Ignacio Hernández Montilla
"Studying for my masters enabled me to stand out when looking for job opportunities, and it is now proving to be useful when dealing with everyday challenges at work."
Why did you decide to study for Surrey’s MSc in Computer Vision, Robotics and Machine Learning?
Back when I was finishing my biomedical engineering degree in Madrid, I became particularly interested in computer vision applied to medical imaging. A couple of years later, I decided to look for a university outside Spain for my MSc studies and, having discovered Surrey and read about the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP), I decided to apply for its MSc programme.
What were the best things about your MSc course?
The course walks you through all the important aspects of machine learning, starting with the basics of linear algebra and signal processing, and finishing with image processing and deep learning. Not only you learn the most recent advances in AI but also more traditional approaches to this field.
Instead of only focusing on those areas that are catching the attention of the media such as deep learning applied to image processing, the course provides you with a wider knowledge that can be helpful in your future AI role (including topics like satellite sensing, advanced signal processing and robotics).
I was able to work at the Royal Surrey County Hospital while doing my dissertation which I found particularly interesting because it let me make use of my biomedical background.
Why do you feel Surrey is well placed to deliver teaching in AI?
Most of the professors are backed by several years of research within CVSSP and numerous publications, while there are also young PhD students who are passionate and up-to-date with the latest AI technology. In addition, CVSSP’s facilities offer a lot of computing power which is needed in AI research.
What’s your current role and what does your daily work involve?
I’m currently employed as a Computer Vision Research Engineer at Overture Life. This role involves all the steps in every machine learning project: data acquisition and management/processing, model selection, training and evaluation. It also involves deployment of AI model (which isn’t taught in the MSc).
Did studying for your masters help you to gain your current role and/or in your day-to-day work?
Nowadays a lot of people study machine learning and there’s been an explosion of online courses in the subject. However, although some of these are interesting, they don’t give you the appropriate grounding like an MSc does.
Studying for my masters enabled me to stand out when looking for job opportunities, and it is now proving to be useful when dealing with everyday challenges at work. Some machine learning engineers barely grasp the key concepts needed to work with deep learning models, but I am able to understand how these models work, why they succeed or fail given a certain dataset, and explain these to other non AI-related co-workers in a way they can understand.
Discover our courses in electrical and electronic engineering, including our Computer Vision, Robotics and Machine Learning MSc.