A chance encounter with an introductory course on artificial intelligence (AI) led Benjamin Evans to pursue a doctoral degree in AI.
“I had every intention of leaving after I completed my Bachelor of Science degree. But that course sparked my interest so much that I stayed on to finish an additional Honours year, followed by a Master’s degree in computer science, focusing on AI,” says Ben.
The opportunity to interact with, and learn from, staff engaged in world-renowned research proved positive for Ben. “Everyone is passionate about the field, and there’s a large cohort of like-minded graduate students to support and encourage you. The content is mentally stimulating, and great help is always available at all levels throughout your studies. The skills you learn here put you highly in demand for employers domestically and globally.
“I’ve also picked up other skills that transfer to all areas of life, such as public speaking and teaching skills. And the connections I made throughout my studies have been invaluable.
“Artificial Intelligence is one of the most interesting topics of our era, and in the grand scheme of things we are only at the very beginning stages of the field. I enjoy the constant progress of the field, and there are still so many open questions and problems that make the area fascinating to work in. That’s the reason I chose to continue pursuing my academic career, though I’ve had various employment offers from the industry.”
Living in Wellington played a huge role in Ben’s journey as a student at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. “Wellington is a tech hub, with tech giants and start-ups alike in the CBD. And the city has something to offer everyone while retaining a cool, laid-back feeling.”