July 26, 2019

Eliza Georgescu in front of a window with a view from the top of the Petronas Towers

My name is Ioana-Eliza Georgescu and I’ve been studying Computer Science at Cardiff Met for 2 years. Many people think that this is a complex field of study, and you may wonder how I manage to stay motivated and keep working to achieve great results. The answer is pretty easy when you meet amazing people that are happy to support you all the time.

The Computer Science course at Cardiff Met helps students pursue a career in the IT domain thanks to excellent staff, well-structured modules and fantastic labs, which are very well equipped. Many tutors ask students to work in groups, which helps you meet new friends and develop new abilities. Being a student can be stressful sometimes, so this is also a chance for you and your friends to explore the campus and relax in the different areas available for this.

Beyond these exciting features, there are a lot of new and impressive opportunities available during these 3 years, which will definitely change your life and your perspective. I would like to share some of these experiences!

1. Being an intern at the EUREKA Robotics Lab

Eliza smiling with a JD robot
Programming a JD Robot in the EUREKA Lab

In my second year, I had the opportunity to become an intern at Cardiff Met’s EUREKA Robotics Lab. This turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made thanks to my lecturer, Dr. Esyin Chew, who is always available to support interns and guide them to develop new skills in the AI field.

2. Having the chance to meet Richard Parks

Eliza and her course mates with Dr Esyin Chew and Richard Parks who is holding a NAO Robot
Richard Parks meeting the NAO Robot for the first time

Being an intern at the Lab gave me the chance to contribute to some interesting and important projects, and the 2018 Richard Parks expedition to Antarctica was one of them.

Richard Parks is a famous Welsh extreme endurance athlete who recently undertook an ambitious Antarctica expedition. Students from the different Cardiff Met Schools prepared a range of tools in order to support Richard in his attempt to ski solo, unsupported and unassisted from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole. The EUREKA Lab programmed a NAO Robot to help Richard track notable moments of his journey.

It was great to meet such a motivated and enthusiastic person!

3. Helping children and young students program their first robot through the First Campus project

Eliza with her laptop and a JD robot
Showing the children how to program a JD Robot

As an intern at the EUREKA Lab, I had the opportunity to be a teacher for a month thanks to the First Campus project. My job was to present the Lab to children and then guide them to program their first robot. It was a fantastic experience to see all these steps from a teacher’s perspective – even more when you see that the children are really interested in what you are explaining!

4. Representing Cardiff Met at the 2019 Urdd Eisteddfod

Eliza talking to two reporters whilst working on her laptop with the robot
Talking to the reporters from S4C and showing them what the robot can do

My course and the EUREKA Lab gave me the opportunity to represent Cardiff Met at the 2019 Urdd Eisteddfod. I had the chance to show people my robots and some of the movements I programmed them to do. Children could play with the robots, and in the meantime I managed to talk to many parents and explain the advantages of studying Computer Science at Cardiff Met. It was really fun, in particular when the kids saw that the robots can sing the Mr. Urdd song and do the Gangnam Style choreography.

The best part was that I had the opportunity to be interviewed by the S4C television channel and show viewers the exciting things that a student can learn and get up to while studying Computer Science.

5. Travelling to Malaysia

Eliza and her team standing in front of the camera with some drones
The whole team after programming some drones

While working at the EUREKA Lab, I was shortlisted to take part in an amazing exchange trip and present my project from the Lab to the lecturers of the University of Malaya. I made unforgettable memories and learned new interesting topics on this study trip. During our time at the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology of the University of Malaya, we had the chance to program some drones, we attended some really fascinating seminars, and we learned about new subjects in the AI field.

We also had the chance to talk to Dr Hanafiah Yussof, CEO of Robopreneur Ltd, the best robotics company in Malaysia. When we visited the company, we were shown new high-tech robots; objects that were 3D printed with no visible difference to the original pieces; and a 3D scanner that could even scan your face – which is something that impressed me a lot. It was remarkable as this tool saves you time by eliminating the need to create a scheme in AutoCAD.

After exploring the AI domain, we managed to travel around and visit some of the most amazing places in Kuala Lumpur. I had a great time eating Durian for the first time, going to the Petronas Twin Towers, exploring the Batu Caves and many other exciting places. Also not to forget is the healthy and delicious Malaysian food.

These were some of the most important experiences that brought me happiness, helped me gain an extensive knowledge of the IT domain, and made my university journey easier. I would like to thank all the people who made these opportunities become real, and would like to encourage all students with a passion for programming to come to Cardiff Met to study Computer Science – I promise you won’t regret this decision.