Research Fellow

Yang Chen enjoys the freedom that pursuing a PhD gives him, and finds that research is like exploring the deep ocean; a sudden discovery can make all the hard work worthwhile.

Research fellow Yang Chen posing against a brick wall background.

Career: Research fellow in Strong AI Lab of the School of Computer
Science at the University of Auckland.
Programme: Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science.

“I decided to pursue Computer Science for a number of reasons, but I’m glad I followed the programme through to doctoral research. I’ve found that research is like exploring the deep ocean, and I have always enjoyed sailing in the dark blue. The feeling of uncovering the truth makes all the hard work worth it.

“Ultimately I was interested in pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science because I have always been driven by my passion for academic research. With a PhD qualification, I believe I can push the boundaries of what people know about computer science. A PhD qualification is also a stepping-stone to an academic life – the degree provided me with the knowledge and skills I needed as a research fellow and an early-career researcher.

“My favourite part of PhD life is that I have the freedom to spend three years on a research topic that interests me. I’m very lucky to be driven by my interests while young, and my efforts have led to a series of scholarly works that I am proud of.“I was honoured to be awarded the University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship. It provided me with sufficient financial support to live and study in New Zealand, allowing me to focus on research throughout my PhD career.

“I was a guest lecturer of the course COMPSCI 220 Algorithms and Data Structures, and I was also a mentor in the COMPSCI 399 Capstone: Computer Science. Now, I am working as a research fellow in Strong AI Lab of the School of Computer Science at the University of Auckland.

“During my time working and studying in the University, I have developed friendships with colleagues from many different countries and cultures, and I benefited a lot from them during my PhD. For anyone interested in pursuing an academic career, I would say it is worth it.”