Final Semester (Hopefully!)

Hello everyone,

I hope I find you well. Exams have finally finished and the last semester for some of us has begun. I guess I have been too stressed to have time to feel nostalgic yet but I am sure that this will come as well 🙂

This past month I have been mostly working on my final year project and I can say that it is extremely weird to think that it will be over soon (at least the coding part of it). It feels like time has gone by so quickly. I have definitely enjoyed working on it. It has been a lot of fun and I feel like I have learned a lot since I started. My folder filled with research papers on the topic has certainly grown quite a bit. I have spent such a considerable time in the library that I now even know most of the security guards there!

Apart from that as we all have noticed, spring is coming! (A bit faster than winter in Game of Thrones fortunately! 🙂 )


( There are even flowers 🙂 )

So there is actually some sun in Manchester, which meant it was the perfect time for a bit of sightseeing. A couple of weeks ago, I had a friend from London visiting me and took her around Manchester. Using my Student Ambassador skills I had the chance to show her around the campus and explain a little bit about the history of the university. She was quite happy to find more about Alan Turing, the main reasons behind his choice to come and continue his career in Manchester. We went past the iconic Graphene Building, the newest addition to the university campus, which is also one of a kind in the world. We walked past the Sackville Building, went to MOSI were we saw the replica of The Baby, built for the anniversary a couple years ago and approved by the people who originally built it, namely Geoff Tootill (after whom the two engineering labs are actually named 🙂 ) and Tom Kilburn. If you want to know a bit more about the history of the baby I suggest watching this short video 🙂

We went inside the Main Library in the city centre. If you haven’t been there I would definitely recommend it. It combines both modern and innovative technology with the Victorian look and feel of the building.

Another thing which has been new this month is really the new modules I will be taking this semester. I have chosen User Experience, Compilers and Introduction to Current Topics in Biology. I am particularly happy with my choice so far. All modules seem to be done quite well and the lecturers look motivated and the lectures are engaging. I was quite happy to discover that the Zika Virus, which is currently a very hot topic in the media, has been already included in the Biology syllabus. I cannot wait to find out more about it. So far, we have covered DNA; including isolating our own DNA and we are currently on the subject of Stem cells and their applications.


(My DNA 🙂 )

Additionally, I also had the pleasure to attend a seminar on the use of OpenStack in a variety of institutions and companies, amongst which were people from the University of Cambridge, who have a talk on using Openstack and HPC. There was also a talk from an engineer at CERN who gave a compelling presentation regarding the CPU optimizations in CERN and how they use OpenStack. I feel like I had the opportunity to learn a lot at this seminar, even though I found it a bit overwhelming at first.

I think overall it has been quite a fun and slightly stressful month (deadlines are quickly approaching!!!!). For all final year students, I want to wish you good luck with your presentation of results.


Veneta Haralampieva

P.S. Make sure you check all the snowdrops near the Uni Place. They are quite pretty.