Iqon's New Zealand Blog

Part 1: Conclusion on studies

by on 20 December 2009, under Julekalender, New Zealand, UoA

I did not only go to New Zealand for the sole purpose of experiencing the country. I also went there to study. I will use the first part of the “julekalender” to wrap up my studies in New Zealand so we can move on to something more interesting afterwards. Therefore this post will be fairly short.

I think I did mention that my exams had gone OK and my grades seem to confirm that. As far as I know (once again wonderful Wikipedia has been an immense help) you can pass a course with nine different grades (the letters A, B, and C with +/- variations) and fail it with either two or six different grades: D and E – I’m not sure whether or not they use +’s and -’s for the failing grades. It seems like a lot to have six different ways to fail but I must admit that I have never really thought much about the grades in that end of the scale.

I ended receiving three A’s and one A+. I got the A+ in my only undergraduate course which corresponds pretty well with the fact that I’m regarded as a post graduate student in New Zealand since I’m on my fifth year of my studies. I think I’m supposed to be pretty happy about those grades, especially since I don’t feel like the workload during the semester has been very large (no books to read for any of the courses and not that many assignments to hand in). Only in the last weeks of the semester did I have to focus intensely on the studies.

Now that I am writing about my studies I want to mention that my bachelor thesis which I wrote two fellow students (Johan Musaeus Brrun and Martin Lundberg-Jensen) in the (Danish) spring of 2008 has been awarded the best bachelor thesis in 2009 of the big consultancy company McKinsey & Company. We couldn’t participate in the 2008 competition since we didn’t defend the thesis until late August 2008 which meant the thesis was considered as finished in the school year 08/09. Only theses students themselves had chosen to submit to the competition were considered but I still think it is a pretty nice award to receive. Besides the honor we also received 15,000 DKK (about 4000 NZD) to split between us. Unfortunately it was only Martin who could be present at the award ceremony since both Johan and I was studying abroad (Johan in Sydney, Australia, and I in Auckland, New Zealand, as some of you may have noticed at this point).

I promise that this will be the last I write about my studies for a while (unless people protest and demand more about that particular subject). Next post will be about my travels in New Zealand (finally!).

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  • The Container Positioning Problem « Iqon's New Zealand Blog

    [...] The last couple of years research has been done to try to solve the problem using OR methods. In 2008, Louise K. Sibbesen, a Danish Ph.D. student from DTU, wrote her doctoral thesis about the problem. Her approach was to use a so-called metaheuristic, a method in mathematical optimization which often results in “good” solutions without guaranteeing that the found solutions are also optimal. It is often acceptable to find just “good” solutions (measured in e.g. profit) to many of the problems which occur in real life. These solutions can still easily be better than what a human being would be able to find manually. Even if the solution is “only” on par with the ones that can be found manually there is often a certain value in having a computer program being able to compute these solutions automatically. Often it can be done much faster and the labor cost can be saved. In my bachelor thesis I (and two other people) developed a heuristic to help plan which teachers should be assigned which class to teach during a school year in the high schools around Denmark. Already before the thesis had been handed in, the heuristic had been implemented in the commercial product Lectio, used by the majority of Danish high schools. Later we were awarded the prize for best bachelor thesis at DTU by McKinsey & Co as I also mentioned on this blog last semester. [...]

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