Information technology students tackle text analytics

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We’re delighted to welcome Rose McColl and Alisha Thakkar to our innovation lab. They are studying towards a Master in Information Technology degree at the University of Auckland and are with Theta for a 10-week summer internship.

Their project with us in the innovation lab involves text analytics, natural language processing and keyword extraction, and may ultimately make it easier to find and reuse fragments and chunks of text from existing docs.

The Master in Information Technology degree combines technological and business disciplines, and a summer project like this is a course requirement. Says Alisha:

“Our studies give us a really good background in theory and underlying principles, but it’s now good to do something practical with that knowledge.”

Alisha studied engineering and computer science in India, and has been in Auckland for eight months. The focus of her current studies is data mining, machine learning and information security, and she also has some background in Android development and building APIs. When not busy with assignments – which have taken most of her free time this year - she likes to read and sometimes write poetry.

Rose, a molecular biologist by training, worked in biotech and medical diagnostics for ten years before she started her tech studies, and is enjoying a return to the workplace:

“I love being back at work, and it’s nice to focus on a single project after a year at uni working on lots of different subjects. It gives us a chance to go deeper. We’re hoping to get to a working prototype stage by the end of the ten weeks, that solves a real problem.”

Rose and Alisha are working closely with Jim Taylor, and getting some help from Wagner Silveira and others in the digital team too. It’s shaping up to be a great (and very useful) project, and we can’t wait to see the results.