Using mathematical modelling to predict behaviour among Computing students

A new research project will see a London Met student work with academics on data analysis across the Computing departments of higher education institutions.

Date: 2 June 2021

A new research project will investigate student retention in the subject area of Computing, using a mathematical modelling analysis to predict behavioural patterns.

Headed by Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, Dr Alexandros Chrysikos, the project will employ Data Analytics MSc student Indrajitrakuraj Ravi, as part of the University's commitment to providing its students with meaningful work experience alongside their degrees.

Indrajitrakuraj's work will involve data analysis and academic report writing for the project, which is being funded with a grant of £5000. The data analysis will enable London Met to re-evaluate its current retention strategies such as early intervention in foundation and first year computing students. 

Indrajitrakuraj said, "The reason I opted to work on this research project is that I had had thoughts of dropping out from my engineering degree during my undergraduate studies, and now here I am successfully pursuing my second masters. I wanted to have an in-depth understanding of what contributes to such thoughts and how other students can be helped in successfully completing what they initiated. 

"This data is useful for universities and staff in order to identify the factors that affect student retention and work on improving it. This would lead to discovering more young talents and a better future for them.

"It is very important for students to get real-life work experience alongside the courses as realistically academic experience and professional experience are parallel lines. They head towards the same path but never merge, and some students fail to migrate their academic knowledge into practical skills which would detach them from progression. Work placement modules act as a safe bridge between the two paths. Working with Dr Chrysikos has been really amazing as I learn more as a colleague than I do as a student. 

"After I leave London Met, I hope to become a Data Analyst working in the field of sports." 

Dr Chrysikos further explained the project, saying, "This project builds on from previous work conducted by Dr Preeti Patel and Dr Cecilia Oyugi but it has a completely different research approach and focus. Specifically, our research project will employ quantitative research methods by using mathematical modelling analysis in R to predict behavioural patterns. Our focus will be on foundation and first year Computing students.

"We will also conduct comparative research by comparing data and research outcomes produced by the Computing departments of other higher education institutions.

"We will enhance our collaboration with the Computing department of the University of Huddersfield as they are also interested in doing similar research. Furthermore, we will develop new relationships with the Computing departments of the University of Wolverhampton and Sheffield Hallam University.

"We are currently having conversations with them to conduct similar research. In the end we will be able to compare data collected from all those departments and be able to develop targeted initiatives for early intervention in foundation and first year students based on rich data analysis."

man working at computer

Pictured: Indrajitrakuraj Ravi