Dr Daphne Tuncer
Dr Tuncer is a Research Fellow in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London. She works in the Large Scale Data & Systems (LSDS) Group and her research interests are in the areas of data science for sustainable mobility, information and communication infrastructure management, and network management automation.
How would you describe your research to a 12-year-old?
"I am using mathematics to understand how a better Internet can help more people start using vehicles that pollute less. I am testing my ideas using computer tools and programming. I write about the results I obtain and share these ideas with many people in many different countries."
What aspects of your job and/or research do you most enjoy?
"It is great being able to find solutions to problems that impact our daily life. I love having the freedom to think about how to make things work better. I can communicate with people everywhere in the world and I can share my ideas and learn from others on a daily basis. Every day is so different, it is really enjoyable."
Tell us a little about your academic journey so far... how did you become a computer scientist?
"I am not a typical computer scientist. I studied Telecommunications engineering myself. I discovered that my research can help computer science and that computer science can help my research, so I work with computer scientists. We have a lot to learn from each other. Why did I get interested in studying Telecommunications engineering? There is a funny fact about that! When in high school, departments of different Universities came to showcase what they were doing. People from the Telecommunications engineering department were truly friendly and passionate and this had a very positive impact on me."
What impact do you hope your research will have on society?
"I hope that eventually we will all realise that new technologies are just a tool and not a solution to everything. I want my research to be aligned with the reality of life."
What do you think is the next big thing in your field?
"New technology developments need to (re)align with the expectations of societies. The next big thing will be (I hope at least) social and ethics. As computer scientists, we have to work with other fields - it is crucial! We cannot make random assumptions."
What do you wish you’d known when you started your career?
"I am actually happy I did not know anything at that time! More seriously, I would have loved to hear perspectives from people doing research but coming from different paths."
What are you most proud of?
"Well, I am most proud of the fact that I can think about very complex problems, develop solutions and share my knowledge in a language that was not mine to begin with."
What is one stereotype or misconception you’d like to dispel about your job and/or industry?
"Female computer scientists don’t all like spending their entire life coding, playing video games, and sitting 24 hours per day in front of a computer. Computer science is not only about coding. Any industry comes with computer jobs nowadays anyway."
Do you have any tips or recommendations for students who would like to follow in your footsteps?
"There is not a single typical career path. And the person that knows you the best, is you. That something you should always remember. If you feel interested in research, don’t hesitate to give it a go, for example by trying a short term experience to start with. You will never know before you try."
Please share an interesting/surprising fact about yourself...
I love karaoke!