Prior education: Bachelor's degree in Computer Science Engineering (Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania)
'I wasn't really planning on going abroad for my Master's, but this programme fit my profile so well that I decided to come to Amsterdam. The practical character of this Master's programme really appealed to me. Most Master's in this field are quite theoretical, with lots of papers and not a lot of action. With SNE you are literally inside the technology, thanks to the SNE lab where we do all kinds of practical assignments. And Amsterdam is a beautiful city, that was a nice plus!'
'Every course has a theoretical and a practical part. The theoretical part entails a paper or test, the practical work is done in the SNE lab. We start the day with a lecture and then work in the lab afterwards. I've learned to appreciate the lab-work more and more, because I see the extra value it generates. It's quite useful to put your theory directly into practice and to work together in groups. Because of the differences in backgrounds, everyone has a different approach with assignments. It's nice when you're stuck on a problem and a colleague offers you another way of looking at it. This definitely helps getting things done.'
'I really enjoy the frequent guest lectures we get from people in the field. We once had a lecture by somebody from the LOFAR project, a project that focuses on joining multiple telescopes in The Netherlands, Scandinavia and other European countries. They showed us how their technology works, how to cluster computers to get the data out, things like that. We also had a lecture by somebody at AMS-IX, which is the Amsterdam Internet Exchange. They showed how they migrated to a new set up last year, how they proceeded through all the steps and how it is working now. It's really nice to be connected in this way to what's happening out at this moment, instead of reading a book or paper that was written ten years ago. Having a fresh knowledge flow is fun and it continues throughout the year.'