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Lal Tops In Aussie Computer Science Research Award

Lal Tops In Aussie Computer Science Research Award
Australasian Computing Education Conference Best Student Paper recipient, Shahil Lal.
February 03
11:00 2017

 

A 19-year-old Fijian has wowed participants at Australia’s premier event for Computer Science researchers by outwitting PhD students in his research paper.

Shahil Lal received the Best Student Paper during the Australasian Computing Education Conference in Melbourne, Australia, on January 31.

The engineering student was competing against the likes of those studying PhD who were from Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America.

Mr Lal’s research paper was titled ‘Performance and Consistency in Learning to Programme’.

“I love inventing and creating things,” the former Mahatma Ghandi Memorial School student said.

“I’m hoping to create something that will help make Fiji or maybe even the world a better place to live in, just like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

“I am so humbled with this award and I didn’t expect to win it because I am young, competing with PhD students – those who had more experience than me.

“Honestly I didn’t expect to win it amongst such highly distinguished academics.”

Mr Lal is currently pursuing a five-year double degree in Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering and a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Sydney.

He is now in his second year.

Mr Lal’s winning research paper was possible through the assistance of his supervisor and fellow co-author Alireza Ahadi of the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

The research paper focused on analysing student performances in an introductory programming course.

Mr Lal said his passion for physics and innovation led him to take up engineering while commerce on the other hand “increases my chance of employability”.

And with a schedule and workload for a student as such, Mr Lal says time management is key.

After his studies, he hopes to come home and contribute to new developments and more broadly to the economy.

“I am planning to publish another paper,” he said.

Mr Lal was also said to be the youngest person in Fiji to have his work appear on Google Scholar.

 

Role model

He thanked his parents and sister for their endless support towards his passion especially his father who has been the reason he strives for the best.

His father is Pradeep Lal, the Vodafone Fiji chief executive officer/managing director.

“My father came from a very poor family but through hard work and dedication, he managed to become successful. I look up to him,” he said.

He advised youths that success can be achieved through hard work and dedication.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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