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Rui Meireles Reflects on his Experiences as an CS Ph.D. Student in the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program

Rui Meireles Reflects on his Experiences as an CS Ph.D. Student in the Carnegie Mellon|Portugal Program

Rui Meireles Rui Meireles is a student of Computer Science working in his Ph.D. through the Carnegie Mellon | Portugal Program. He learned about this program while looking into Master of Science programs in Portugal. Having earned his undergraduate degree and completed an internship as a software engineer, Meireles says that he wanted to further pursue his education at the graduate level.

“I realized I wanted to continue learning and not get into some routine work that would leave me unfulfilled,” said Rui Meireles.
He visited the website for the Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto and it was there noticed an announcement about a partnership between Universidade do Porto and Carnegie Mellon University.

“Like many things in life, it was a fortunate accident,” said Meireles. “A Ph.D. at one, if not the, best university in Computer Science seemed like one of those ‘once in a life time’ opportunities.” Through the Carnegie Mellon | Portugal Program, Meireles is currently involved in the research project Drive-In – Distributed Routing and Infotainment through Vehicular Inter-Networking, which is developing a way for messages to be routed between moving vehicles. “Think of two vehicles preventing an accident by exchanging trajectory information with one another,” said Meireles. The project team is working on extending the power of wireless communications to automobiles, allowing cars to exchange information with one another and the internet at large. After the successful completion of this project, Meireles is interesting in exploring other protocols and applications specific to this type of networks.

In conjuction with this project and others, Meireles has three co-advisors: one at Carnegie Mellon (Peter Steenkiste) and two at the Universidade do Porto (João Barros and Michel Ferreira). Their role is to mentor him “through the ups and downs of research.” Meireles explained that “they suggest problems for me to work on, help me when I am stymied by something and provide much valuable constructive criticism to make sure my work is as solid as can be.” Meireles says that his experience so far has been demanding but ultimately beneficial. Through his courses, he feels that that he has become an expert in his area of study and a versatile student in Computer Science.
“Also, everyone is very enthusiastic and motivated about their research,” said Meireles. “In the end, there are no magic tricks, it’s all hard work.”

March 2010