Graduate eyes a future researching Artificial Intelligence
Bachelor of Science graduate Johnathan Leung will continue his academic journey in 2022, completing a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computer Science, with aspirations for a PhD in the future.
“I had an interest in computers and maths from a young age — I liked to create computer games. I also entered maths competitions in high school. These two areas have a strong emphasis on logical thinking, which I like.
“When I was in high school, I took the mathematics paper for high school students at the University of Auckland (MATHS 162) in the Young Scholars programme. This gave me a preview of what life was like at the University. Thus, I chose to continue my studies there as a full-time student in 2020. It also made sense to study close to home, given the pandemic situation, so I could focus on my favourite subjects in a safe environment and without major interruptions.
“I valued having the opportunity to take on a range of different papers under a flexible program, because I could learn about a variety of topics within the subject areas that I am studying.
“In semester two of 2021, I was given the opportunity to work on a computer science research project with data at a local hospital. It was quite a lot of work processing the data, and I had to read many research papers, but I managed to get a basic model running. I really enjoyed the experience, and the project gave me a good understanding of the research process.
“The Qi Anlong scholarship for AI in 2021 and a Summer Research Scholarship helped fund my studies. The Summer Research Scholarship also provided great opportunities to work on research relating to machine learning projects, under the supervision of experienced scholars and professors.
I valued having the opportunity to take on a range of different papers under a flexible program, because I could learn about a variety of topics within the subject areas that I am studying.
“I have just finished a Bachelor of Science majoring in Computer Science and Maths and I will continue on to a BSc (Hons) in computer science in 2022. I hope to continue onto a postgraduate degree in the future, potentially in the area of Artificial Intelligence.
“Throughout my degree, studying at the University has provided me with valuable life and academic experience. While Covid-19 has caused widespread disruption over the last couple of years, I still had the chance to meet with friends at university and participate in different events, even during lockdown and online study.
“I also participated in several competitions during my degree. My high school friends and I teamed up to compete in the Energy Case Competition collecting fifth place in the open group, and also gained first place in the Deloitte Open Case Competition, run by the Management Consulting Club in 2021. I joined the International Collegiate Programming Competition (ICPC) with my two friends, making it through to the regionals for Australia/NZ, taking first place in NZ and eighth place in Aus/NZ.
“Most recently, at the end of 2021, I competed in the Simon Marais Mathematics Competition (SMMC), finishing in the top 11.1% of competitors and gaining the top score in Aotearoa. This is a highly respected competition that aims to challenge the top undergraduate maths students from around the world, making it a great finish to the academic year.”