Department of Informatics

Student perspectives

Anirban, on Sussex and his research career

Anirban Basu

'Having completed my Bachelors degree in Computer Systems Engineering at Sussex, I decided to enrol into the PhD programme in the Department of Informatics. My PhD supervisors were critical yet constructive and encouraging, and our research group had a very easy-going environment for student-faculty interaction. During my doctoral studies, I also engaged in paid research work within our group with funding from the EPSRC.

Post-PhD, during a short visit to Japan on a conference, I landed a post-doctoral job at a university based in Tokyo. I worked in the area of privacy preserving data mining for cloud computing for a large Japanese government funded project. Alongside, I kept working on research projects in computational trust and peer-to-peer computing with my PhD supervisor, Ian Wakeman, and his research group at Sussex in the capacity of a Visiting Research Fellow. I also developed a number of international collaborations with industry and academia during that period, which I continue to work with.

Shortly after my post-doc, I joined KDDI R&D Laboratories, which is the research division of a leading Japanese telecom provider -- KDDI. I work in their Information Security group, focusing on topics related to trust, privacy and security in the context of cloud computing.'

Anirban Basu
PhD in Informatics, 2010

Taras, on choosing Sussex for his PhD

Taras Zagibalov

'Three and a half years of studying for my research degree at Sussex, and I must say the experience has been one of the best of my life.

My international sponsor (Ford Foundation) allowed me the choice of studying anywhere in the world. I chose an English-speaking country because of my language skills, and the UK over the US because of its “authenticity” of the English language as well as the shorter length of study for a research degree (3-4 years on average in the UK, as opposed to 5-9 years in the US). There is also the close proximity of the UK to Russia, rather than New Zealand or Australia (the UK seems like “next door” when you consider the distances involved in Russia)!

Why did I choose to study at Sussex? The most important factor for a prospective research student is an institution's academic strength and reputation in your field of study. It is also very important to have a good supervisor: when I first made contact with my future academic supervisor at Sussex I received a very prompt and friendly response and was able to discuss all the plans of my research before other universities had even replied to me.

I have enjoyed the opportunities to develop my academic skills through my weekly progression meetings with my academic supervisor and by taking part in numerous research seminars. My academic department of Informatics also helped me to obtain grants to take part in many academic external and Sussex events such as conferences and summer schools.

Of course the city of Brighton is a unique place in its own right: it is situated only 80 km from London and near the sea – the best of both worlds! You don't have to struggle your way through the crowded streets of the capital during the rush hour, but at the same time you're close enough to go in to London for a day of conferences or sight-seeing. But Brighton is much more than just “being near London” – it's a cosmopolitan city, but pleasant and calm with the seaside, green spaces, plenty of restaurants, clubs, pubs, etc. London's Heathrow airport nearby takes me only 3 hours to get to Moscow.'

Taras Zagibalov
Informatics PhD student