July 30, 2020, by Hazel Sayers

Smart Products Beacon Students – update (2)

Edwina Abam has been continuing to work on her PhD, on novel deep learning techniques for credit risk assessment. Collaborating with Capital One, she has been working on a pilot project to prepare the groundwork for future experiments in her PhD.

The focus of the pilot project is to develop a deep learning model to assess credit risk of small businesses in the US using a public loan data set from the US Small Business Administration (SBA). The pilot project involves analysing loan application data to inform future loan decisions, by implementing a deep learning model.

With prior academic background in Business Analytics, Edwina explained that she found working on the pilot project quite a familiar experience. “This was because I applied the majority of the concepts from my previous academic knowledge to the project. For example, my knowledge and experience with data pre-processing from prior studies proved very useful during the initial data preparation – stages in my pilot project. Delivering periodic updates on the progress of the project to stakeholders has been beneficial in developing communication and reporting skills.  Additionally, being able to work through and solve the coding challenges encountered on the project has increased my confidence to tackle other coding problems in future. With close to zero prior research experience, having to employ a new technique on this project, exposed me to much individual research and study about the technique which has been helpful in my development as an independent researcher”.

Edwina told us that being part of Smart Products has been a really beneficial experience, offering the opportunity to engage with industry experts and seasoned researchers to work towards the creation of digital products within the digital economy.

Christine Li has continued her PhD work centering around the design and study of VR prototypes for remote training of bodily skills. Using the Unity game engine and Oculus Quest VR headset, she is currently developing a multi-user VR experience which allows one user to record their hand movements and send them to another user in a separate location. This process has involved familiarization with a range of subjects such as body-centric design, pedagogy, and skill acquisition. After the VR application has been developed to a sufficiently-testable state, Christine plans to design a study involving her industry partner Robert Clark, a dance choreographer based in London.


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