Oana Tifrea-Marciuska, Wolfson College
I have chosen to pursue a DPhil because I got interested in the topic of how to use artificial intelligence to give people personalised answers to their queries over Semantic Web - the Web that is able to understand the meaning of words. It is fascinating since it combines so many different fields. I have applied for the Google European Scholarship and was one of the 13 people in Europe who received full funding.
Before coming to Oxford I have studied in the following countries:
- Vienna University of Technology, Austria, European Master in Computational Logic
- Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, European Master in Computational Logic
- Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Romania, undergraduate in Computer Science
- University of Science and Technology Lille, France, Erasmus student
What I love about the DPhil is that you have the freedom to choose your research path. At the beginning this may be scary since I was used with instant gratification when you pass tests. But the fact that you contribute to the new knowledge of the world is really cool. Moreover you are surrounded with experts in your area that support you to become an independent researcher.
The college life is very nice since you get to know people from different fields. I have found out fascinating topics of people that spend their Dphil studies studying the lives of Lamas or digging in some remote islands. Moreover you get to share your research with people who are not computer scientists. Moreover I have taken dancing and painting lessons.
During my studies I have co-founded the Oxford Women in Computer Science Society - which aims to support women in computer science. We have organised many exciting events involving Turing award winners or top companies in IT. Oxford is great since it has so many clubs and societies. You just need to choose.
I did a 7 weeks business course on how to open a business. I was involved in a startup ( from my Phd studies) via an Isis Innovation Incubator, that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Oxford, managing technology transfer. I have really learnt a lot.
What I would say to someone thinking of doing a Dphil is - I think they should come here! Try to search for something you find interesting and find a person that has some knowledge in this area. The University really offers you so many tools to become better - from Career Centre events to different tutorials.