I love complex and challenging problems: Djura’s story
"Previously, my work involved using similar technology in commercial domains, like banks and online media. Now I can apply my skills in various scientific domains and I love it."
I studied artificial intelligence because I always liked working with computers, but also the interdisciplinary nature of the study attracted me. I never regretted this choice and I’ve been involved in this field in some way or another ever since.
I started working at the eScience Center in 2020 and I’d had my eye on the eScience Center for a long time. I even applied a few years ago but didn’t get in! Previously, my work involved using similar technology in commercial domains, like banks and online media. Now I can apply my skills in various scientific domains and I love it.
I’m currently mainly working on the CARRIER project, which is one of our big data and health projects. Among other things, this project aims to analyze which medical and socio-economic factors make someone prone to cardiovascular disease. My role is to provide the infrastructure to do privacy-preserving data analysis. Researchers should be able to do their analyses while being unable to look at the raw, privacy-sensitive data.
As Research Software Engineers, we’re always looking at ways to make our solutions more generally applicable.
Apart from working on amazing projects here I’m also involved in teaching digital skills, like the parallel Python workshop, and in organizing events to socialize with colleagues. I love complex and challenging problems, new technologies, helping out others and the enthusiasm of my colleagues.
I have a lot of hobbies, and one of them is playing dungeons and dragons. My role is to lead the game while my friends imagine themselves to be a group of adventurers. We’re playing out a story in our collective imagination. I could tell you all about it but the story has gotten pretty convoluted at this point!
– Djura Smits, Research Software Engineer.