DC Labs Summer School 2019; what the scholars said...

Migle

"My summer school project was Participatory Production of a Nonlinear Interactive Film about Mental Health.

"There are many things I found enjoyable, both about my project and the summer school. First of all, I have learned a lot about working in research and have developed valuable skills relevant to my degree. What is more, I worked alongside Simona, who is continuing her PhD project in TFTI, hence, I have had a chance to learn about life as a postgraduate student and gain understanding about the research done at the TFTI (in collaboration with DC Labs). In addition to this, I found the summer school to be a wonderful opportunity to make friends, build connections with like-minded people, participate in different events and find out more about the work done at the DC Labs. Everyone (both the staff at the DC Labs and other summer school students) was very welcoming and offered help with the project if needed, which helped me feel like a part of the community.

"I have learned a great variety of things, both about working in research and working independently. I enjoyed the research, having discussions with my supervisors and having my opinion heard in the meetings, this made me feel like a part of the team.

"Most of the technical aspects of this project are directly transferable into the modules I will be having this and next year of my studies, as I have improved my programming skills, website development, learned valuable skills about film production and editing, have improved my time management and writing skills, as I was required to take notes during the filming sessions with participants. Furthermore, this project has made me consider working in research and looking into the possibilities of doing a research-based masters or PhD project.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of DC Labs Summer School, as I have not only learned valuable skills, but also made wonderful memories and met people who I now consider to be close friends! As an Interactive Media undergraduate student, I have found this summer school to be a great way to try out a possible career path and it gave me my first real opportunity to work in research. I would highly recommend considering applying for Digital Creativity Labs Summer School, as it was a great way to spend my summer and the experience I have had is priceless!"

Moni

"My project for the DC Labs summer school was to find or develop models for item prediction in Dota 2 for Weavr. Although my background is in mathematical modelling and statistics, going into the project I was a bit apprehensive as I had never played Dota 2 before and knew almost nothing about it. However, one of my supervisors, Nasos, has a wealth of knowledge on the game and quickly gave me an overview and sources for data and more information...

"Before the Summer School, I knew that I don’t really like working alone, but I also learned that despite this, I can still get a lot done and get a lot of help and support from unexpected sources (e.g. the developers at Weavr, Jane, and the other summer school students, even though they were working on different projects). One of my favourite aspects of the summer school was getting to know and making friends with the other students, all of whom were lovely people from very diverse backgrounds. From a more technical perspective, I learned a lot of things I might have missed otherwise, by working on a real application, such as techniques for cross-validation and the Python programming language.

"The DC Labs summer school was a great experience and I wouldn’t miss it for anything! It gave me a lot more self-confidence and was an amazing way to meet lovely new people, work together in many different ways and do incredibly fun work. It also helped me decide what kind of field I would like to work in, which I was previously struggling with. Altogether, the experience was invaluable!"

Renzhi

"My project was Enjoyable AI: Understanding the ideal level of challenge for video game development. We mainly use Monte Carlo Tree Search based Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment to research how the game difficulty will affect engagement when people are playing games.

"I like people who are living here and working. They are all very nice and warm. When I can’t find my supervisor, they helped me and showed me the way. And, I liked the working style here. It’s all up to me when I want to work and when is the most creative and efficient time for me to work. Besides, I can access a lot of IT support and resource here. I don’t need to worry about how to store my codes and how to share my work with my supervisor. These are all very convenient.

"I have learnt a lot during the two months. Regarding academic research, I learnt how to start a research project, how to divide a large project into several operable phases and so on. I started to pay attention to code styles and cooperating with others. The most important thing I learnt is that I should be brave to talk with others, otherwise I would never know it’s such a simple thing just need to break the wall set by myself.

"There are a lot of things useful for my future. The most obvious thing is that I got a valuable research experience. This may help me get more opportunities to join other research groups or start my own research or find a job. However, I like the communication I had here more. It makes me brave to show my ideas. I think learning how to communicate is more useful than anything else for me now.

"This is a precious experience that I will never forget."

Ying

"This is my first time to participate in a research project, and I have a deep understanding of what is media-related academic research. I also tried to solve the difficulties of the project in many ways from different perspectives, like the search of statistics. Meanwhile, I also realized that to retrieve social data for academic research is also surprisingly difficult. Doing scientific research also has many unexpected problems. I find that compared with the traditional nine-to-five working day, I prefer the life of doing academic research, and I hope to continue to study for a PhD related to digital media in the future.

"This summer school has helped me a lot in planning my future career pathway - It’s like a warm and diverse family."