Computer Laboratory

Candidate’s manifestos

The following candidates have agreed to stand for election as student representatives on Faculty Board. They are listed below in alphabetical order, together with more information on each, and their manifesto.

We need to elect one candidate each to represent the undergraduate, and M.Phil students. Accordingly, students from these categories should read the manifestos of their representatives carefully before continuing to vote. Please note that the representatives for the Ph.D. students is standing unopposed.

Andrei Finaru

  • Undergraduate
  • Proposed by: Wai-Wai Ng
  • Seconded by: Vlad Gavrila

Hi! My name is Andrei Finaru, and I’d like to be your Faculty rep this year. You should vote for me because I will be available at the most random times of day (or night) to listen to you, whether you want to submit a proposal or just talk in general, subject-related or otherwise. Of course, I have a few ideas of my own, and I will try to make these happen, but the crucial thing is this: I will consult as many of you as I reasonably can whenever I intend to bring something big to the table. You may think “oh, what big deal can we possibly achieve”, but our 200 voices can speak rather loudly. And when you condense them into a single structured speech, the odds of making an impact become remarkably high. Needless to say, I will also try to deal with any problems that you may encounter, so that we can together help eliminate any undesired issues affecting people taking the course.

About me: I’m a first year Computer Scientist at Trinity. I enjoy playing the guitar, deep philosophical thoughts and grumpy cat (preferably combined). Also, when I’m not on my quest to find the meaning of the number 42, I sometimes code.

[TL;DR] I will bring up major points in meetings after consulting many students (think >150 people). Also I’m a good listener, often available at peculiar times. Vote for me!

Jevan Powar

  • Undergraduate
  • Proposed by: Artjoms Iskovs
  • Seconded by: Petar Velickovic

Hi, I’m Jovan and I’m a second year. Why should you vote for me instead of one of the hundreds of other CompScis vying for your attention? A combination of my excellent people skills, plethora of ideas, and the fact that I’ll fight harder for other people’s ideas than an Imperial Stormtrooper.

At school, I was a member of the sixth form council, so I’m no stranger to educational bureaucracy. I was also the head of the Computer Society, tasked with organising events, and charismatically leading meetings. So when it comes to liaising with a weary CompSci teaching body, I’m your man.

My ideas for improving the teaching programme include finding a way to keep 1B students fresh during the daily three hour lecture block. Sitting in the same lecture theatre for so long is detrimental to attention, as I can see from the state of my classmates around midday. I propose to remedy this with interludes such as Larry Paulson’s popular Dilbert breaks.

I believe practical sessions can be made to run more smoothly by removing the ban some demonstrators have placed on stretching, asking them to check that tiny bit more thoroughly when it appears someone is raising their hand for help. I’ll also look into improving Verilog compilation times, and I’d like to discuss the possibility of a system to give feedback on tickers.

I hope you’ll choose me to be your representative, I believe I can be a genuine help to you all. Stormtrooper TK-421

Neil Satra

  • Undergraduate
  • Proposed by: Matthew Huxtable
  • Seconded by: Kittinun Phatpanichot

Hi! Having been elected student rep to the Staff Student Consultative Forum for 2 consecutive years, I am the candidate best prepared for the bigger responsibility of representing us CompScis at the Faculty Board. As a third year student, not only do I know the problems you face at the moment, but also the problems you’ll encounter in future components of your course. You have the choice to have issues reported by a Faculty Board rep in your own year group after you experience them, or to have me tackle them before you even face them.

My experience on the SSCOF also gives me the benefit of knowing the Cambridge bureaucracy well so that I can understand which issues are more appropriate at the SSCOF level, such as lecture formats and practicals session policies, and which issues actually need to be brought up at the higher level of the Faculty Board.

Through paying keen attention to classmates’ feedback, as well as having experience with dealing with the faculty, we in the SSCOF were able to finally convince lecturers to upload solution notes to past exam papers online. I’m sure with your help, we can accomplish similar goals at the Faculty Board.

Faraz Ahmed

  • M. Phil
  • Proposed by: Rudolf Stahl
  • Seconded by: Jean Maillard

My name is Faraz Ahmed and I am studying the MPhil Advanced Computer Science course at the Computer Laboratory.

The quality of education is possibly the single most important factor in a student’s decision to study at Cambridge University. From my experience at the Computer Laboratory and the MPhil course, we can certainly make improvement and I want to be an active part of that improvement process. I want to improve the learning experience by providing greater student support and guidance and help for each student at the Computer Laboratory.

Cristian Toader

  • M. Phil
  • Proposed by: Diana Crisan
  • Seconded by: Stoyan Stoyanov

Who I am
As a young kid I grew up in Bucharest, Romania surrounded by a lot of computing-friendly people. I recall some of the best days of high school where we would start writing some of our very first lines of code, while still finding time to play nerdy computer games. Some of us chose different paths, but I continued by studying Computer Science at the University of Surrey, and today I am excited to be one of the select few which get to be part of the Cambridge MPhil Computing community.

Why I am a good choice
During my academic studies at Surrey, due to my attention for detail and passion for computing I was selected as one of the Teaching Assistants for first and second year modules. I have gained extensive experience working with students and listening to their problems. I would keep the professors informed of the class’ progress and liaison any concerns or difficulties students may encounter with their studies or coursework. On a couple occasions, problems I have raised lead to optional support sessions for the benefit of some students.

Why I am running
Community is extremely important to me. In the few weeks I have been in the department I have come to appreciate and respect the Computer Science MPhil community, a group of bright, innovative, and well equipped students. The department shows great care and understanding towards its students, but I consider there is still room for some improvement, and I would like to make sure that we students receive the best experience.

Please feel free to contact me for questions any time either on Facebook or email (cmt42 ‘at’ We could also arrange to meet and discuss any problems, which I actually prefer, because I find it to be a more natural and relaxed way of communicating.

Daniel Thomas

  • Ph.D.
  • Standing unopposed

I have been representing the PhD students to various parts of the Department and Faculty since I started my PhD last year. I have been on the Faculty Board, Staff-Student Consultative Forum and Graduate Student Forum. During this period I have been pleased to see the positive impact that it has been possible to make though this. Hence I want to continue for another year.

Particular successes are:

  • The running of a Departmental Barbecue on 5th November.
  • The moving of the AED into the street so that it is accessible to all in an emergency.
  • A cross-cutting shredder for the print room.
  • Good discussions with sys-admin which have resulted in some improvements in service such as a server trolley for SE18 and improvements to filer.

Ongoing issues:

  • Efforts to improve the quality and price of food on the West Cambridge site.
  • To simplify and speed up accounting/expenses.
  • To address various sys-admin issues.