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DMU acts as 'springboard' for Orestes' career

The decision to study at postgraduate level at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has acted as a ‘springboard’ for Orestes Appel’s career and has sparked a newfound passion for research.

After years of working as a technical manager for an oilfield services company, Orestes is now a data analytics consultant and has had his research articles published, all while undertaking a PhD as a distance learner with DMU.

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The exciting change of direction was prompted by his desire to go ‘back to school’ and learn more about computational intelligence.

Orestes decided to enrol onto DMU’s Intelligent Systems MSc after it was highly recommended by his university tutor in the USA.

The 58-year-old Canadian said: “I looked at the programme and really liked the scope. Besides, I needed a part-time distance engagement and DMU offered it.

He was also impressed with the members of faculty, saying: “I also noticed that Professor Francisco Chiclana had abundant and high-impact publications in one of the areas I was most interested in, Fuzzy Logic in Decision Making.”

Through the skills refined on his MSc and the exposure to the world of research, techniques and methodologies, Orestes developed a thirst for getting into the data analytics business.

He said: “I was introduced to such an interesting range of research that I basically thought I would love to be involved in such a creative process.

“I enjoyed it so much that I decided to continue with my PhD work, which I am currently conducting.”

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With supervision from DMU’s Professor Chiclana and Dr Jenny Carter, Orestes is currently exploring sentiment analysis, also known as opinion mining, and how to address it.

As a distance learner, Orestes relied on DMU’s Blackboard software to stay up to date with course materials and to keep in touch with tutors and other students.

He said: “The dynamics through Blackboard were really good and served as a great replacement for interactions that usually only occur in a normal in-class experience.”

Neither juggling work nor commitments to his wife, two children, two Yorkshire Terriers, 12 fish and a razor-backed musk turtle, shook Orestes’ dedication to his studies.

He said: “My experience at DMU has served as a springboard to a change in my professional development and career expectations.

“The members of DMU’s Centre for Computational Intelligence are first class teachers and educators as a whole. I’ve really enjoyed getting into the research world, which has now become a passion of mine.”

Posted on Tuesday 21st June 2016

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