Seven Questions with... Jeremy Lo Ying Ping

This week we’re joined by Jeremy Lo Ying Ping. Jeremy recently graduated with an MEng degree in computer science, and is now the lead organiser of ClimateHack.AI. Here, he chats to us about tackling climate change through machine learning and his interest in linguistics.

What are you studying, why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future’

I recently graduated with an MEng degree in computer science, having thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCL. I am incredibly passionate about technology and the positive impact it can have in people’s lives, and I love immersing myself into software engineering and machine learning to build creative solutions to interesting problems, so studying computer science was the perfect choice for me.

Along with Louis de Wardt, I have since co-founded DOXA AI : a startup in UCL’s Hatchery incubator programme that helps organisations host engaging AI competitions to connect with communities of machine learning enthusiasts and solve pressing challenges, with a particular focus on those that use AI for social and environmental good.

Through the Hatchery programme, we have been fortunate to benefit from the support of UCL Innovation & Enterprise through mentorship and advice, business training workshops on everything from accountancy and law to negotiation skills, and access to workspace at UCL’s entrepreneurship hub, BaseKX. It has also been great to be part of a network of startups in the same cohort.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen or got involved with while at UCL’

Two years ago, I was involved in running ClimateHack.AI 2022, which was an international machine learning competition that brought together students at 25 universities across the UK, the US and Canada to advance solar power generation forecasting research aimed at cutting carbon emissions in Great Britain by up to 100 kilotonnes per year.

It was an absolutely phenomenal experience, as well as an incredible opportunity for the students who took part to learn, meet like-minded people and use their machine learning and data science skills to contribute positively to tackling climate change as part of an international student community.

In 2023, I became the lead organiser of ClimateHack.AI  and, benefitting from the support of UCL Grand Challenges , we have just succeeded in hosting the competition for the second time with a challenge centred on near-term, site-level solar power yield forecasting. Last month, we held in-person finals at UCL and Harvard University , where the top teams each presented their most successful experimental approaches, and I am optimistic that the research contributions of the competition will help further advance the work of the London-based non-profit organisation, Open Climate Fix.

Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL’

As a student, I used to enjoy studying on the eighth floor of the Malet Place Engineering Building. It was a nice, quiet space to work in, and on a clear, sunny day, the views over London would be spectacular.

Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:

London is a truly wonderful city, and I have loved living here since coming to UCL. There is so much to see, visit and do, but if I had to pick just three activities, they would be to:

  1. Enjoy London’s parks and gardens, especially during the summer, with Kew Gardens being a personal favourite;
  2. Make the most of London’s diverse food scene, with so many great restaurants and markets spread throughout the city; and
  3. Spend time exploring London’s excellent museums and galleries.

If you could study a different subject, what would it be and why’

Had I not taken computer science, I would have loved to study linguistics. I am really fascinated by language, how it evolves over time, how we use it to communicate and express ideas, and how it relates to culture and people’s identities. I am interested in everything from phonology and the sociolinguistics of accents to the internet linguistics of how people communicate online.

Who inspires you and why’

Ever since ClimateHack.AI launched for the first time in January 2022, I have been really inspired by our participants, and it has been an amazing experience to meet and get to know so many people of all skill levels who are passionate about machine learning and who care about using AI for good, particularly during the in-person competition finals in March 2022 on the UK side and in April 2024 on the US side!
In particular, seeing the teams from all the different universities present their research contributions and machine learning experiments - often resulting from months of commitment and dedication - to the judging panel at the end of each competition has been especially inspiring and motivating to me, and knowing that the findings will be helpful to Open Climate Fix really makes it worthwhile.

What would it surprise people to know about you’

As a mixed-race person who was born and brought up in Lancashire in Northern England, it often surprises people to find out that I am of French and Chinese Mauritian descent, but it definitely shows up in my love of food!
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