Cover image shows Magnus (left) and CARES PhD student Markus Hofmeister (right) hiking in Malaysia and pointing to Singapore in the distance.
At the end of my bachelor studies in cognitive science at Osnabrück University, I had the opportunity to go to Cambridge CARES for 3 months through a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
I found the idea of the World Avatar project (TWA) very exciting and I was able to develop a forecasting agent which has been included into it. The initial goal of my work was to compare new Deep Learning based forecasting methods with traditional forecasting methods on different datasets. I developed a Temporal Fusion Transformer model that has been incorporated into TWA. I improved their previous forecasting benchmark for a district heating system.
Additionally, I extended the open-source darts library to include a method for analysing the attention weights of transformers, making methods that were previously black-box methods interpretable. All administrative arrangements were taken care of so I could really focus on my research.
While I was younger than all the other PhD students and postdocs, I felt very welcomed and supported in every way from the beginning. The daily exchanges over lunch or in the evening at the beach bars were really engaging. I was included in weekend activities like hiking in Malaysia since the first week, and we even went on an exciting diving trip to Sipadan (pictured below).
The result of my research stay at Cambridge CARES was many new friends and valuable experiences, both personally and professionally. I am grateful to CARES for this opportunity and can’t wait to come back sometime.
Magnus Müller, Cognitive Science Student at Osnabrück University. The World Avatar is an ongoing project within the C4T JPS programme that intends to capture the idea of representing every aspect of the real world in a digital “avatar” world.
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