Oulu: The Silicon Valley of Northern Scandinavia?
My choice - University of Oulu
It requires a lot of research to choose the best university for our master's studies. We look into the university's ranking, faculty, and research projects and decide on our intended specialisation.
One of the reasons I chose the University of Oulu was the generous amount of scholarships they provide to the students. The University of Oulu is entitled the Silicon Valley of Northern Scandinavia, making it the core of 6G research, robotics and other state of the art computer science research. The other reason was the immense flexibility given to students to discuss and implement their ideas in the real world.
I am still completing my first-year studies in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Oulu with a specialisation in Applied Computing. The university offers many exciting courses, and I will walk you through my most interesting courses so far.
One of my subjects in the first semester was Creative Design. The main aim of the subject was to make the students systematically ideate and implement creative solutions to a problem, both independently and in a group. It had exercises to sketch and form innovative ideas using simple things. One of the exercises was to laser-cut a keyring using the Laser Cutter in the university FabLab.
For this, we could take any logo/picture of our choice and edit it in Inkscape to make it engraved or completely cut. We then put the material on which we want our logo, and the machine cuts it as you wish. I engraved an astronaut on cardboard, as shown in the image.
The creative design was one of the most intriguing and mind-opening subjects that I had taken in my life.
It gave me the enthusiasm to generate unearthly ideas and convert them into reality using the FabLabs' 3D printers and laser cutting machines.
VR Systems and Humans
The other subject was VR Systems and Humans. During this course, we were provided with an Oculus Rift S VR system to test and critique different VR applications. The cover photo shows a picture of me wearing the device.
VR Systems and Humans course intends to make students realise how human brains behave and react when stimulated into a new world through a VR system.
We were asked to document our observations and improvements required for presenting VRs more comfortable and usable to the general people. It also includes the physiology and psychology of humans to design good VR software. As an exercise, we were asked to build a project on Unity to apply our knowledge and make a good VR application.
I would say that Computer Science and Engineering has much more exciting subjects to offer and make your master's journey fruitful. All the very best for your applications! :)
About the author
Syed Jawad Akhtar from India is studying Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Oulu. You can talk with him about robots and their social aspects for hours. He used to live in Saudi Arabia, and now he wants to experience the cold weather to the fullest by diving in an iced lake, ice boarding and cross-country skiing.