- Course: Computing with Artificial Intelligence BSc
As a prospective student, Matthew Heyes knew that choosing a university would be a difficult decision, with so many factors and different locations to consider. After exploring options, he settled on the University of Leeds due to the outstanding reputation of its School of Computing and the fact that the university is rated among the best in the country. Students are keenly aware that where they live is just as important as where they study, which is why the city of Leeds also played a key part in Matthew’s choice.
“I knew that Leeds offered a vibrant culture of fantastic nightlife, live music, great bars and restaurants, and a friendly community. What's more, I already had a connection to the city of Leeds as this is where some of my family lived. This made settling in easier.”
The School of Computing at Leeds combines cutting-edge academic content with world-class facilities and state-of-the-art computer labs. Matthew noted that the teaching staff provided consistent guidance and support throughout the course, to broaden his knowledge and nurture his professional development.
The open-door policy of the faculty fostered a culture where students were encouraged to seek guidance and engage in meaningful discussions.
“The modules offered through my course were very varied, covering a broad spectrum of topics from the computing discipline. This gave me and my fellow students an excellent introduction to a range of subject areas and potential career paths.
“The course blended practical coursework with academic theory and research. The open-door policy of the faculty fostered a culture where students were encouraged to seek guidance and engage in meaningful discussions.
“Also, the friendships formed with fellow computing students were one of the most important parts of my university experience. These people would be your fellow project partners, a support network and life-long friends.”
Exploring new technology
The faculty's dedication to staying at the forefront of AI advancements was evident.
The course – which explores the history of computing and the theory behind core concepts – developed Matthew’s appreciation of human achievements in the field of computing. He said the AI-led modules were among his favourites, an area that was still largely theory-based in the early 2000s, subsequently becoming ever more prevalent in our daily lives.
“The faculty's dedication to staying at the forefront of AI advancements was evident. They consistently infused the curriculum with the latest theoretical insights and practical applications, offering a learning experience that went beyond traditional boundaries. This was particularly crucial in computing, where the landscape rapidly shifts in a short period.
“During my degree, we studied the use of AI algorithms to develop smart planning tools for more efficient transportation and logistics delivery systems. The integration of AI in this context holds the potential for reducing environmental impact from industry.
“I believe the solutions to the world's most profound problems will come – in part – from the study of computing and particularly artificial intelligence; be that climate change, health or economic systems.”
After completing his studies at the University of Leeds, Matthew became the founder and CEO of Five Bees Media, a digital media company specialising in the development of innovative marketplace software for the recruitment industry.
“My first project supported by this was an employment website called Backpacker Job Board – a recruitment platform which helps working holidaymakers find work while travelling in Australia. Since its launch in 2010, it has helped employers find staff and helped many thousands of gap-year travellers find work.”
Matthew noted that his time at the University of Leeds had been invaluable for his career, providing him with experience, knowledge and adaptable skills for his business.
“Studying computing prepares you for the workplace by honing the ability to pick up and learn a new topic when a situation demands it. Computing is such a broad and varied subject, that when studying it, you have to be able to learn a new programming language or understand new concepts.”
Embrace the opportunity
Your time at the University of Leeds will not only equip you with the knowledge and skills needed for a successful career in – and around – computing but will also be a transformative chapter of your life.
Matthew advised any prospective students considering a degree in computing at the University of Leeds to get on board. He said the varied learning experience enriches the student journey, while support and guidance from the School of Computing, the faculty and fellow students constantly provides encouragement.
“Don't hesitate to reach out. Embrace the challenges, relish the learning opportunities, and take advantage of the supportive community that surrounds you.
“Your time at the University of Leeds will not only equip you with the knowledge and skills needed for a successful career in – and around – computing but will also be a transformative chapter of your life.”