Lood van Niekerk

Lodevicus van NiekerkMSc Computer Science

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.