16 July 2019

DKE’s Class of 2019: what’s next?

Following the graduation ceremonies on July 11 and 12, we asked four brand new graduates about their next steps in life. We also asked them to reflect – perhaps for the last time – on their time at DKE.

Satellite software developer

Marta: “I’m going to be the Data and Software Engineer for the satellite Meteosat, which is a satellite of the European Space Agency. The software development happens in a company in Barcelona. The satellite’s software needs an update, and I’m the only programmer in a team of five people. I’ll be the one writing the code for that satellite. That’s pretty cool!”

“During my studies, the exchange to Australia was amazing. Seeing the different cultures and different universities was really cool. I’m also grateful I got to do research. I did the honours track, MaRBLe 2.0, and did research there. It really opened my mind: now I would like to be a researcher in the future.”

Marta Dàvila Mateu

Marta Dàvila Mateu obtained a bachelor’s degree in Data Science and Knowledge Engineering, and graduated with honours through the MaRBLe 2.0 track.

Master’s studies x Entrepreneurial spirit

Andrew: “I’ll pursue a master’s degree at TU Delft, and I’ve already started working for a startup here in Maastricht. We’re trying to get students to be more entrepreneurial and link them to venture capitalists, so they can get funding for starting their own business. I’ll be travelling back and forth between Maastricht and Delft quite often. And thereafter? I will probably start my own business, if everything goes well. I’m very entrepreneurial.”

“The best moment at DKE… It’s a combination of a whole series of events. Not just the good ones, but the bad ones as well. Because everybody knows everybody, the support network was fantastic. If I had to choose a specific moment: the Thanksgivings I would throw. As an American, it’s a big holiday. I started inviting one or two people to private Thanksgiving events, and it snowballed into 35 people, which is bigger than any American Thanksgiving I’ve ever done.”

Andrew Gold

Andrew Gold obtained a bachelor’s degree in Data Science and Knowledge Engineering. He is former president of DKE’s study association, MSV Incognito.

A smooth transition from thesis student to employee

Zoe: “You can imagine that due to time constraints, it’s not possible to investigate everything over the course of a master’s thesis. So we decided to go a step further, and investigate the rest of the techniques during summer and afterwards at ZyLAB. I really found my passion with natural language processing. ZyLAB gave me the chance to combine software development with research, so I’m going to be both a software developer at the company and also a member of the data science team.”

“It’s ideal for me, because you can imagine it’s hard to find a combination of both things. I was offered this opportunity by Jan, my thesis supervisor, and I aim to continue research while still being able to create software products like I was doing for my master’s.”

Zoe Gerolemou

Zoe Gerolemou obtained a master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence. Extraordinary Professor Jan Scholtes, who is also CSO of ZyLAB Technologies, supervised her thesis.

Possibly a PhD?

Marc: “I’m trying to find work that’s close to the academic work I’ve been doing. It’s been proving quite difficult to find companies that are looking for more theoretical work, or to try and attack more complex problems, because it’s unproven in the more economic fields. So I might look into doing a PhD, but until now? Unsure.”

“I think one of the best moments was at the end of the projects. Suddenly, most of my project group had this opening of free time. No resits, no exams, nothing going on… So we got together and took a moment to get to know each other. That moved on to everyone getting to know quite a few people in the department. Because there’s a lot of different people from different countries, there are a lot of different cultures. It was great to learn from each other and get to know everyone.”

Update: shortly after graduating, Marc took up a position with Yunify. He sat down to tell us about his experiences at DKE and with finding a job.

Marc Pont

Marc Pont obtained a cum laude master’s degree in Data Science for Decision Making. He also won one of the three DKE master’s Thesis Awards.

This summer, 30 students received their bachelor’s degree in Data Science and Knowledge Engineering. Another 31 students received their master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence or Data Science for Decision Making.

The DKE Master’s Thesis Awards went to:

  • Marc Pont (“The Bi-Stack Sorting Problem”)
  • Jelmer Neeven (“Iterative Model-based Transfer in Deep Reinforcement Learning”)
  • Florian Wimmenauer (“Monte-Carlo Search for Leveraging Performance of Unknown Job Shop”)