Club CUBC Men
Year of Birth 1997
Hometown Warrington, UK
What are you studying? Psychology
What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? I get to compare Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems with children, in an effort to help inform contemporary AI research. This is cool because I’m finding out how current AI systems are both vastly superior to humans with some kinds of problems (e.g. Chess, Go) but vastly inferior to them on others (e.g. object perception). My PhD is interdisciplinary, so I work with psychologists, philosophers, and computer scientists, which is really interesting and makes each day different. I hope to continue in academia afterwards.
Future ambitions? I want to keep working in research and development, focusing on cognitive AI. Whether that is in a university or a company, I am unsure. However, I really enjoy teaching, so a university career is on the cards for sure.
How do you balance rowing and academic life? I plan my day the night before by making a list of everything I want to get done. I list even the smallest of tasks, and then make sure that I stick to that schedule.
When did you start rowing, and why? 2016, at King’s. I started because I like doing cardio and rowing was a new way to do that whilst being part of a great team. The reason I like doing cardio is that I like eating. Rowing offers a fantastic way to eat thousands of calories a day without looking like you do.
What was your first club? King’s College Boat Club.
What is your favourite part of rowing for Cambridge? The intensity of the programme at Cambridge is great. It’s really conducive to getting the best out of its athletes, by offering a well-rounded support structure. I like the balance between sport and academics that the programme fosters. There’s a symbiosis between rowing and work that means that you get the most out of both.
What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I learnt to row at my college, and rowed there intermittently (between some rather big injuries) for four years, until this year when I decided to give trialling a chance. My biggest achievement in rowing so far is making it this far with CUBC.
Have you raced in the Boat Race before? No.
Your favourite race so far? No Boat Race, but the Cambridge bumps campaigns are always fun. Day 3 of the 2019 May bumps campaign was really awesome. Even though we didn’t bump, it was our best row of the season.
Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I like to knock on wood for good luck. When there isn’t wood available, I touch my forehead once. I’m not sure why, and it hasn’t necessarily been effective, but it’s a Pascal’s wager kind of deal.
Your sporting idol? Mat Fraser/Tia-Clair Toomey (Crossfitters). I also like Ross Edgley and the Royal Marines, but I don’t know if they count.
If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? I would like to row with the Royal Marines, because I think they would have a great mentality to cope with the adversity that rowers face in terms of physical pain and dealing with difficult weather conditions. I think I could learn a lot from their mentality.
What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? I count to 20 and focus only on the numbers, which helps me handle difficult sessions by keeping me in the moment. If I start thinking about the distance or time I have left, then the challenge starts to feel insurmountable. If I count to 20 and focus on only getting through those 20 seconds, I know I’ll get through the session.
Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? I enjoy playing the alto sax and learning languages. I have mostly been doing Mandarin Chinese recently, which I have been learning for the past four years.
How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? I shout encouraging phrases to help psych up me and the lads.