Lucía Gómez Álvarez

Lucía Gómez Álvarez

Why did you choose to study for a PhD at the University of Leeds?

After two years working in the industry, I came to Leeds because I felt like I needed to do something more challenging and mentally stimulating. The Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Biological Systems at the University of Leeds is internationally recognised so I decided to study my Masters here at Leeds. Since it was such a good experience whilst I was completing my MSc here, I decided to stay and continue to study for a PhD. 

Tell us about your research

The topic of vagueness has a long and venerable philosophical history. Beyond the metaphysical theorization, it is increasing to rise a remarkable amount of difficulties on different domains such as computer science, particularly around the area of knowledge representation and reasoning.

On the other hand, with a current rate of destruction about 1 acre each second, the study on rainforests and deforestation becomes a key area. To gain more understanding about these problems, numerous organisations has already been compiling geographical and environmental data for research purposes. Unfortunately, to deal with vague information and to infer meaningful knowledge from this data is again a challenge in this domain. 

My PhD aims to contribute to the research on applying information technology to the study and modelling of Rainforests by developing appropriate ways of reasoning with vagueness. It is intended to supply new techniques to retrieve useful knowledge from the current datasets, as well as identifying and exploring general background logical theories suitable for the abstract task of reasoning and inferencing from vague ontologies, especially on spatio-temporal related applications.

What is your favourite part of studying at Leeds?

My favourite part is the School of Computing as it has a really nice atmosphere and a leading research groups. I feel fortunate to have a supervisor who’s passionate about the project. 

What activities do you take part in outside of your studies?

I love climbing and doing outdoor activities, so I use the university climbing wall at the Edge. Over the weekends, I sometimes go to the Dales National Park or to the Peak District to do some hiking or climbing. I’m also involved on the elaboration of the teaching materials for an NGO in Ethiopia, which is an exciting job.

Aside from that, Leeds is a lively city where there’s always something going on, so I often go to gigs, cinema or just hang out with my friends.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I don’t like to plan too much in advance, my main ambition for the future is to keep doing stimulating things and being successful on whatever I decide to do. For the moment I feel very comfortable at the University of Leeds.

Your advice to prospective students

Don’t be afraid of changing if you are not satisfied with whatever you do. I think that many of us go to industry just after finishing our studies and then it seems hard to come back to academia. However, I think a PhD can be challenging, and it is an extremely rewarding adventure.