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My PhD experience – Guo Yu, Computer Science

"I have an experienced, knowledgeable supervisor who challenges me to push myself and go further with my research. At the same time, there’s a cosy environment within the Department of Computer Science"

I’m in the first year of my PhD, which focuses on an area of computer science I became interested in during my Masters course. My research aims to develop ‘intelligent algorithms’, based on biological evolution theory, to help deal with optimisation problems. For example in car design, optimising higher speed and lower price would offer a good solution for the buyer, but these two objectives conflict. Our research could make the decision-making process easier by providing the best choice based on purchasers’ preferences.

This line of research could enable better communication between the machine and people during the optimisation process, particularly when dealing with complex engineering problems.

Coming from my home country, China, there were many reasons why I chose to undertake my PhD at Surrey. The University’s high rankings in the UK and world league tables was a key reason; another was the strong academic atmosphere here. I have an experienced, knowledgeable supervisor who challenges me to push myself and go further with my research. At the same time, there’s a cosy environment within the Department of Computer Science: the students and staff are all very approachable and helpful.

During my PhD I’m lucky enough to be sponsored by a third party, Honda Research Institute Europe GmbH, which has given me the opportunity to co-operate with engineering researchers. This has enabled me to test my proposed algorithms with their systems, applying my theoretical knowledge to practical, real world problems.

My primary goal is to successfully obtain my PhD degree. Along the way, I aim to acquire not only academic experience but also other vital skills (such as communication and written skills) which will benefit my future career, whether that’s in academia or industry.

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