Written by Aneta Fortelkova
As a Master’s student of Big Data in Culture and Society here at King’s, there are several things that stand out for me, which I truly enjoy and which I would like to share. Therefore, I made a list of five things that I love about my programme here.
1. The modules
First of all, it is mainly the modules that has me enjoying my time here in London so much. Overall, the interdisciplinarity of compulsory modules has proven to me that I made a right decision to study here. This is thanks to the wide range of areas they cover, ranging from programming in R and learning how to do textual analysis, through to law, finding out about contracts and GDPR. The theoretical module about Big Data then covers a broad area of topics from databases to algorithms. In addition to the compulsory modules, the optional modules cover so many possible specialisations, which turned out to present quite a pleasant challenge whilst picking the preferred modules for the year. I chose Artificial Intelligence in Society, which proved to be a very enjoyable course, giving great insight into the current AI usage possibilities. Currently, I am studying the politics of personal data economies, which is giving me a greater understanding and context to many contemporary issues.
2. The place
To be honest, I cannot think of a better place to study than at Strand, which is besides the river next to Somerset House – where they recently had an exhibition focusing on the digital world (highly recommend). It is also just few meters away from the Twinnings tea shop (yes, I like tea), and not far at all from Covent Garden which is full of shops, wonderful cafes one can go read in, and the meditation centre, where one can easily stop by in between lectures, as it is open to everyone for free. It has been convenient for the many seminars that go on outside of regular lectures, which often take place in the King’s building. For my additional French class from the Modern Language Centre I go to Waterloo, which is only ten minutes away across the Waterloo bridge, which I enjoy for its views of the city, while being close to the National Theatre and the Southbank Centre. And what’s more, now we have a fantastic space available to us in the Macadam building, which you can read more about below.
3. Extracurricular seminars
As I said, with so many interesting extracurricular seminars taking place right on Strand, it would be a shame not to go. To mention a few I have attended, one of the most memorable ones were talks from the head of machine learning at Facebooks Ads, or from the head of strategy at Google. Others included a series of talks for the anniversary of the Internet, or a discussion on personal data and permissions in the mobile ecosystem, closely related to my course and my interests. The community of like-minded people here at these events really inspires me!
4. Specialisations of lecturers
Along with the range of courses available to us, we have a department of lecturers of many different specialisations who offer many relevant areas of expertise, which one might not find at other universities. For example, specialisations in personal data in relation to app permissions, or textual analysis and visualisations, to name a few.
5. Maughan library and Macadam building
On this list I cannot forget to mention these two places. The Maughan library is a few minutes away from the King’s building and has a lot to offer – every time I am fascinated by the famous round room, which I won’t speak of any more for it to remain a pleasant surprise.
As for the Macadam building, the reason I mention it is because it has recently opened new floors for students, dedicated for Digital Humanities students and for our programme’s workshops. I have started going there recently, enjoying the newly furnished spaces, where one can go in between lectures for a quieter space to do some readings, while bumping into other students from the programme or department for a chat!
If you enjoyed Aneta’s post, you can check out Eleonara’s post on “Postgraduate Studies: Should I or Shouldn’t I?”.
If you would like more information about the Big Data in Culture and Society MA offered by the Department of Digital Humanities, click here.
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