Rory Mitchell

Rory Mitchell

Rory Mitchell’s passion for machine learning and computer science has taken him from Waikato to the world.

Senior software engineer at Nvidia

Rory Mitchell

He graduated with a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Waikato in 2021, and is currently working in Germany as a senior software engineer at Nvidia, a world-leading computing and artificial intelligence (AI) firm.

The innovative global company is doing pioneering work in AI and the metaverse, high-performance computing (HPC), gaming, creative design, autonomous vehicles and robotics.

“I work with talented engineers and researchers from many time zones on a daily basis,” says Rory, whose day-to-day work involves coordinating improvements to and writing software in open source machine learning projects.

“I am always interested in making software run faster, by learning more about GPU (graphics processing unit) architectures and applying GPU computer power in unusual ways.”

Rory grew up in Morrinsville, a rural town on the outskirts of Hamilton, New Zealand, and attended Rangitoto College in Auckland. As a young person, he was always interested in video games and computers.

Rory came to Waikato University in 2014 to study for a Graduate Diploma in Computer Science, which led to a master’s degree, followed by a PhD in Computer Science.

He chose Waikato University because of the “deep expertise among the faculty in machine learning and other subjects I was interested in”.

He enjoyed his PhD studies, which offered the opportunity to “work on very hard problems with a very supportive and knowledgeable supervisory panel” which included Professor Eibe Frank and Professor Geoffrey Holmes, the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor of Health, Engineering, Computing and Science.

Some of his research papers were published in top computer science journals, a highlight of his PhD.

“I would recommend studying computer science at Waikato University,” says Rory. “I believe we have high quality courses on offer, particularly at the postgraduate level, taught by world experts in several fields.”

He advises students considering a career or study in computer science to focus on the basics.

“The field of machine learning has received a lot of hype, such that it is easy to be distracted by fashionable topics. Focus on improving fundamental skills such as mathematics and programming, and apply yourself to a niche regardless of current trends.”

Rory Mitchell

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