Alina Tairli


  • Row Image
Animated Icon
Animated Icon

I’m currently studying at the University of Adelaide in my third year, and I am doing two degrees: Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences and Bachelor of Laws. I am currently studying an Artificial Intelligence major as part of my mathematical and computer science degree; however, I also take some subjects in cyber security, and have an internship with the Law School to complete some legal research in the cyber area.

Outside of studying, I am interested in many different things! I play volleyball, participate in theatre productions, and do some crafting on the side (like embroidery, sewing, crocheting, and even creating miniatures). Whenever I have time, I also like to snowboard, do some pistol shooting or archery.

I think [the Curious Minds program] has had quite a bit of impact. Firstly, it helped me to develop my interest in computer science, to the point that I do not think I would be doing my computer science degree without it. It introduced me to coding, which is the aspect I enjoy the most in my degree. It also helped me to be more confident and, I guess, curious, about everything around me. I definitely had to get out of my shell a lot during the camps, and the mentoring program pushed me that little bit further in advancing my confidence. In general, the program introduced me to new concepts and ideas, which made me ask more questions about the world around me and made me explore new things.

What made you choose Artificial Intelligence as a major? Is there an aspect of this field you’re particularly interested in?

I think what made me choose Artificial intelligence as my major, and concurrently the field I am most interested in, are self-driving cars. I’ve had a particular fascination with them ever since year 11, when I completed a small research project about the concepts underpinning autonomous driving in my physics class. Sitting in the back of a Tesla demonstrating its autonomous abilities pushed that interest even further. Besides that, I am also interested in the ethics and governability of artificial intelligence, be it self-driving cars and the decisions they make, be it forensic research help, or even full-fledged humanoid robots.

Lastly, have you had much thought about what you want to do after university?

I have had quite a bit of thought, as everyone keeps asking me how I’m going to combine my degrees! My go-to answer (and the answer I will give now) is a legal consultant in a big tech company, such as Google, Tesla, or similar. I do aim high, but I think the combination of my degrees is the perfect pathway for something like that. It would be fascinating to explore and advise on the legal implications of autonomous anything, be it self-driving cars, apps utilising artificial intelligence, or anything similar.

This interview was developed in partnership with 3M