Neyma has embraced life as a student at Reading, grasping extra opportunities to learn and lead. She works on projects with her fellow students, acts as a course representative, and is President of the R. U. Hacking? society.
"Our own family"
Neyma recognises the importance of the learning environment within the Department and her peers who work together and offer support to each other.
“We have our own family in second year, with about 60 of us spending time together in the lab. We take it in turns to get refreshments and things like that. We also have a new common room, which we use to work on our coursework.”
To Neyma, this sense of community extends far beyond her fellow second-year students.
“No one gets left out here – we all get on and can speak to each other. From the first-year undergraduates, to the master’s students, to PhD students – everyone is well integrated. The lecturers all bring something unique to the Department and are very accommodating of people’s needs with open office hours.
“The Department also offers lots of extracurricular activities. I’ve been able to take up an opportunity as a student fellow and am working with Teaching Fellow Miguel Sanchez-Razo on some of his research. It’s a good opportunity for us to expand and learn new information.”
Students are also designated an academic tutor throughout their studies, with regular meetings to check in and make sure all is on track.
Neyma gained valuable experience following the completion of her first year, with a seven-week internship at an IT company.
Neyma received guidance from Sandra Illett, Placement Coordinator, in securing this internship and later worked together with Sandra to secure an upcoming placement year with Vodafone.*
“Sandra’s feedback is amazing. I had a three-page CV that wasn’t great, but now I have a one-page summary of everything I’ve done in the last ten years. This has helped me get good interviews at several companies.”
Students studying computer science at Reading learn through practical lab sessions as well as lectures, tutorials, and individual and group projects.
The range of modules on offer is something that excites Neyma, and one of her favourite current areas of interest is neurocomputation.
“In neurocomputation we create neural networks and map artificial brains. We’re given a skeleton code in Java and we have to import our own data sets using the skeleton to run it and then see the outputs.
"We then write a four-page conference paper. We do a lot of written work in our reports, in addition to coding, which helps, as when you get to industry level you need to have the skills to document and analyse.”
R. U. Hacking? society
The R. U. Hacking? student-led society provides fantastic opportunities to get involved in the tech industry, develop digital skills and network with industry professionals. The society organises events and hackathons throughout the year.
Welcoming students from all disciplines, the society is also supported by staff in the Department.
“We do events like ‘Hacktoberfest’, where there are lots of
workshops and opportunities to talk to businesses about placements and internships.
"We also do a hackathon – a 24 hour event where groups design a product or concept and develop it overnight to present to a panel of sponsors. Past sponsors include GitHub, British Computer Society, BMI, Ericsson, Google and Major League Hacking.”