Aagoon Chakraborty

Aagoon is going into her 3rd year studying BSc Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science.

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is an incredible city, full of rich history, stunning nature, and that perfect big-city vibe without being too overwhelming! It's incredibly student-friendly, so I felt comfortable making a big move abroad and 'adulting' here!

As for the University of Edinburgh, I really liked that it is an epicentre for AI and robotics— exactly what wanted to explore. I was excited by the opportunity to be amidst dynamic research!

Additionally, something that that really drew me is the flexibility of the courses. I loved having the freedom to structure my degree with courses that genuinely interest me and even try out things I had never looked into before!

Photo of Aagoon

Why did you choose to study Informatics?

I didn't always want to study Informatics but just pivoted when I realised it combined my knack for problem-solving and creativity, enjoying the dynamic nature of both! Growing up, playing chess sharpened my critical thinking, while writing nurtured my creative side; I thought I would pursue a degree in mathematics or literature. My interest shifted when I read about how IBM's Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov, marking the first time a computer program beat a world chess champion! This piqued my curiosity about computer science and AI and I started doing a lot of wider reading and programming. As I delved deeper into Informatics, I found it to be the perfect blend of my problem-solving skills and creativity, allowing me to tackle complex challenges and innovate continuously.

What do you do for fun?

I love picking up and keeping myself busy with a variety of hobbies (often filling my plate with too many)!

When not debugging, I'll bake or sit with my guitar and sing (rather awfully) with friends. I enjoy learning new languages—there’s something incredibly rewarding about being able to connect with different cultures. (I highly recommend the Tandem Language Exchange society to find some buddies for company to practise!) I'm also fond of reading (mostly thrillers) and like city-walking to browse bookstores. Living in Scotland, I’m spoiled with amazing nature trails, and I love hiking them whenever I get the chance (reminder that touching grass is important as an Informatics student!).

Any tips for prospective students?

Transitioning to university is a big leap from school, so take your time to settle in!

Establishing a routine and figuring out how you learn best is crucial. Make sure to give yourself enough time to work while also staying sane by socialising! There are multiple resources to try out (lecture slides, readings, etc.), so don't feel demotivated after having tried only one!

Don’t shy away from making friends; you’ll find your people eventually! I'm an introverted person myself but joining societies and getting involved with likeminded people helped me feel at ease. Some of the best memories you make will come from having the sheer experience of going beyond your comfort zone!

When it comes to learning, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Your peers and lecturers are more than happy to guide you. No matter how intimidated you might feel, remember to reach out for assistance, everyone's here to learn! Lastly, explore the city around you. Edinburgh is a vibrant city with a university that fits wonderfully within its neighborhoods. Take the time to enjoy the greenery and heritage—it's all part of the university experience. Enjoy your journey and make the most of it! :)