We had a very enjoyable afternoon of MSc. project talks on Thursday. Each of our MSc. students carries out a project over the summer and these talks were given by the students describing their work so far. The talks are always of high quality and this year was no exception.
Many of the projects are suggested by companies, who find it a good way to get to know a student and their abilities before making a job offer. One student is using the Neo4J graph database to model social relationships among people and children who might be at risk. This is being done for a company who provide software to social services departments in local authorities. The project is designed to test whether relationships that are not easy to spot in a traditional database can be discovered using a graph database. The project has also taught the student a list of other interesting technologies as she is implementing a web front end using Python, Flask, and Sigma.js.
Other projects included the remodelling of a credit card database for a major bank and the development of a marketing database using open data for an insurance company.
Each year we award a prize to the best performing student in the taught modules across all of our MSc. programs (there are five) and I'm pleased to say that this year it was a Big Data student who won the prize. They were awarded a year's membership of the British Computer Society plus a cheque for £150, also generously provided by the BCS. The prize was presented at the end of the project talks.