CompSci student awarded PhD scholarship

17 May 2024
Nicholas Leisegang
17 May 2024

The Department of Computer Science is delighted to announce that Nicholas Leisegang has been awarded a Faculty of Science PhD scholarship.

Originally from KwaZulu-Natal, Nicholas moved to Cape Town 2018 to start his academic career, however he did not initially pursue computer science, but instead took mathematics for both his Bachelors and Masters degrees. "While studying logic in a pure maths setting, I became increasingly interested in the uses of logic in computer science, and when I heard about Prof. Meyer’s research unit I was immediately fascinated by the types of logics and their AI applications which he works on. I also thought that the postgrad students and academics who I engaged with in the department before signing up seemed like really nice people to work with," said Nicholas.

With an interest in various different types of formal logics that occur within the context of Artificial Intelligence, Nicholas is fascinated by Defeasible Reasoning, Standpoint Logics, and Description logics, and their applications in explainable AI and large database systems. Working under the supervision of Professor Tommie Meyer, co-director of the Artificial Intelligence Research Unit (AIRU), Nicholas hopes to work with other international academics, in particular Prof Sebastian Rudolph at the computational logic research unit at the Technical University of Dresden.

For students starting out, Nicholas advises  being actively engaged with your work and with other students/researchers around you. "I’ve found this is the thing that’s kept me most motivated and helped me discover fields of study that I am passionate about."

The Artificial Intelligence Research Unit (AIRU) aims to provide research and thought leadership to academia, industry, government and civil society, so that they can leverage AI to improve people’s lives. AIRU is based in the Department of Computer Science in the Faculty of Science at the University of Cape Town, and is led by Prof Tommie Meyer and Prof Deshen Moodley.