Computer Science undergraduate Paul tells us his thoughts on life at Queen Mary and studying in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science.
Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?
I chose to study at Queen Mary because of the huge depth of topics covered in my course, as well having access to world class facilities and academics. Having a range of different people involved your studies and projects allows you to view problems (and even solutions) from different angles, enabling a detailed understanding of the concepts at hand, and allows you to apply this specific knowledge to other areas.
Queen Mary also offered a massively diverse range of activities and societies, many of which caught my interest. Being a London based university, I could experience student life, and be close to home. Being based in one of the world's most interesting cities also allowed me to explore and experience new culture, something I'd never have achieved had I gone elsewhere.
What’s your favourite thing about your programme?
My favourite thing about my programme is the breadth of topics that it covers, from delving into the depths and intricacies of computer design, understanding fundamental concepts in programming, to the mathematical concepts that push the limits of computation, there's a topic to catch the interest of anyone. Additionally, students are encouraged to do their own reading and study, pursuing knowledge in areas where passion for your subject can thrive and grow.
What was your favourite module and why?
My favourite module was definitely Computer Systems and Networks, because I found that studying the internals of the circuitry within a computer to be fascinating! Particularly after reading Computer Organisation and Design: The Hardware / Software Interface by David Paterson and John Hennessy, which opened my eyes to the many approaches taken by chip designers, the architecture patterns used, and how several laws govern a chipset and design of a system. Object oriented programming was also super interesting, just to see how the modularity of code is applied to practices in industry to allow code to be maintained by teams.
Tell us about your extracurricular activities, the societies you belong to, and work placements!
Extracurricular activities? Where do I even begin? First off, I'm a massive gym rat, so being a part of the Barbell Society is a must, you'll probably find me down at Qmotion on campus or Muscleworks Gym! Basketball is also one of my loves, I play in the social leagues, and whenever I get the chance. Technology is a huge passion of mine, I'm a member of the AI and Robotics Society, where we design and create a variety of projects, including a "turtlebot", which is capable of hosting various AI systems for performing tasks! I love to read and (occasionally) write books, it's a creative change to all the sport.
There are a huge range of student run societies encompassing all interests, including cultural societies such as ACS, the Lebanese Society and Brazilian Society, technology societies including an Institute of Coding. For those who enjoy good films, the Cinema Society is for you, or if you're an anime fan, join the Anime Society! Sports societies are some of the biggest and best societies of the Students Union, so find your sport and get stuck in!
Queen Mary also has a whole careers team dedicated to helping students with their careers, and there's a separate team for dealing with work placements, so you're in good hands if you need direction or advice. Their well-connected office has networking opportunities galore with a variety of large companies.
What's your favourite place to study on campus?
My favourite place to study on campus is the first floor of the Mile End Library, as I find I need total silence to dial in and focus. But if I'm working with friends or just want a more relaxed setting to work in, I prefer canal side, the view of the canal helps relax me and the layout allows for easy group working and conversation.
What advice would you give to someone considering Queen Mary to study an EECS subject?
The advice I would give to someone studying an EECS subject at Queen Mary is to delve a little deeper beyond your course syllabus, you might find something interesting that captivates your interest! More general advice would be to give 110% at everything you try, join societies, and surround yourself with like-minded people.