Log in screen for computer science project about blog chain

Computing project exhibition 2023: Constandinos Kotsis, Computer Science BSc(Hons)

In essence, the university holds your hand whilst you navigate your way and once you are ready, it lets you go to start your journey.

Tell us a bit about your project

The final year project thesis I have developed is centred around blockchain technology and providing a unique solution to online voting systems. It addresses the issues surrounding election fraud, voter anonymity and the miscount of votes and proposes a blockchain electronic voting decentralised application combining the different features of blockchain technology at its forefront. I was intrigued by the overall reputation that blockchain has in academia and society and wanted to explore the field further.

It certainly isn’t something I knew a lot about which can be a testament to how risky choosing a field with minimal experience can be for the final year project. But luckily it turned out very well. The University prepared me from the get-go; at the beginning of the year I had already chosen a supervisor for my project and had an initial idea for what I wanted to do.

It all went from there really, I continued having regular meetings with my supervisor talking about my project and also about my plans after university.

How have you found your course and your time at Brighton?

In the four years that I have been studying here, it’s been a mixed bag of emotions. I joined a year before the pandemic occurred, and having face-to-face lectures in my first year and shifting to remote learning in my second year was challenging. I liked the experience in my first year from what I can remember, having made a lot of friends on my course and also adjusting to the university life and experience.

The course was very intriguing for me, I love computer science in general and whether it was theory or programming, the best advice for a good academic experience is just to do external reading and study. As someone who felt very inexperienced as a programmer coming into the course, I quickly developed important skills and was able to fit in and do well. Computer science at the University of Brighton consists of modules around theory and programming, it is a balance. There is a lot of opportunity to expand your skills in both aspects. Do apply to study computer science here, I guarantee you will love it.

How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study a computing degree and why Brighton?

I chose my course after deciding I wanted to study computer science. I excel academically at it and if I do say so myself am naturally a very talented computer scientist. My other subjects at A-Level were French, Mathematics and Classics alongside Computer Science and I enjoyed all four, but really leaned more towards maths and computer science. It was a close call between the two for my course but I decided to choose computer science as I loved it just as much as and thought the two sides to it were very fascinating.

I took a gap year and didn’t know what to do and where I wanted to study, and just spontaneously decided to apply to Brighton. It was a heat of the moment thing. I remember thinking how cool the city is as a Londoner and thought why not give it a go.

What have been the highlights of your courses?

There are too many to list. I thoroughly enjoyed all my modules whilst at university and relished the studying lifestyle.

I think the two biggest highlights of my university career were becoming founder and president of chess society and securing a placement at IBM for my placement year. Those two specifically are the standout moments. I’ve also been course representative for computer science twice, in second and now final year and have worked as a super representative and ambassador for my course too. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of achievements and I can’t fit them all in!

Did you do a placement year?

I did a placement year at IBM as a full-stack software developer. It was an absolutely life-changing experience to say the least. I not only came out of it becoming a much more experienced and capable programmer, I also gained fantastic career experience and further improved my skills as a computer scientist.

The placement was a fantastic opportunity that taught me what it is like, even as an intern, to work a normal 9-5 job with normal roles and responsibilities. I felt very lucky to have gotten such an opportunity and felt so panicked and scared coming into it due to my lack of experience and fluency in coding, but that changed quickly when I joined the company. IBM not only helped me learn a whole number of new programming languages, I also felt so accomplished and as though I had made it. The amount of support you receive whilst at placement is something worth mentioning, it certainly gave me the confidence I have now in my final year with my modules and also has helped prepare me to be ready when I start working this September.

What are your plans after graduation?

The course has undoubtedly shaped me into a capable computer scientist. The module content and lecture structure teaches us relevant skills and topics that are needed for graduate jobs. In essence, the university holds your hand whilst you navigate your way and once you are ready, it lets you go to start your journey. That’s how it felt, it felt like an older sibling guiding you through the trials and tribulations of the academic experience and preparing yourself for the real world. Impostor syndrome is something all computer scientists face daily, it’s something I still deal with. However, the university has helped me blossom into an individual ready to take on the real world.

After graduation, I will be returning to IBM for a year having managed to secure a graduate job there and then I’m off to the United States to work for Apple which I am very excited about. It’s going to be a very thrilling couple of years and I cannot wait.   

Published by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *