and meetups.

"The courses I enjoyed the most were Data Mining and Machine Learning, and the AI course called Interactive Cognitive Systems which focuses on how to build an AI system considering different fields like Philosophy, Psychology and Biology.

I had research projects for all of my courses and the first project that I worked was a group project about Fooling Facial Recognition Systems.

Jay Lakhupota

"We had a system which was able to identify the images 99% correctly and our task was to manipulate the image in such a way that the system would misclassify it. After applying multiple algorithms our accuracy of fooling the system was 67% and we were able to achieve our first hypothesis, which was to manipulate the image such that it is less suspicious to a human observer. 

"The second research project was about impacts of lecture recordings on undergraduate students. I was given grade data and access data for students studying COMPSCI 101 in 2018. I had to analyse the data based on three research questions that I formed after reading some research papers on it. The result was inconclusive after the analysis of the data as the data provided was skewed and incomplete and because of that I could not see any concluding result. But it was still fun to work on this project to see the trend within the students about the use of lecture recordings.

"The best part about studying in the Faculty of Science, especially in Computer Science, is the support. The support from the department and the lecturers motivates you to do something beyond your imagination. The challenges that are given during the course work make you want to work harder on the given assignment or project. 

"The 'open door policy' here at University is amazing; if we have a problem we can approach any lecturer anytime without making an appointment, and they are always happy to help. The best part about the lecturers is they are considerate. For example, if a student has some assignments or presentations clashing with the deadline for other assignments then they provide students with an extension in which they can complete and submit assignments properly.  

"The only advice that I would give is to ask questions. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to anyone because not everything is said during the orientation or is shared by the lecturers in the class, and when we have some problems that we have no idea about, at the end we can give up. So it is important to ask any question to anyone in the department, even if you feel it is stupid, still ask because no question is stupid question."