Alumni Profile - Alexander Darer

PhD Cyber Security Student, University of Oxford

alex-darer-1"I wanted to explore areas of research I hadn't looked into before and there are so many brilliant people (supervisors and students) at the University of Birmingham who will guide you as you progress."  

MSc Advanced Computer Science (2013), School of Computer Science

Please provide a short paragraph detailing how your career has developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

I studied at the University of Birmingham for 4 years (my bachelors degree followed by my masters degree) and during that time I discovered what areas of computer science I wanted to further my understanding in. For me, I found computer security to be a very interesting and influential field so I decided to explore options for further education. I am now studying for a PhD in Cyber Security at the University of Oxford.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?

I am studying a field which spans a wide variety of different disciplines, cyber security encompasses much more than just computer security, but social science, political science etc. This means that there are so many different avenues for pursuing different areas of research and there is always something exciting occuring within the field itself! 

Why did you originally apply to do your chosen course at Birmingham?

I wanted to further my knowledge of computer science by pursuing areas of research that interested me - such as computer security and nature inspired design. 

What were the best points of your course at the University?

The University of Birmingham has a beautiful campus and is a very intellectually stimulating place to work. As for the course itself, I wanted to explore areas of research I hadn't looked into before and there are so many brilliant people (supervisors and students) at the University of Birmingham who will guide you as you progress.

What advice would you give to current students studying on the course?

Take a look at what areas of research interest you and find out whether there is a potential supervisor who will work with you on an interesting and exciting project.

How did you grow as a person by studying at the University? Did it change your life in any way?

It has changed the way I look at things around me. When you start working in science you develop the way you think, you begin to question the world around you - Why is that like that? Why does whis work like this? How can this be improved? As a researcher it's very liberating to be in a position where you can question how and why things work (or don't work) and then spend time investigating them.