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Student View – Is Computer Science for You?

Introduction

My name is Gladys. I am doing my Master’s in Advanced Computer Science at the University of Manchester. Growing up watching movies portraying how scientists achieved some of their missions using various intelligent computer applications made me fond of computer-related courses. That's why I did a BSc degree in Computer Engineering. As the world is now technologically based and computing is the foundation of so many advancements happening in this digital era; my passion for computer science has been enhanced.

If someone asks me why I wanted to study Computer Science at the University of Manchester; my answer would be that I wanted to study this course at one of the best Universities in the UK and the world. With enough lecturers who know their area of interest intensely, it has led to the production of graduates/experts who are doing well in the computing industry hence inspiring new applicants like me, to opt for UoM.

Why You Should Study Computer Science

Everyone at one point wants to be a problem solver and the most important aspect of computer science is problem-solving! Most successful businessmen such as Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft), the late Steve Jobs (founder of Apple), and Mark Zuckerberg (founder of  Facebook) are from the computer science industry. As a computer science student, you will study the design, development, and analysis of software and hardware used to solve problems in a variety of business, scientific, and social contexts.

Here's some reasons why I think Computer Science is such an important degree:

  • Computing and computer technology are part of just about everything that touches our lives from the cars we drive, the movies we watch, to the ways businesses and governments deal with us.
  • Computing enables you to make the difference in the world as it drives innovation in sciences from impacting the health industry, automation of the majority of business processes, and enhancing our social life just to name few.
  • Computing jobs are among the highest-paid and have the highest job satisfaction.

Why Manchester?

The University of Manchester is the best place to highly consider as it has state-of-the-art computer laboratories, experienced lecturers who provide constant support whenever you need it, big libraries with about 4 million books, the list goes on! UoM is home to great scientists who transformed the computing industry. Alan Turing, the pioneer of modern computing and a great Mathematician; and Thomas Kilburn, who invented the world's first electronic stored-program computer also known as "Manchester Baby". To honor them, the Computer Science building is named after Kilburn and the school of Mathematics building is named after Turing.

The computer science modules at all years of study are interesting and very engaging preparing you for a prosperous career, with room for modifications/improvements to keep up with the industry demand. I am confident in saying that this course has everything one would wish for in this computing industry. There’s room to learn modules such as software engineering where you will learn various programming languages such as python and java; machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science, etc. and you can do modules from other courses too in order to strengthen your knowledge base.

The career path for computer science students is smooth as there is a huge increase in demand for computer science professionals all over the world. Some popular jobs are data scientists, software engineers (programmers and developers), cybersecurity specialists, game designers and developers, IT consultants, information system auditors, machine learning and artificial intelligence experts and so many other opportunities.

The Alan Turing Building on UoM Campus

Is Computer Science for Me? 

This is the one question most of you desire to get answers when you are faced with several options especially when it comes to University and degree selection. It is not necessary to be certain about what specialty in computer science you would like to follow. Just have some passion for technology and you will find yourself in the richness of this beautiful computing world. 

Keep calm and join computer science. The current and the future is digital!

To learn more about Computer Science at UoM, please visit: https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/2020/00560/bsc-computer-science/entry-requirements/ 

For more information about Computer Science careers visit: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/what-can-i-do-with-my-degree/computer-science


 

What about the plants?! A merging of history and science

by YPU Admin on July 5, 2019, Comments. Tags: Bioscience, botany, history, HTSM, medicine, science, and technology

Introduction

My name is Jemma and I am a second year PhD student in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (HSTM).  I took a somewhat roundabout route to this subject area. After finishing my A-Levels, I didn’t really know what I wanted to study at university. I enjoyed both Biology and Chemistry so ended up applying for Biochemistry at the University of Manchester in 2012. With a number of the bioscience degrees at Manchester, there is the option to do them as a 4-year undergraduate rather than the standard 3 – with the additional year being spent working in industry. By the time my placement year came around I realised that, whilst I found the theory and topics fascinating, I hated lab-based research. As a result, I chose to spend a year working at the Manchester Museum’s herbarium – the botany department of the Museum. My project with them centred on a 19th century medical collection called the Materia Medica, which contains plants, animal and mineral products that used to be employed in the teaching of pharmacy at Owens College (later this became the University of Manchester). I became obsessed! I changed my degree for my final year to Biology with Science and Society, which is basically a Biology degree with HSTM modules, and did my final year dissertation on the domestic use of opium (the plant extract which morphine comes from) by women in the 19th century. HSTM has been a great way to combine my love of history and science.

After my undergraduate degree, I received a 1+3 studentship to do my Masters and PhD in HSTM at Manchester. My Masters dissertation returned to the Materia Medica collection as I compared pharmacy education in Manchester and London in the 19th century. In 2018 I started my PhD, looking at the place medicinal plants had in 20th century pharmacy.

In Depth…

Pharmaceuticals drugs today are often presented as being created intentionally – often synthetically by chemical processes – and somehow separate from traditional medicinal knowledge. However, many drugs still have a basis in herbal medicine. So how did this perception come about? Why do we view modern drugs as being divorced from traditional knowledge practices? My research therefore focuses on medicinal plants, specifically within the context of conventional pharmacy, during the 20th century. It examines how plants were used as well as perceived following the rise of synthetic pharmaceutical drugs to present a more complicated history of drugs than a simple forward progression from traditional herbal knowledge of the 19th century to modern, synthetically produced drugs of the late 20th.

I really enjoy my research, but I don’t spend all my time just doing the PhD. I am a strong supporter of academics not just doing research but also engaging people with their work. I therefore split my time between doing my PhD and other activities (though with the emphasis on my PhD of course). Along with being a Widening Participation Fellow, I am a Heritage Guide for the University and still volunteer at the Manchester Museum’s Herbarium. At the Museum, I often get involved with their events as well as designing activities myself (such as an activity on medicinal plants used by the Romans - https://blogs.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/pharmacy/2018/11/02/manchester-science-festival-2/). I am also a big fan of interdisciplinary collaboration, having worked with members of the pharmacy department as well as artists on public engagement activities. My current project is setting up a podcast series, called In Pursuit Of Plants, dedicated to sharing cross-disciplinary research on medicinal plants – from history to biophysics – with the public. Along with other PhD students, I even co-organise conferences to promote interdisciplinary connections amongst Masters and PhD students at the University of Manchester. Whilst it is important to balance these so they don’t detract from my research, doing things beyond the PhD is very rewarding and a great way to get others excited about the topic.

Going Further…

Links to the In Pursuit of Plants podcast series and website can be found via our twitter page: @IPOP_Podcast

History of Science, Technology and Medicine is such a diverse field, to find out more about the types of research conducted in our PhD group check out our website: https://chstmphdblog.wordpress.com/people/

For a look at some of the public engagement I have done, you can read this blog post (plus see the final video!) of a collaborative project with a creative from Reform Radio: https://chstmphdblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/12/mixlab-2018-a-public-engagement-experiement/

You can also follow me on twitter for more on my research (plus lots of photos from the Manchester Museum): https://twitter.com/PlantHistorian

For more on the Biology with Science and Society with Industrial/Professional Experience see: http://www.chstm.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/

 

You might be a cyborg!

Introduction

My name is Scott Midson and I'm in the third year of a PhD in Religions & Theology (R&T). In my research, I look at how technology changes the way that we think about ourselves. More specifically, I explore the idea of ‘creation’, which is an important religious idea, and ask what it means to re-create ourselves or to create things like robots.


In depth

I didn't always know I was going to be studying robots and religion, though! Going back a few years, I came to university (at Manchester) with an interest in the sociology of religion. I didn't study religion at A-Level but was given a place on the ‘BA Religions & Theology (Religion & Society)’ programme because of my interest in the subject. Here, I looked more and more at ideas about technology and how new media technologies influence our beliefs. I then took a year out and did some travelling, but when I returned to the department as a postgraduate, I came across a very interesting essay by Donna Haraway called ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’, and I loved it so much that I ended up writing a PhD thesis on it!

In the essay, cyborgs are used as metaphors for the ways that we interact with technology and how we cannot separate ourselves from the technologies that we use everyday. Think about the technologies you use everyday: could you live without your computer, for example? Or your mobile phone? Or what if you had no access to a clock – how would this affect you and society? We are cyborgs, the argument goes, because we live so closely with our technologies.

But not everybody likes the idea that we are cyborgs. For some people, there is a limit to how much we should embrace technology – think here of dangerous robot-like cyborgs in ‘The Terminator’ or ‘Star Trek’. Or, imagine that a new technology becomes available that would surgically implant your phone in your body. Would you want it? Would it be any different to always having your phone with you in your pocket?

A lot of people fear invasive technologies like this, and a big part of my research is finding out why. This is where I link what I study to religion: in Christian theology, humans are described as created in the ‘image of God’. Although what the ‘image of God’ means is unclear, there seems to be a link between the ‘natural’ state of humans (i.e. when they were created by God) and the use of ‘unnatural’ technologies. I thus question religious ideas about the ‘natural’ human and the ‘image of God’ in order to look at how we can use the cyborg metaphor better and not fear it so much.

Going further

One of the best things about what I study is how frequently these themes and topics appear in popular culture. Most sci-fi films and books make reference to how technology changes the human, and you’d be surprised at how many of them involve religious and theological ideas in some way! If you’re interested in this topic, then a good place to start exploring further is to ask how technology is portrayed next time you watch a (sci-fi) film.

 Other useful sources to get you started are:

Charlie Brooker’s TV miniseries ‘Black Mirror’ (http://www.channel4.com/programmes/black-mirror/) – all episodes are available online (but many do contain some shocking images and offensive language)

I keep a research blog where I post intermittently on films, programmes, and even billboards that catch my attention (http://scadhu.blogspot.co.uk) (I also tweet some stuff about my research - @scadhu)

This ‘cyborg anthropology’ site (http://cyborganthropology.com/Main_Page) gives a fairly good and accessible overview of the metaphor of the cyborg

If you’re interested more generally in the sort of stuff we get up to in Religions & Theology at Manchester (we don’t all want to be priests or vicars!), then check out this page (http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/religionstheology/). Alternatively, the Lincoln Theological Institute (LTI) page (http://religionandcivilsociety.com/lti/) shows some of the more specific work that some people in the department do. The LTI is a think-tank that does its own projects but is connected to the University of Manchester R&T department. 

 

Science and Technology Exhibition for Sixth Form Students

by YPU Admin on September 26, 2013, Comments. Tags: Engineering, science, and technology

Are you interested in Science, Technology and Engineering?

Would you like to meet representatives from some of the biggest companies in the UK?

Then come along to The University of Manchester on Wednesday 23rd October and find out more!

During the event, you will get the opportunity to visit information stands from companies within the technology, engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, construction, transport and media sectors.

Companies such as Samsung, JVC, BBC Academy, Network Rail, the NHS, 2Dtech and many more will be at the exhibition.

You will also have the opportunity to hear from a range of speakers on subjects such as ‘Choosing What and Where to Study’, ‘Student Life’ and ‘So you think you know the Sciences?’  Current students and staff from academic schools will be available throughout the event to answer any questions you have about university.

Time: 3pm-6pm

Location: The Great Hall, Sackville Street Building, The North Campus, The University of Manchester

Please register completing a registration survey. If you have any questions, please email schoolsandcolleges@manchester.ac.uk.  The registration deadline is Friday 11th October at 5pm.

We look forward to seeing you at the event!