MSc student placements with local industry

15 June 2017

Our MSc programmes' industry-based dissertation projects enhance our students’ skills and employability by tackling a real-world project, gaining workplace experience, exploring potential career paths and building relationships with local companies.



Mallzee is a shopping platform that allows users to indicate items they like or dislike. The latest version of the app also allows users to buy an item with a few more clicks. 

While users can choose from a wide range of products, retailers and designers have to deal with increasingly selective customers. Mallzee wants to show its users the products they are more likely to prefer, while also giving retailers useful information about customers’ preferences so they can design suitable products. 

With the help of two MSc students from EPCC, Mallzee is tackling both problems. 

Every swipe collected from hundreds of thousands of customers, plus the attributes of the item that was liked/disliked and the attributes of each customer is added to the database that will be used for both projects. 

In the first project, Machine Learning techniques will help predict the number of sales at an individual product level, helping the retailers in their business decisions. In the second project, a recommender is being built to enable Mallzee to show customers products they are more likely to find appealing and to buy.

Optos Plc

Optos Plc is a local Nikon company that produces scanning devices that create high-resolution images of the retina, which are used to diagnose eye diseases.

Optos’ devices use FPGAs as an interface between the device and a CPU, and the FPGA performs image pre-processing while the data are accessible to it. To take advantage of the benefits that GPUs bring to image processing, such as core count and high bandwidth memory, the pre-processed data are transferred to a GPU.

Our MSc student is working on a project that aims to produce means of transferring the data directly from the FPGA to the GPU, without going via the CPU. Although the project is just starting, an initial exploration suggests the approach will be to create drivers for an FGPA to write the data straight to the GPU using remote memory access.

The overall intention is to reduce the time between the initial scan and a health-care professional viewing the image: the longer-term aim is to reduce this time sufficiently that the practitioner can scroll through several images ‘while the patient is still in the chair’.

The project is being undertaken by an international student with an undergraduate degree in Information Systems Engineering. During the taught part of the MSc he gained the programming skills required to complete this project. Working on this project means he will gain insight into ground-breaking medical technologies, thereby increasing his employability.

Find out more

Image shows Adarsh Janakiraman – a graduate of the MSc in HPC with Data Science – receiving the 2015/16 Class Medal for his industry-based dissertation. Adarsh was based in Mallzee, a company we are working with again for this year’s MSc.