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LIDA Cohort of interns (2021/2022)

Ifeanyi Chukwu

Over the past four years, I have lived (and studied) in three continents: Africa-Nigeria, Asia-Japan and Europe-UK, in that order. Although my background has been in Marine Life Sciences, I have a massive interest in numerals, data and emerging technologies. Hence, last autumn, I enrolled in an MSc program on Applied Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics at the University of Bradford. Since I am relatively new in data science (about one year so far), I am now looking forward to the ‘data science for public good’ projects that LIDA offers. I am also excited about the collaborations that lie ahead. In my spare time, I play tennis and badminton, although I would wish to make that more routine. What gets me out of bed every morning is finding solutions to challenging problems.

Greta Timaite

I moved to England, from a small town in Lithuania, to pursue an undergraduate degree in Sociology at Warwick. I enjoyed it very much but decided that I want to learn more about (big) data. So, I stayed at Warwick for an MSc in Big Data and Digital Futures (I expect to graduate soon). I have heard comments that I made quite an educational shift, but I dare to disagree. Not only does sociology help me to critically examine data and machine learning, but also informs my data science approach, which is grounded in interdisciplinarity, in researching social issues. I am excited to bring and apply my interdisciplinary knowledge to the projects I undertake at LIDA. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, reading, and writing (occasionally) and I do want to go back to playing tennis regularly and start learning German!

Diogo Ann Onuselogu

With a background in biomedical sciences and precision medicine, I have focused on using data science for health, wellbeing, and medical benefit. I am a Hong Konger of Igbo (“Ibo”) descent. Having lived, studied, and researched in Hong Kong, Australia, and the UK, I greatly appreciate diversity, teamwork, and academic challenges. In this internship, I look forward to exchanging transdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives with LIDA colleagues as we conduct research for the public good. Additionally, I aim to sharpen my computational and analytical skills while learning from other data science interns and researchers. Outside of work, you’re likely to catch me crafting with yarn, swimming, trying to live more sustainably, at church events, or enjoying nature.

Eric Wanjau

It’s aptly said, “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” Being an avid believer in this philosophy, I am an enthusiastic, persistent and empathetic individual who continually seeks to tackle real-world challenges. To this end, I’ve worked on a number of projects such as, how to displace human beings from hazardous working environments using robotics and computer vision during my internship at Gifu University, Japan; analysing and communicating the extent of the Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya; and the inclusivity of individuals with motor disabilities in board games using robotics coupled with computer vision and speech processing, just to name a few. I’m excited to be joining LIDA as a Data Science Intern, where I look forward to working alongside and learning from leading scholars and fellow interns, advancing my research and Data Science skills and building solutions to real-world challenges. While at it, I also hope to explore Leeds, build new friendships and widen my perspective. I fill my spare time with cycling and playing the guitar (terrible but passionate), and feel that, in another lifetime, I would make a decent skier! I hail from Kenya.

James Hulse

Born and raised in the countryside of Leicestershire and Rutland, I moved to Sheffield to study an integrated Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering. My Master’s thesis investigated algorithm parameters for event and topic detection systems, utilising social media streams. This inspired a deeper interest in data and analytical techniques. The ability to improve and develop my skills with data, whilst contributing towards the greater good within a diverse team, is what excites me most about working for LIDA. I enjoy spending my spare time indulging in music, visiting record shops and going to live performances. I also find keeping active important and am currently spending time walking through the city, discovering the cultural hotspots, as I have only recently moved to the area.

Jacob van Alwon

I’m from Liverpool and completed my undergraduate MEng in Civil Engineering at Liverpool John Moores University, graduating in 2013. I then moved to Leeds to study for my MSc and PhD as part of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics at the University of Leeds. For my PhD project I investigated numerical and experimental methods to predict air entrainment in turbulent flows over stepped spillways. Following this, I remained in Leeds to work for a hydraulic modelling company, conducting experimental and computational modelling of hydraulic structures for water industry projects. In my spare time I enjoy snowboarding, computer games, board games, and I have recently become interested in gardening.

Indumini Ranatunga

Hello, I’m Indumini, hailing from the pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka. Having spent two decades in the UAE and Sri Lanka, and after experiencing first-hand the positive impact that technological development can have on a country, I began to develop a budding fascination in all things tech. Later, with the realisation that my curiosity and wanderlust could no longer be kept bounded, I decided in 2018 to set sail for the UK in search of better prospects. By the summer of 2021, I successfully graduated from the University of Leeds with a bachelors in Electronics and Computer Engineering. Having had my interest piqued by a glimpse of the value and variety of data science applications discovered through my final year project research, and seeing that my wish to work for a meaningful cause can be fulfilled through joining LIDA, I decided to apply for their internship programme. Apart from my academic projects, I have worked towards introducing a university society promoting sustainable development – another field that I am equally passionate about. However, you can also find me during my spare time enjoying a cup of tea and watching cat videos on the internet as well.

Matthew Walker

I did my undergraduate in Biology at the University of Hull, before moving to the University of Lincoln to do a PhD in Biology in 2014. My PhD focused on evolutionary biophysics and hydrodynamics, exploring links between shape and sinking velocity of foraminifera (tiny plankton which are important for understanding the paleo-climate and climate change). I’m really looking forward to getting to apply my coding skills in a practical application, and learning more coding. In my spare time, I enjoy reading a wide selection of books, both fiction and non-fiction. I also enjoy going for walks in local parks or the countryside, particularly in places where I can practice my photography.

Kristina Bratkova

Originally from Slovakia, I completed a BSc Mathematics and Music degree from the University of Leeds earlier this year. I particularly enjoyed the probability and statistics modules, especially the tools like R that enable large-scale data analysis that can be used for public good. In my music studies, I enjoyed working on independent research projects in harmony analysis and creative assignments ranging from traditional essays to portfolios and compositions. Last academic year, I worked with the Leeds University Library Galleries on data collection and analysis to develop future programme offers for students. I plan to utilise and develop my mathematical and research skills in the internship projects. In my free time, I enjoy playing the piano, skiing, synchronised swimming and travelling both remote nature and buzzing cities.