Vishal Wilde

Adcanced Computer Science with Internet Economics MSc

Why did you choose master’s study at the University of Liverpool?

I completed my BSc (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Economics major) at the University of Warwick but I was looking to study Computer Science at the postgraduate level so I could apply computational methods back to policy-relevant, social-scientific problems for both academic and professional purposes. In particular, I was interested in Computational Economics but was struggling to find programmes that catered specifically to this interest since I intend to undertake doctoral study after a period of professional employment. This programme was uniquely-placed to serve this specific interest as well as my interest in Computer Science more broadly, given my academic background.

What’s the best thing about studying in your department?

In particular, the Economics and Computation Research group is the largest group of its kind in the UK and this has certainly been reflected in my teaching as I’ve been taught by leaders in the field throughout my time here. The content is thoroughly fascinating (albeit quite complex at times – but this is to be expected) and you’re encouraged to engage and ask questions (the lecturers are also accessible and willing to spend time on their students). There’s also quite a range of options to choose from that can satisfy a variety of interests (including Algorithmic Game Theory, Data Mining and Visualisation, Applied Algorithmics, Machine Learning and Bioinspired Optimisation, Multi-Agent Systems and many more). Ultimately, the best thing about my Department have been both the quality and quantity of what I've learnt over the programme of this year.

How do the facilities in the University help you with your studies?

The Department of Computer Science has recently invested in their facilities and I definitely like our labs; they’re a very good environment to work in. The University’s libraries are also a great place to study, book rooms for group work, etc. and it’s comforting to know that the 24-hour library access is available. The support staff (whether that be the administrative staff or the IT support staff) are also very supportive and helpful when it comes to answering your enquiries and addressing your concerns. Additionally, the University Mental Health Advisory Service has been very supportive and this has been undoubtedly helpful in ensuring that my studies run smoothly.

What kind of support do you get from tutors?

Despite being a research-led environment, the lecturers are very accessible and happy to talk to you. Whether it’s your allocated academic advisor or lecturers, people are ready to help you and answer your questions. The assignments, coursework, in-class tests, and exams have been well-structured and useful for the learning experience whilst many lecturers tend to record their lectures and provide very useful material online to supplement this.  

What do you enjoy most about the whole experience?

Aside from the content of the degree itself, the Computer Science Department’s postgraduate community is really very friendly and easy to integrate into. Liverpool itself is such a friendly city and there’s a lot to do. I’ve settled in quickly and found great places to frequent. Additionally, there is significant overlap between the different master’s programmes in the Department so you share a lot of modules with people from various academic and professional backgrounds. 

How do you believe undertaking a master’s will help your career prospects?

My intention is to continue onto doctoral studies in the USA to undertake academic, policy-relevant research in Computational Economics, Computational Social Choice, Computational Political Economy, and Computational Social Science more broadly. The content of this taught MSc has definitely lived up to my expectations and provided plentiful inspiration for ongoing and further research. Through my studies here, I have been able to use the taught content to further refine the research question that I’d like to devote my doctoral studies to.

What advice would you give to anybody considering postgraduate study?

Do it as soon as possible! The sooner the better because a master’s definitely does open up more opportunities in both academia and industry. 

Find out more about the Advanced Computer Science with Internet Economics MSc