Meet the Researcher: Xi Lan

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Xi is a CONFIRM PhD student based in Athlone Institute of Technology

“As a PhD student, I think what I enjoy most is that I can explore the direction I really like, have a goal, and then focus on it. “

Tell us a bit about your research...

At present, I am learning some algorithms about artificial intelligence systematically, and investigating whether multi-agent deep learning can be used as an approach for solving cooperative multi robot system challenges in smart manufacturing.
For example: The multi-robots have the ability to cooperate and collaborate with each other for pick-and-place tasks in the shared environment. Each robot picks up parts moving through its workspace and places them in the box and has to decide which to pick and which to let pass.

Could your research have any potential applications for future global crises, like COVID-19?

Artificial intelligence can do things in many directions. For example, for this COVID-19, we can use an optimized detection algorithm to accelerate CT image screening, apply intelligent disinfection robots to reduce the risk of infection of medical staff, improve the quality of mask production through visual detection technology and so on.

What did you study as an Undergraduate?

My undergraduate major is business and I studied in Beijing, China. After several years of work, I came to AIT and completed a level 8 course in computing and to improve my coding abilities!

What made you decide to go into research?

During my master’s degree in software (level 9) at AIT, I developed great interest in artificial intelligence and chose to make recommendation algorithm system as my graduation project. Although I didn’t have much knowledge about artificial intelligence in the courses during my master’s degree, I had a lot of communication with several doctoral supervisors with profound views on artificial intelligence due to my graduation project. In addition, I like robots very much, so I was determined to do research in the field of artificial intelligence.

What do you enjoy most about being a PhD Student?

As a PhD student, I think what I enjoy most is that I can explore the direction I really like, have a goal, and then focus on it. Achieving a goal at each stage is an accomplishment, and when a problem is identified and solved, the feeling of accomplishment is truly one of pride.

Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about a career or research in STEM?

If you are interested in scientific research and want to specialize in an area of interest, then a PhD can be a lot of fun!

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