MSc experiences at ECS
“You must answer this question”: You will probably be wondering what this sentence has to do with my introduction. Well it is the sentence I say to everyone who complains about the difficulty of my name: “Mustansar”
‘Must-Ansar’ (Pronounced Must Answer). More frankly you can call me ‘Musi’, my nickname, and my friends call me by this name. I have been here in ECS for the last year. It has been an awesome experience with everything concerned: Campus, Labs, Lectures, Teachers, Friends, and our most hated ‘Exams’ and ‘Course Works’…:). It is good to share the feelings I got since I started my course in MSc Software Engineering (Oct 2007).
When I first came to the University of Southampton, the first month was spent on the cultural and ambience adjustment. Broadly speaking the biggest issues were: weather problem, very capricious and there is always a rugby play between clouds and sun in Southampton; time discrepancy problem, the difference between the time of my country Pakistan and UK is 5 hrs; accent problem, guys from all over the world having their own way of speaking; homesickness, no friend in the beginning (really painful); jack of cooking, I only knew how to fry an egg and boil rice; ++ …. You will probably be wondering how I survived…:) ….
Well, It is because I have not yet told you about the up sides of the stay at University of Southampton: the freshers week (Bun-Fight, Food-Festival), helpful staff, nice accommodation halls, easily available transport (Thanks to Uni-Link), plenty of shops near university having a mix of cultural food, cinema, SUSU Kinki, bars, gym (the facility I liked the most), a good chatting place (called library…:)), +++ …. Really it is a five star university.
I wrote too much about university in general and now it is time to write about ECS: which starts from Zepler building and ends in Zepler for undergraduate students …:). I remember the days when we have a lot of assignments and busy doing it late night by burning our midnight oil (I guess so), and guard came, saying: it is time to go guys, have a good night. But we are not finished yet, we replied. “Sorry mate, wind up now”. What to do? any suggestion? I asked, …. long pause, … we will finish it tonight in Zepler base ..one suggestion and we all agreed … and then we finished it that night. It was a sign of hardworking and brilliant students at ECS..:)
I am waiting for the convocation now, which is going to be held on 17th Dec 2008. It is because I got good results in MSc: Top in first semester and in the dissertation. If you want to get good marks, then try to attend all class lectures, the most important thing, and shouldn’t be missed. Furthermore, try to cover your course during term time and don’t wait for the preps; it really become very difficult to study all courses during that ‘tense’ and ‘short’ period.
For guys who want to get good position (like me…:)), I would suggest they study hard during Christmas and Easter vacations. Furthermore, don’t work more than 10hrs/week during dissertation time and try to spend at least 40hrs/week during dissertation.
Now I have started my PhD in Distributed Recommender Systems and ECS offered me funding for it as well…..:). We: Tom (Another Guy with me from ECS), Martin (a research fellow under ECS), Craig (My Supervisor in ISIS group at ECS), and I are working in this project. We are going to Scotland (wooo) this month to a conference and busy in this matter.
This was all about MSc….there are a lot more things I wanted to discuss, but could not do this due to space and time constraints. But I will share PhD experiences which are really amazing in next blog. I will try to explain how a fresh PhD student should make a balance between different things, what a PhD is all about, and explain why they say “ PhD lies in the eyes of a beholder”*
“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder
Till then ….. Good ByeZ!