Published: 20 March 2019

Students impress with AI presentation at Youth Leadership event

Computer Science students Darina Georgieva and Georgios Papagiannis represented Surrey at the 2019 International Youth Leadership Finance Summit (IYELFS) on 22 January, in Shanghai, winning second prize for their pitch on AI in healthcare.

Computer Science students at IYELFS
Darina and Georgios (centre and right) present at IYELFS with their teammate from LSE.

The two undergraduates, who are both studying for a BSc (Hons) Computer Science, were among high achieving students from leading universities around the world selected to attend the Summit which took place in Shanghai, China. Competing against over 25 teams, they were awarded ‘Second Best Pitch Prize’ in the healthcare/pharmaceutical category.

Teaming up with students from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the Surrey students were challenged with presenting an idea for a potential new Artificial Intelligence (AI) product for a specific company, and presenting the company and proposed product in a live pitch to investors for funding. The presentations were judged by academics and industry leaders from well-known investment companies.

Choosing the UK pharmaceuticals company BenevolentAI, the team presented the ways that the company uses AI to accelerate and reduce the costs of drug discovery, and suggested a new way to apply AI in order to come up with patient-specific treatments.

Darina said: “We gained hands-on experience and insight into the industry, and enhanced our understanding of both theories and practices through research and presentation. Delivering a pitch to investors and professionals was a great opportunity to understand what is expected in the real world of business. Overall, IYELFS was a wonderful experience.”

Dr Sotiris Moschoyiannis of the Department of Computer Science commented: “There is much more to our undergraduate degrees than lectures and labs, and lots of opportunities to get involved in everything from societies to hackathons and international competitions like this one. The Department has strong research in AI, and I’m thrilled to see our students rising to the challenge of working with AI techniques and coming up with ideas on how these can improve everyday life. We are very proud of their success in this prestigious competition.”

IYELFS is organised annually by the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and aims to connect outstanding students of all disciplines across the world, offering them a unique learning experience through a hands-on business case and face-to-face communication with business leaders and academics. This year’s Summit was themed on Artificial Intelligence and Capital Markets.


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