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Dr Matic Horvat (G12) completed a PhD project working on the problem of machine translation between languages.
Originally from Ljubljana, Slovenia, Matic first arrived at Churchill in 2012 to study for an MPhil in Advanced Computer science and immediately felt at home in the Churchill’s College community. However, whilst his MPhil was funded by a Slovenian government fund it took time to secure funding from three different sources before he could finally take up his PhD. Churchill College was the first to offer financial support and this proved to be crucial in helping secure additional funding from the EPRC and Qualcomm.
Matic believes that without the crucial offer of support from Churchill it would not have been possible to take up his PhD. He has also received small grants from Churchill ranging from £200–£300 to enable him to advance his learning and share knowledge by attending the EACL Conference (European Association for Computational Linguistics) in 2014 and the IWCS (International Workshop on Computational Semantics) in 2015.
When asked ‘what does Churchill give you that another College might not have done’ he is clear about the areas in which he feels the College excels:
"Churchill offers a brilliant international environment that is forward thinking, not mired in the past, for people from all over the world to learn and share experiences. I also really like Churchill’s MCR community – it really makes the College community work. A College may have wonderful facilities but if there is no-one organising the community and making events happen it will not feel like a real community and I think that Churchill MCR works really well in that respect."
A highlight of his time at Churchill was the discovery of rowing when he went on a ‘try rowing day’ and fell in love with the motion of the boat moving across the water. He rowed for the Churchill M2 boat and won blades in Mays as the co-captain. Towards the end of his time at the College he had to scale back on his rowing to concentrate on his PhD but he continued to row recreationally and also coached novices during the summer. Matic also enjoyed helping the MCR by serving as the computing officer on the MCR Committee in the first year of his PhD.
Looking ahead, Matic plans to develop the role he has with a start-up in London called Cytora which ingests news articles each day to extract risk modelling data that is of interest to insurance companies and supply chain providers.