Lood van Niekerk

Lodevicus van NiekerkMSc Computer Science
2020

I’m from Cape Town, South Africa. After completing my BSc (Hons) in Computer Science (Data Science stream) at Stellenbosch University in 2018, I worked at a health tech startup called LifeQ as a research engineer. After one and a half years helping build and deploy machine learning models for smartwatches, which was very rewarding, I decided it was time to do my Masters.

I applied for Oxford’s Computer Science program because it had a breadth of module choices (from concurrency to machine learning, and ethics), and because I could choose a mix of practical and theoretical subjects from these choices. I am going to be writing my dissertation on protein variant classification, together with Pascal Notin and Yarin Gal from OATML.

I’m interested in making a positive social impact through tech, and especially through health and medical technologies.

So far, Oxford has been such an exciting atmosphere. I have made some friends for life, and it is refreshing meeting so many people that are passionate about what they do. Living on-site at Green Templeton College has been a pleasure, because it is a small post-grad community with beautiful gardens. If given the opportunity to work as a research intern or find a job in Oxford, I’d definitely love to stay here for another year.