Perfect GPA points Alistair to brain research project

Published: Comments:
Community University & TAFE

Social:   
Prof Catherine Yule and Alistair Kerr

A maths major who coded his own games on his first computer in the 1980s scored a perfect grade point average of 7 out of 7 when he recently graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Science.

Alistair Kerr, who received a University Medal for his academic achievement, is now contributing to brain research as he studies an Honours degree in Science at USC’s Thompson Institute. He also works as a mentor to Indigenous students and tutors in physics at USC.

“My interest in IT began when my family got its first computer, a Microbee 64K, in the 1980s and I taught myself BASIC (an early programming language) to create small choose-your-own-adventure games,” said Alistair, 43, of Montville.

“It further developed in the summer break after Year 10 when I taught myself Turbo Pascal (a software system) from books and practice because I did not have internet access.”

Alistair gained an OP1 from Burnside State High School and topped his Maths II class. In 1998, with an IT degree from QUT, his career in software engineering took off.

He worked for companies such as The Aeronautical Design Service on the Sunshine Coast and in Bundaberg, where he developed automated software testing for light aircraft certification.

Alistair returned to study a few years ago to explore a lifelong love of mathematics and find other ways of contributing to society.

“Studying at USC allowed me to pursue my academic goals while living in an environment I love,” he said.

He joined the ‘Mathematicians of USC’ and a social chess club and enjoyed lectures and one-on-one interactions with maths lecturers such as Dr Aaron Wiegand and Dr Robert McDougall, who gave valuable feedback.

“My ultimate career goal would be to make a useful contribution, no matter how big or small, in humanity’s quest for the stars – or planets,” Alistair said.

Alistair’s current research is part of the Longitudinal Adolescent Brain Study (LABS), a five-year project monitoring changes in the brains of participants aged 12 to 18, using regular brain imaging and neurocognitive assessments. 

Based at USC’s Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience Thompson Institute at Birtinya, the study aims to understand the factors affecting the mental health of young people and develop evidence-based youth mental health programs.

He is supervised by Senior Research Fellow Dr Kathryn Broadhouse and Dr Aaron Wiegand.
 

 
University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Academic targets deal a double blow to teachers 12 June 2019 | Teachers in Australia are working hard to balance academic achievement targets with declining student wellbeing, a new study from the University of the Sunshine Coast has found. More information...
Aspiring lawyers bring best arguments to mock trial 12 June 2019 | Six Legal Studies students from two local high schools showed exceptional confidence and communication skills in USC’s simulated courtroom this week (10 June) at the grand final of the annual Sunshine Coast... More information...
Nursing students provide health pitstop 12 June 2019 | More than a dozen USC Nursing Science students will support the Australian Men’s Shed Association ‘Spanner In The Works’ campaign by carrying out free health screening checks for local blokes as part of... More information...
Changing the way children think about careers 12 June 2019 | Focusing on careers in primary school might seem early, however more than 450 Sunshine Coast students will soon discover it is the perfect time to explore their future job options. More information...
Crime-fighting graduate wins national award 10 June 2019 | A USC double graduate fighting major federal crimes such as people smuggling, cyber attacks and child exploitation has won a national business women’s award. More information...
Tengfei’s wooden determination to build strength in Aussie timber research 06 June 2019 | A Chinese research student has chosen USC as his top pick over research institutions around the world to undertake his Doctor of Philosophy in Wood Processing, based at the National Centre for Timber Durability... More information...
Game time for Gympie’s future designers 07 June 2019 | USC’s Gympie campus will host a free two-day bootcamp for aspiring game designers on 22-23 June. More information...
Nursing students provide health pitstop 06 June 2019 | More than a dozen USC Nursing Science students will support the Australian Men’s Shed Association ‘Spanner In The Works’ campaign by carrying out free health screening checks for local blokes as part of... More information...
USC event brings together students and employers 05 June 2019 | Students gearing up to graduate this year from two of USC’s most popular degrees have gained vital job information direct from some of the biggest employers in their industry. More information...
Recovery pool starts to take shape at USC 05 June 2019 | The latest addition to USC’s impressive sports precinct – a six-lane, 25m recovery and rehabilitation pool – will start to take shape this week. More information...



Social:   
comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service