Computer science ‘reality’ student graduates with Master’s distinction

Francesca Madeddu

Swansea graduate Francesca Madeddu won’t need to use a mobile device to find her way to the Brangywn Hall today (Tuesday 26 January) to receive her Master of Science in advanced computer science with a human computer interaction specialization (HCI).

Francesca, aged 31, originally from Italy, completed an outstanding Master’s thesis (which earnt her a distinction) investigating interaction with augmented reality on mobile devices.  More specifically, she investigated how to interact with virtual Egyptian artifacts placed in real scenes.  The final game was deployed at Swansea's Egypt Centre last year and was evaluated by volunteers working at the museum.

A Master’s thesis does not often lead to a publication. However, part of Francesca's research was written up as an extended abstract and presented at Computer Graphics and Visual Computing (CGVC), a Eurographics UK conference for visual computing last year.  An exceptional achievement!   

During the course of her programme Francesca was not only able to further her expertise in computer science, but she was also able to develop research skills for which she has received recognition.  These skills and experiences will help her in any future career, especially a research career if she so decides. 

Speaking about her time at Swansea University Francesca said: “I completed my BA in Computer Science with a HCI specialisation at Universita' Statale di Milano. I stayed for the following couple of years in the north of the country where I had been working first as software developer for the financial sector and then as system integrator consultant in the automotive and infotainment area.

“However, after having being awarded with the access to master (ATM) scholarship, I decided to move to Swansea University because it offered me the perfect chance to pursue my studies in a subject which I was very interested in, the human computer interaction. Swansea University has been very sportive in helping me with my programme, awarding me with the ATM scholarship, which allowed me to move to UK to pursue my passion.

“The ATM project gave me a chance to work in collaboration with an industrial partner, the Finnish company Leadin, which has recently set up their office at Swansea University. During the collaboration I met great people who helped and motivated me with my project, kindly sharing their skills and expertise. The possibility of combining the academic background  with industrial knowledge and insights has been an incredibly added value of the entire experience.

“Having the Egypt Centre on my doorstep I was delighted to be able to work with them on developing and testing my interactive game. The Egypt Centre staff and volunteers were a delight to work with.

“Lecturers, students and staff from the Swansea University have always been incredibly helpful, supportive and kind, allowing me to achieve much more than I could expected from the entire experience. Being exposed to such a heterogeneous and international environment also helped me to expand my horizons and taught me how to look at things from a different perspective. 

“Being able to publish and present my work at the Eurographics Conference was both scary, exciting and unexpected, and I was so delighted to have been selected to present my work to this international event.

“The whole experience at the Swansea University was unimaginably challenging and stimulating and it introduced me to something completely new and exciting, the research world. It also allowed me to develop skills and knowledge in the research field and I hope shortly to continue along this path.”