The James Elson Studentship: Background

James Elson, 1975-2012

The James Elson Studentship: Background


This studentship is funded by, and dedicated to the memory of James Elson who passed away in 2012 after a long, brave battle with cancer. Despite his early death he achieved a great deal in his short life. James was dyslexic but through determination and hard work he achieved a first class MEng degree in Computer Science at The University of Manchester. James went on to have a very successful career at JP MorganChase.

James’ love of computer science began at home, where he was introduced to the BBC Micro – the microcomputer that introduced computing into most schools in the early 1980’s, and influenced the careers of a generation of computer scientists, including James.

James went on to study a 4 year MEng in Computer Science at the University of Manchester, graduating in 1997 with a 1st class Honours degree. James’ final year project focused on self-organising feature maps in robot vision, supervised by Ulrich Nehmzow.

Outside of his work and studies, James attained a black belt in Taekwondo, and became an instructor He also took a great interest in modifying and racing performance cars. James was very inventive – as was his father - he experimented at home with cars and electronics, and had a Porsche that he modified to be the fastest in the UK. He pushed himself hard and expected no less from those who interacted with him.

James died from a rare form of bowel cancer, and his father died from skin cancer just four months later. As a result, James had a particular interest in cancer and it was both his and his  family’s wish that some of the money left in James’ Will, be used to further research in this area.

Following a recent discussion between the School and James’ family, it was agreed that this would take the form of two studentships within the School of Computer Science – one in cancer research, which has been awarded for September 2016 entry, and one in artificial intelligence for September 2017 entry. This award will be open for applications from February 2017.

Details of the application process and deadlines can be found here.

The School would like to thank James’ family for making these studentships possible, and in particular his mother, Mary, who kindly provided us with the above information about James.

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