Tuesday, 29 August 2017

James Nicholls - Summer STEM Work Placament Student - Weekly Reports

The STEM placement students are sending us weekly blogs all about their experience in the world of work! 

Work experience is great and it provides students with many benefits whilst gaining skills and helping choose the right future career path for pupils. Having work experience on a Curriculum Vitae will make a person stand out to employers as they will notice they have motivation and a real passion for work. It will also help to boost a students confidence in themselves!

See how James is getting on with his STEM placement! 

Week One 

"The first week of my placement has been an interesting one, to say the least. In such a short space of time, I've learnt about relay attacks, a concept that was entirely unknown to me before, and researched how those in academia have dealt with these attacks to prevent fraudelent activity. I have also been given a brief tour of the University of Surrey Campus and been introduced to some of the other members of the research team there. I look forward to learning more and getting a chance to try some contactless cards next week."

Week Two 

"As promised last week, I got the opportunity to experiment with some contactless cards and readers. With the hardware and software I was given, I learnt how to write data onto cards and read the data that was stored on the cards during the manufacture process. Once I had discovered all the functions I could complete using the software, I wrote up my findings and reported back to my supervisor. Alongside this, I was given a paper which outlined the differences between two RFID tag technology and the technology in contactless cards. This helped to inspire some ideas for my solutions as both standards could be used simultaneously. Next week, I hope to improve on my current ideas." 

Week Three

"This week has been more problematic than the rest. I was given another card reader to try out but it took us the best part of 3 days to finally get it working! Fortunately, the time spent getting it to work didn't impact my research too significantly and I was able to finalise the ideas that I had started last week. After discussing them with my supervisor, we came to the conclusion that the final idea I proposed seemed the most likely to work. While the others could work, they required more equipment and seemed unreasonable to implement. During my final week, I will begin to write up my final report and make some changes to my solutions if necessary." 

Week Four 

"This last week has been a fairly relaxed one. Since I've completed most of my research and experimentation, all that was left to do was finalise my report drafts and implement some changes based on feedback from my supervisor. Luckily for me, I could do that from home so I didn't have to deal with a tedious train journey for a few days. On my final day, I met with my supervisor to review the final draft and gave her a box of cookies to show my thanks for the amazing opportunity she had given me. I have had so much fun completing this project and would wholeheartedly recommend it to any student interested in computer science." 

- James Nicholls

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