Becoming a developer to make research a reality

Thanks to her master's degree in AI and her internship in the Genomics & health informatics group, Colombine Verzat discovered that she particularly enjoyed implementing research in applied projects. We look back on her journey and how this master's degree allowed her to highlight what she really wanted to bring to the world of research.

In collaboration with Canton du Valais and UniDistance, Idiap has set up a unique program mixing distance studies and work experience. This master's degree in artificial intelligence makes it possible to meet a need for workforce not only within the institute, but also among its industrial partners. Companies wishing to integrate tools using artificial intelligence, but lacking qualified people, can thus hire a student who will be supported by Idiap and its recognized researchers. Students motivated to develop their AI skills can therefore enter the professional world and take part in several concrete projects.

Colombine discovered Idiap thanks to this master's degree in AI. After graduating from EPFL in bioengineering, she was looking for a position which matched her skills and the technical aspect she wanted. This is how she started the AI master's degree with the objective of developing key technical skills, which seem essential to her in today's job market, and combine them with her previously acquired knowledge. She was able to directly use what she learned in a concrete project within the Biosignal processing group at Idiap. This work experience allowed her to discover the institute and its different research groups, and made her want to stay to continue after the master as a research assistant in the Genomics & health informatics group. She could then apply the knowledge gained during her master's project at a technical level (Python, project management, reproducibility) in another project related to biology.

It was during this internship that she realized she greatly appreciated the implementation aspect of research and the application of AI principles to different fields. The next logical step was to apply to join the Research & Development Engineers group, where she currently works. Colombine can now put her skills acquired during the master's degree at the service of various research projects from Idiap and its external partners.

Olivier Bornet, head of the Research & Development Engineers group, is delighted with the arrival of experienced people within his team: "The master's degree in artificial intelligence has made it possible to train several engineers and others will follow. Colombine is an engineer whom we know and who knows the institute and I am glad that she was able to join my team. This program allows us to be in contact with people who are immediately operational and efficient.”

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