Project: Machine learning algorithms for detecting fraudulent alcohol
Supervisor: Dr Anthony Bagnall

During my A-levels I had a big decision to make. Continue studying philosophy as initially planned, or join a Computer Science course after taking up programming as a hobby and really enjoying it. I ended up coming to study Computer Science at UEA and settled in very well, my prior informal experience helping out greatly.

After badgering him for an opportunity I got an internship under Tony, now my PhD supervisor, over the summer break between my second and third year. This involved coding some machine learning algorithms and performing some data collection at the Institute of Food Research, and really got the ball rolling in terms of defining what I wanted to spend at least the next few years doing.

The continuation of that work conveniently turned into my dissertation in the third year. And then it continued, as Tony secured funding for an iCASE project in the same vein. While I had notions of maybe doing a masters from the start of my degree, I now suddenly find myself starting a PhD, for which I’ve had a year’s preparation even.

The fact that this project is through BBSRC DTP, and in particular iCASE, is extremely useful for me as it allows for direct, relevant, and challenging industry experience that I am otherwise lacking. Likewise, joining a cohort of students mostly from different disciplines to my own, as well as my local research group at UEA, allows for different insights into problems and a pool of knowledge to draw from as I enter different stages throughout the project.