Meet Dmitry Brizhinev, a third year Advanced Computing (Research & Development) and Science student combining his passion for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and neuroscience.
“When I was looking at universities and degrees, I was attracted to ANU because it was the only university to offer a R&D degree. Plus, being from Sydney, I was guaranteed accommodation on campus.”
Ranked second in Australia for computer science (QS World University Rankings 2016), Dmitry was also drawn to the high-calibre nature of the R&D degree at ANU.
“I was looking for a challenging computing degree at a top-tier university. The opportunity to do research as part of my undergraduate degree appealed to me, as well as the fact that I wouldn’t have to abandon my interest in neuroscience. I could combine both my interests by studying a Flexible Double Degree.”
The Flexible Double Degree program allows students to study two undergraduate degrees at the same time and graduate with two qualifications.
“I’ve encountered a lot of flexibility in course choices. The degree includes space for electives, and R&D students in particular find it easy to skip prerequisites. I’ve been able to choose almost all of the courses I wanted to study, rather than being forced into a fixed structure.”
“It is this flexibility, and all the research I’ve been able to do in different areas of computer science has been the highlight for me.”
Dmitry is majoring in Intelligent Systems, otherwise known as AI.
“In the computer science field, ANU is particularly well known for its work in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Systems, with many connections to industry.”
“I’ve had lots of opportunities to do research. I’ve undertaken three research projects as part of my R&D degree; one as an elective, one as part of a team in the TechLauncher program, and one as a summer scholar.”
“By now, I’m very familiar with the process of writing papers, conducting experiments, and developing software. It’s easy to complete an ordinary science degree without doing any research, so I’m pretty pleased with this result.”
The R&D degree isn’t all about research though; Dmitry has had many opportunities to gain practical experience whilst travelling the world.
“I’ve represented ANU competing at the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) world finals in Morocco, and from January to March 2017 I have an internship lined up with Facebook in Silicon Valley.”
“The computing industry lives and breathes innovation. The big companies pour enormous funds into R&D. Being familiar with the research process is a must for working at the cutting edge of the field – which is the most interesting place to work!”
“The fields of neuroscience and AI are thriving and are even more interesting than I expected, so I want to work somewhere at the intersection of both; perhaps developing new AI algorithms. I hope to end up working and possibly undertaking further study in the USA.”
“I know the specific R&D skills and the general communication skills I have developed as part of my degree will be highly valued by industry.”