Mike Diessner

Country: Germany
Job title: PhD student
Subject of study: Applied Data Science and Statistics
Year of graduation: 2020
Type/Level of study: Postgraduate Taught

Current Employer/Organisation Name

PhD Candidate at the School of Computing at Newcastle University

Tell us about your background

Before starting the degree, I graduated from the University of Bonn in Germany with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. Before starting the Masters at Exeter, I worked in a quantitative role for the international sales department at DHL and as an analyst for a consultancy specialising in the energy markets across Europe.

Tell us about your programme and the lecturers you had

The MSc in Applied Data Science and Statistics prepared me very well for my current research and future work. It gave me the well-rounded knowledge required to succeed in data-centric roles beginning with a strong foundation in statistics. In my experience, this foundation is vital for understanding data and building models effectively. It also presents a big advantage over other programmes that focus solely on the computer science aspects of the field. Besides discussing the most important algorithms and models in statistics and machine learning, the programme also conveyed a deep understanding of writing code. While I worked with R for the majority of the degree, I found it easy to pick up Python because of this understanding later on. Another module I regularly think back to is the ethics module whose contents seem more relevant today than ever before. Working with data in an ethically responsible way was definitely one of the most important teachings besides the technical parts of the programme. Apart from all this, I would mainly recommend this degree because of the lecturers. They were not only very passionate about their topics and teaching, but they were also very supportive of my career planning after the degree and encouraged me to pursue a PhD in the UK

What was one of your favourite things about studying at the University of Exeter?

My favourite thing about studying at the University of Exeter was the beautiful green campus. There was no better place to read or unwind between classes than on one of the benches by Reed Hall, next to magnificent trees and blooming gardens (particularly in Spring!).

What have you been doing since you graduated?

After completing my degree at the University of Exeter, I joined the Cloud Computing for Big Data CDT at Newcastle University in September 2020 to obtain my PhD in Computing. My research focuses on the applications of Bayesian optimisation to solve black box functions, particularly physical experiments in the intersection of fluid dynamics and engineering.


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