Advanced Care Research Centre

Student Spotlight - Cameron Wilson

Cameron tells us about combining computer science and medicine, making friends at the Academy, and choosing a PhD that you're passionate about.

1. Name

Cameron Wilson

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2. What is your project title and who are your supervisors?

'Simulating and Diagnosing Cerebral Visual Impairments in the Ageing Population'. My supervisors are Professor Ian Underwood of the School of Engineering and Professor Baljean Dhillon of the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences.

3. What is your background?

I did my undergraduate and Masters degree at the University of St Andrews in Computer Science, I came straight to the Academy from graduating. I had happened to do my Masters Dissertation on Cerebral Visual Impairments and that got me fascinated with this field and this led me to the Academy.

4. What drew you to the Academy?

The Academy is all about interdisciplinary research and my project is taking my Computer Science background and applying it in a medical context, there are not many places that can offer interdisciplinary research opportunities like the academy can, and so it was perfect for me.

5. How did you find your taught year?

I found it very interesting, I made some great friends, and it was a nice way to get acquainted with the city and the University itself.

6. What is your PhD about and why does it matter to you?

My PhD is looking at Cerebral Visual Impairments, this is when the parts of the brain that relate to your vision are damaged or dysfunctional. This can then affect your vision in many different ways, from reducing your visual field to affecting your ability to recognise faces. I am now taking my Computer Science background to work with an advanced extended reality headset to design a battery of tests to tests and quantify many different cerebral visual impairments, and then to show others what the different cerebral visual impairments look like.

I find it very interesting because, despite being quite common, it is very unknown and there is a lot I feel I can contribute to this field.

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7. What’s something that’s surprised you about your experience so far?

The camaraderie of the cohort was a very pleasant surprise, we are all from very different backgrounds but all became fast friends and it has definitely been a highlight of my time here.

8. Any tips for those interested in a PhD?

The best advice I can give people interested in a PhD is to make sure you are doing it because you are genuinely interested in the topic, not just because you want a PhD, it may seem obvious but it is important to consider.

Asides from that, not stressing too much about your project is also important, you must take time to do all the fun things that are offered at the university for your own sanity and happiness!

9. Twitter/LinkedIn/Github/any other professional platforms you would like to share?