A Week in the Life of Kieran McHugh

Kieran McHugh 2017

What is Kieran studying?

Kieran is in his final year studying the MEng in Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence.

During the summer vacation, Kieran completed his third internship with Skyscanner, and now works for the company part time.

Kieran is currently completing his final year project in Artificial Intelligence, using neural networks to design a flight price forecasting tool for Skyscanner.

Where is Kieran from?

Kieran is from Liverpool. He lives on campus and shares a flat in Constantine College with people from the UK, China, Estonia, Canada and Cyprus.

“I get along really well with my flatmates. We go out all the time for pub quizzes or drinks in town, and we all eat together when we can. Having a flat with such a great range of nationalities and subjects is fantastic. Three other people in my flat do Computer Science too, which is handy for helping each other out with our work.” 


This Monday, I visited the Skyscanner offices in Edinburgh to catch up with my manager and the friends I made over my summer internship.

It was a very early start, but York is ideally placed to catch a direct train there. Edinburgh is a really nice city, and I find it’s similar to York in a lot of ways.

I spend the journey catching up on my emails and writing out some of my final year project dissertation. While in the office, I have back-to-back meetings to make the most of my visit. When I get back, I’m ready for bed!


Thankfully teaching doesn’t start until 10:30am today, so I have some time to get organised before heading over to my lecture on Quantum Information Processing.

Being taught by one of the pioneers of such an incredible field is a surreal experience. We sat an exam a couple of weeks back and get our results today, and I am pleasantly surprised by the results!

There are fewer lectures in fourth year than other years, so I am finished by 12:30pm and head back home for lunch. I spend the rest of the day working on my final year project.


This morning I have a lecture for one of my other modules on Privacy and Security.

We discussed methods used by criminals to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks using compromised internet-connected devices, and approaches to preventing them.  

Wednesday afternoons are generally free for everybody to take part in societies and sports, so I drag myself over to the gym at York Sport Village to do some exercise!


Today is probably the busiest day of the week, as we’ve got several practical sessions.

In my Quantum session, we go over the content from the lectures and practice some example questions to help us prepare for the exam. The group is small, so we can discuss with the lecturer anything we don’t understand.

In my Privacy and Security session, we visit the software labs to implement a technique called Steganography: embedding secret codes into image files. The PhD students helping out in the lab tell us about their research, which I find very interesting.


This morning I have a one-to-one meeting with my supervisor to catch up on the progress I’ve made on my project. He reads over my work and offers some feedback on the best way to move forward.

After my meeting, I head over to an exam feedback session, where I have the opportunity to check over my exam paper and read the comments left by the marker. It’s useful to be able to see where I went wrong so that I can improve for next time.


This Saturday I’m presenting to Computer Science applicants at one of our interview days: something I have been involved with since I started in first year! I do a quick presentation to everybody on student life, accommodation, university facilities and student support.

At lunch, it’s great to talk to applicants and their parents, and I spend the afternoon telling different groups about my final year project.

In the evening, my flatmates and I head over to West campus to take part in a University Challenge-style quiz. Much to our surprise, we ended up in third place - so we have a drink to celebrate!


Today I’ve got lots of chores to catch up on, and head out to town to do my shopping for the coming week.

I’ve managed to make some good progress on work, so I afford myself a break before carrying on with some more work tomorrow. I’ve been learning the violin, so I also spend a few hours practising. I must be making some progress because my flatmates don’t need earplugs any more!


Kieran McHugh & Flatmates 2017