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Awards for MDX Computer Science students after ‘insightful’ presentations

Two MDX Computer Science students have won prestigious awards at the 2022 BSCWomen Lovelace Colloquium

The annual networking conference is for female undergraduates who participate by producing and presenting a poster on a topic of their choice.

Keisha Owino won first place in the First and Foundation category, sponsored by the Intelligence Services, for her poster: ‘Can you see me? How social medial algorithms affect black individuals’.

Second year student Agnieszka Kowalska won second place in her category, which was sponsored by Amazon, for her poster entitled: “Using AI to address the phenomenon known as the paradox of choice”.

Both students are members of the Women in Computing groups at MDX which was founded by Senior Lecturer in Computer Science Dr Kelly Androutsopoulos.

She said: “The purpose of this group is to bring together Middlesex-affiliated women who are studying or interested in Computing and to share common interests, concerns and ambitions.

“Keisha’s poster was quite personal as it was based on her own experiences while Agnieszka spoke about how hard it is to make decisions, there is so much choice it can be paralysing so how can technology help with that?

“I think they are great topics, very insightful and thoughtful especially given the level that both students are at.”

Keisha said: “Initially I didn't know what to do for my topic but then I decided to think of how AI affects me and my community.

"Since I’m a black person that uses social media heavily it only made sense to discuss how I believe AI algorithms disproportionately affect black individuals particularly in social media."

Keisha said her win was unexpected but reassured her about a course change from law to computer science.

“It feels amazing to be recognised in such a way and I’m really glad Kelly pushed for me to participate and this has really made me believe that I did the right thing by changing courses," she said.

“I’m really enjoying Computer Science, especially the programming aspect of it (I think that’s my forte), so I definitely think it was a good choice to switch from my previous course and I’m hoping to do a study abroad year next academic year.”

The 15th Colloquium, which was held as a virtual conference, was jointly organised by Aberystwyth University, London South Bank University and Lancaster University, with support from the BCS.

Find out more about Computer Science at Middlesex University.

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