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Student wins thousands from Microsoft to help with research

A De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) student has won a $20,000 grant from technological giants Microsoft to help advance his research.

Hossein Ghodrati, in his final year studying Business Intelligent Systems and Data Mining (Msc) as a distance learner in Barcelona, Spain, was presented with the Microsoft Azure Research Award for his neurological research proposal.


The Microsoft Azure Research Award is an incentive offering free access to cloud computing resources for projects across the world.

Mr Ghodrati said: “The neural networks are computationally very expensive and they have to run for a long period of time, depending on the level of hardware they can take hours, days or months.

With my own hardware, I could barely run the research; the Microsoft grant enables me to perform the computations on powerful hardware.”

The research is aimed at automatically creating a summary of a piece of text with computers providing higher quality information for a human user without a direct input.

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Mr Ghodrati added: “An example could be analysing the most valuable player at a football match.

“A computer would evaluate the inputs, in this case cameras in the stadium, and evaluate which cameras are most important for the task, using only those for an input to solve the original task.”

The Business Intelligent Systems and Data Mining course aims to develop student’s skills to effectively develop, apply and research business intelligence systems, and Mr Ghodrati felt that the course and tutors really met his needs.

“The course at De Montfort has been really good as it has worked well as a part-time course alongside my full-time job.

“Through some research it was clear that DMU had the programme for me, as it focuses both on employability, but also on research and students are actively encouraged early on to think about how they could work on research problems that push the boundaries of human knowledge.

“The support from teaching staff and tutors is really helpful, with regular meetings and communications held via email, phone and Skype.”

For more information on the Business Intelligent Systems and Data Mining course click here.

Posted on Wednesday 10th February 2016

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