William Dash

’The Nuffield placement scheme offers experience that is invaluable to you at this stage in your academic life, it will help you to decide where you want to end up and what really matters when it comes to pursuing a career in STEM.’

Why did you apply for a Nuffield Research Placement?

I have always has a keen interest in Mathematics and the sciences, so I was very interested to explore these fields in a more real world experience than I have done previously. I was thrilled to be part of a program that would offer this.

What was your project about and did you know anything about the area before getting started?

My project comprised of creating computer simulations of existing models to describe the behaviour of botnets. I have had experience in computer science projects prior to this project however I had no experience in botnets exclusively.

Did you gain any new skills, both scientific and general work skills, from undertaking your placement?

I gained a significant understanding in how to write scientific based reports for my Nuffield report for this project. I also gained a much greater understanding of how research is conducted in a University setting as well as how to think of alternative and more efficient solutions to problems that occur throughout this process.

How did your supervisor help you with your project?

They provided me with guidance about how I could begin the project and any subsequent specific problems that I encountered. They also helped to explain new concepts that I was not previously familiar with and found particularly challenging.

Was the placement what you expected it to be?

I found the project to be of a larger scope than I had initially imagined which was very enjoyable as it allowed me to choose which areas I found interesting and to peruse them. I also found the project to be less strictly regimented than had initially imagined so was able to work on the project in any way I deemed most efficient or necessary. As a result I was glad to be able to learn about new concepts in the process of doing so.

Has your experience helped you to decide on a career path?

I would say that it has solidified my passion and interest in my subject and has show that this is the obvious career choice for me.