UJ International graduate honoured with Chancellor’s Award for ‘most meritorious’

​​At the recent University of Johannesburg (UJ)’s Winter graduation, a UJ international student wowed the audience in the Sanlam Auditorium on the Auckland Park Kingsway Campus as the University bestowed upon him with a Chancellor’s Award – one of the highest awards a graduate can receive at UJ.
Collins Leke, a Cameroonian international studying at UJ, was honoured for being the best Master’s student in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment for the 2013 academic year.
At only 24-years-old, Leke is already studying towards his PhD at the University. Leke obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Computational and Applied Mathematics in 2010. He also completed a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Computer Science in 2011 from the University of the Witwatersrand. In June 2014, he obtained a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering here at UJ.
During his Master’s studies, Leke conducted a study on Empirical Evaluation of Optimisation Techniques for Classification and Prediction Tasks.
“The aim of the research was to identify the optimisation algorithm which in combination with auto-associative neural networks most accurately performed classification and prediction tasks. Several optimisation algorithms were considered and I used data from financial, medical and environmental sectors. Additionally, drawbacks of other optimisation algorithms were presented as suggestions for future research,” says Leke.
Asked how he would explain himself to people who do not know him, Leke says: “The main thing people should know about me is that I am God-fearing. I am an ambitious, hardworking, disciplined, inquisitive, humble, respectful, polite and family oriented individual. I believe in living a stress-free life, I am not the type of person who lives an extravagant life. I live within my means, I am not greedy. I am also friendly and caring, some might say I am shy, and I hold no grudges – I think it is a waste of time and energy to hate people.”
His future aspirations include becoming a lecturer for a few years to share his knowledge he obtained from others and also pass on the self-acquired knowledge. “I believe sharing is caring. I look to join the software development industry considering this is my primary area of expertise. My ultimate goal is to run my own software development company that will create software that impacts my immediate surroundings and the rest of the world positively. I believe every little contribution towards making the world a better place is worth exploring,” says Leke.
His advice to fellow and future tertiary students is to: “Never assume you know it all. Instead, always be willing to listen to others, because we learn from other people. Hard work always gets rewarded and do not take anything that happens in your life for granted.”
Evaluating the quality of education UJ offers, Leke says that talking from a postgraduate standpoint, the quality of education at UJ is high as one is motivated to do cutting edge research that has an impact in people’s lives.
Leke was born in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, where he also attended a public primary school called Government Bilingual Primary School. He attended Saint Joseph’s College, Sasse, a secondary school in the south west province of Cameroon, Buea.
Asked from where his inspiration and passion emanated, Leke says: “I have always been fascinated by anything remotely electronic and also by technology, particularly in the manner they operate. I always wanted to know what happens behind the scenes, what software or code is responsible for a specific action, how to go about fixing any glitches that may occur, and how to add more functionality to electronics. I love artificial intelligence, intelligent systems, robotics – that is when I considered studying something that provides me with more insight into all these things,” he says.
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