“This experience gave me an understanding of scientific research, which is about trying something new, aiming to make an original contribution to knowledge. There is no absolute right answer, even if there may be no way to go further sometimes.”
Heshan Du (front row, far right) with other University of Nottingham students at the Dean of Enginnering Awards ceremony.
Heshan Du spent her Nuffield funded internship working with Dr Suchith Anand based at the Open Source Lab at the Centre for Geospatial Science, University of Nottingham developing an innovative Open Source based Ontology matching software for data integration of crowd sourced and authoritative datasets. In addition to developing an innovative algorithm, Heshan carried out experiments on sample datasets and wrote joint papers for conferences, presenting her work with Dr Anand and collaborators at the AGI GeoCommunity 2010 Conference. Another paper has since been accepted for presentation at the 25th Conference of the International Cartographic Association 2011 in Paris.
Heshan also won the University of Nottingham's Dean of Engineering commendation runner-up award for Summer Placement 2010, in recognition of her excellent work during her Nuffield bursary project at the Open Source Lab, and has since been awarded the prestigious International Research Excellence Scholarship of the University of Nottingham to undertake a PhD in Computer Science. This will cover full tuition fees and provide a maintenance scholarship.
Speaking about the project Dr Anand said “Heshan is an excellent example of how a Nuffield funded project has transformed a student doing excellent research, leading to a fully funded PhD award which will hopefully lead her to a successful future career in research.”
Speaking of her research experience Heshan said: “Overall I have become more determined and confident to pursue a PhD and a further academic career in future. Many thanks to Dr Anand, the University of Nottingham and the Nuffield Foundation.”