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What others say - Sebastiaan Ram

The entire process was really nicely designed. I could do my own thing and got great help and guidance

Sebastiaan, a Master’s student in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, knew he wanted to spend several months abroad during his studies. When he heard about the Honours Programme Beyond the Frontiers, the prospect of spending time abroad immediately attracted his attention. With the help of his supervisor at the University, he contacted labs in several countries, including Canada, Denmark, and Spain. “In Spain, they were working on a topic that I find really interesting: the development of dementia.”

It turned out to be possible for Sebastiaan do his Master’s research internship abroad and extend it with the Honours Programme, allowing him to complete a five-month internship at the Computational Intelligence Group at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. During those five months, Sebastiaan worked on models that can predict the development of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), the strongest indicator for the development of dementia. Sebastiaan says about his research: “Preventing dementia is extremely difficult, but it is possible, with the help of statistical models, to see whether a person can adjust their lifestyle to reduce the risks. Because I was able to extend my internship through the Radboud Honours Academy, I was able to develop and extend a risk analysis model so that it could also be used to make predictions. This model can eventually also be put into practice.”

In addition to spending lots of time at the office with professors and colleagues in Madrid, Sebastian also had plenty of free time. Sebastian explains: “I lived in a very international house, so we were all in the same boat. There we were, suddenly, with an empty schedule apart from the internship, so we could schedule all sorts of things together. I filled my free time with fun trips to lots of different places: Porto, Lisbon, Valencia, Bilbao, and southern Spain.”

Sebastian has since returned from Madrid, but the project continues. Sebastian explains: “The research group in Madrid is highly motivated and they really want to understand dementia. I would like to publish the entire research study with the professors in the form of a scientific paper. I’ve already submitted an abstract for a poster presentation at the Alzheimer’s conference in Amsterdam.”