This week we meet UCL alumnus Yoshua Yee, who won the Royal Geographical Society’s Bob Woods Prize in 2019. Here, Joshua chats to us about his experience studying at the UCL Centre of Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), which he represented in California earlier this year.
What are you studying, why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future?
I pursued the MSc in Smart Cities & Urban Analytics at the UCL Centre of Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA). It’s an exciting time to be engaged in this field of study given the rise of digital technology, data and advancements in analytical methods, which have only emerged in the recent age, to better comprehend and address perennial issues confronting our urban environments. I currently work as an urban planner back home in Singapore.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?
Back in January I was given the opportunity to represent CASA and present a paper at a conference in UC-Berkeley, California. The conference was centred around the topics of Neighbourhood Change and Machine Learning, which were well aligned to the focuses of my dissertation. It was an extremely enriching experience, undergirded by a healthy exchange of ideas and perspectives.
Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL?
I enjoyed using the meeting spots and rooms in the Student Centre for studying and working with project mates. These spaces are not so ’hidden’ and are in fact well utilised during term time. However, they are readily available and are very conducive for catching up on studies and with friends during the out-of-term periods.
Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:
I would certainly recommend going to the parks around London, such as Regents Park and Primrose Hill to enjoy the greenery, fresh air and sights around. Getting to these parks via a stroll along the canal whenever there’s nice weather can also be an enjoyable experience in itself.
The food markets around the city are also a ’must visit’ to indulge in a wide range of good food (at reasonable prices)!
If you were Provost for the day what one thing would you do?
I would perhaps set aside a portion of our annual budget for students to be able to participate in co-curricular activities (e.g. hackathons, conferences, industry-organised workshops, etc.) that can complement their academic development and boost their acquisition of practical skillsets.
Who inspires you and why?
I’m very much inspired by the faculty members at CASA. I highly regard and hope to embody their persistence in pushing existing limits and driving innovation in ways that enable us to better understand cities and contribute to new urban solutions.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
Well, I’m not sure if it would surprise people - but I have not step foot into a fast food restaurant for the past 15 years!