What was your initial motivation to study CI?
In school I was very interested in math and additionally, from what I knew about computer science, I wanted to deepen my knowledge in algorithms. The master's program in Computational Intelligence (CI) seemed to be a perfect combination of both fields and thus was one of the reasons I decided to move to Vienna and start a bachelor studies in the first place. As I was getting closer to the end of my bachelor studies, it was clear to me that CI was the right choice to continue.
What did you like about studying CI?
In general I liked the extremely friendly environment the Vienna University of Technology offers for students where everyone helps each other. This is even more true for the rather small master's program in CI where the students know each other. Additionally, the great freedom in the curriculum gave me the opportunity to focus on interesting topics such as algorithms, complexity theory, graph theory and logic. Few students and specialized courses had the effect that the staff-student ratio was very high. In my point of view, this was the reason why our teachers could cover some exciting state-of-the-art topics in their lectures. The staff-student ratio also had the effect that students directly get in touch with excellent researchers and teachers.
What did you not like?
Rather few students in the curriculum also has a downside: it happened to me a few times that I wanted to take a specialized course which in the end took not place because there where too few students. In the worst case, however, I had to wait a few semesters until there where enough students or ask the teacher for literature to read by myself.
How did the master's program contribute to your career?
After finishing the master's program in CI, I applied for a PhD position in Vienna which I currently hold. In my opinion, working together with excellent researchers during the master studies is a perfect start into the academic world. However, an academic career is not the only option CI graduates have. After their CI studies some of my colleges and friends decided to apply for a job in the industry. They for example found very attractive jobs in consulting and software engineering.