INSPIRING INTERNS

Turing Talent’s New Blog Post Series

Turing Talent’s goal is to develop technical talent in a well-rounded set of skills to perform at their best in industry environments. We do that by combining training designed by industry veterans, mentorship from industry leaders, and a cross-industry peer network. Briefly, we surround our talents with only people who are going to lift them higher.

In the Turing Talent’s inspiring interns blog post series, we recognize new faces in tech and have their inspirational stories in order to encourage all talents. So, today we are sitting with another of Turing Talent’s inspiring interns: Ryan Greenhalgh who is PhD student at the University of Cambridge in Biophysics and Neuroscience. Ryan ​will be inspiring us by taking us through his exciting journey in tech.

Hi Ryan and thank you for agreeing to this interview. Let’s start with your background. Could you tell us about your background please?

My name is Ryan. I originally studied material science at Manchester. I was super interested in how to regenerate organs, using materials. And then, once I finished my undergrad, I was thinking how it feels a bit like an old making these materials and hoping things would grow. I really wanted to start questioning the science of why things would grow in certain ways. Then, that led me to Cambridge and I was quite interested in combining sensors with biology. The first year in Cambridge, I did a lot of sensing and probing biology to get a better understanding. And I figured, okay, we can measure this stuff but we still don’t understand why biology is the way that it is. So, during my PhD, I’m trying to work out how the eyes connect to the brain so it’s kind of a combination of sensing and combining material science, and then I put all this into a computational model and try to understand how the eyes connect to the brain in development. During my PhD, I got more and more interested in software, I started doing a lot of machine learning. I spent a year at a start-up, where I led a lot of the development for a company trying to detect Appleton Orchards from drone imagery. I stopped that about six months ago and this is when I started the Turing Talent program.

That’s a great story! Did you have any previous experience before starting the Turing Talent leadership program?

Yeah, there was a fair amount of kind of leadership in terms of project leadership in the last role that I was in.

Well, how did you find out about this program of Turing Talent?

I found out about this program over LinkedIn, and then I made an application on the website.

What were your expectations from this leadership program?

I was excited to start a new project, and then some of the parts of the leadership program were an added benefit to the program.

What projects did you build/work during your internship?

During the internship, I’ve been working for a company called Cognitive Dx. The aim of this company is to collect data on patients and help memory clinics predict when somebody might have dementia. And if there’s a certain subtype of dementia that patients have, they can detect it earlier and start providing treatment.

What about technologies.. Which technologies did you use?

I’ve used a wide number of technologies during the project. I’ve mainly been programming in Python using scikit learn because it’s often quite difficult to find the exact hyper parameters that you need for these models. I’ve been using a lot of auto ml frameworks to help optimize to find the best models, and for future proofing. The models and usage, using Docker to containerize all these different model and model environments.

What qualities did you gain during the leadership program?

Speaking with Andrew, who was one of the mentors, was really good. I got more of an insight to how large-scale DevOps worked within Google, which was a really valuable experience.

How did the leadership program contribute to your long-term career goals?

It has given me a bit more clarity of what I want to do next once I finished the PhD off.

That’s the important one. How did Turing Talent play a role in finding an internship for you and in helping during the application process?

It was really good that the Turing Talent from quite a number of different companies. So, there’s quite a lot of options for me to choose from. I think that was really valuable in terms of pairing me with different employees and would be quite tailored to the requirements that I had asked for.

Lastly, what do you say to people considering joining the leadership program of Turing Talent?

Anybody else in my position I encourage them to do this because I think overall it’s been a good experience, especially people from more not computer science but scientific disciplines, I think it’s a good experience.

Thank you Ryan for your truly inspiring journey in tech. Although it was a short interview, you shared valuable information with us. Wishing you best of luck in your future!

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