Master of Philosophy student
He has appreciated being able to work closely with industry for his research, says Arnab Sen who is currently completing a Master of Philosophy, supported by a scholarship from Callaghan Innovation.
“I was impressed by AUT’s focus on developing graduates who will succeed in real-life scenarios, rather than pumping them full of theory and no application.
“I would definitely recommend the programme to anyone who wants to innovate and make a meaningful contribution to their respective industry. My research primarily takes place in an industry setting and requires constant communication with my secondary supervisor, a veteran software engineer. This has given me the much-needed flexibility to split my time between the company office and AUT to suit my research.”
He would highly recommend the Master of Philosophy to other students.
“The Master of Philosophy is a one-year degree where you’re assessed through your final thesis, which means there are no courses you need to take or exams you need to study for. The programme is great preparation for further study at doctoral level, and I’m planning to continue my current area of research through a PhD.”
Innovation in software
For his master’s degree research, Arnab is closely working with a company that is an industry leader in innovative software architecture.
“The company I’m collaborating with has developed a new software architecture with the aim of keeping software code bases maintainable for years to come. Before starting the Master of Philosophy, I was working there as a summer R&D intern on a rewrite of their flagship desktop application using this new software architecture.
“However, because the architecture was so new, it had no development tools to support it. This motivated me to develop a program to automate significant chunks of the development process.”
This initiative didn’t go unnoticed and his manager put him in touch with AUT’s Associate Professor Roopak Sinha, who is now his Master of Philosophy supervisor.
“My manager at work took note of this, and asked if I wanted to extend what I had built as the focus of a master’s degree with his friend in academia. I jumped at the opportunity to flesh out something that I had come up with, and am grateful that they saw the potential in it.”
Connecting with fellow researchers
The highlight of Arnab’s time at AUT is being part of the AUT Software Engineering Research Centre, which is part of AUT’s School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences.
“At the AUT Software Engineering Research Centre, I’ve joined the Embedded Software group, a postgraduate research group of 20 or so active members, made up of lecturers, PhD students and master’s degree students who are developing standards-compliant, next-generation embedded software.”
The group has been crucial in steering him towards various goalposts throughout his research, Arnab says.
“It’s a very tightly-knit group focused on helping every member produce high-quality research. They welcomed me with open arms when I joined, and we have weekly meetings where we can present our current research, and everyone is given an opportunity to chip in with feedback.
“I would definitely recommend joining a research group while you’re completing your master’s degree because, without the proper guidance, it can be easy for an inexperienced researcher to lose sight of the bigger picture.”