Pasquale's Spotlight storyKiran Parmar, Wednesday 21 July 2021 | Annotate
In this week's summer series of Spotlight Interviews with KMi people, Pasquale Iero tells us about his work in KMi
What is your role?
I joined KMi as a Research Assistant in 2019 after nearly two decades of working in the software industry. I support the researchers in the Open Blockchain Research Team. My tasks may involve coding software, writing documents, or providing comments for some paper, according to my previous experience. I also perform research tasks, that is, tasks intended to answer research questions.
What are you working on?
So far, I have worked on two projects:
Up To University (Up2U) (https://learn.up2university.eu) which aims to bridge the gap between study at secondary schools and higher education. The UP2U platform helps teachers to customise courses so they can be delivered online. The platform offers a new approach to learning in that it allows students to do things they wouldn't do in normal classes, for instance, interacting with digital artefacts. The KMi team worked on the technical part of the platform.
I am now working on the Qualichain project (https://qualichain-project.eu/) which aims to build a decentralised platform for storing, sharing, and verifying education and employment qualifications. This platform allows participating agents to earn and endorse microcredentials from and to other participants. Employers can use those credentials, and together with the skills already on the cv of the agent, they can match a person to particular job specifications. The KMi team are ensuring that we can trust the microcredentials.
Is this the only role you have?
As well as being a full-time Research Assistant in KMi, I am also a part-time PhD student studying with the Centre of Computing & Communications at the Open University.
What is your PhD topic?
The research I am doing is about "Deduction in Question Generation". I am adding a form of inference to automated question generation. This has applications in, for instance, MOOCS, the work of teachers, automated agents, and Q&A platforms.
How does the research environment compare to working in industry?
In industry, you work based on the interaction with your clients, and projects are shaped according to their gradual requests. In the research field, projects seek to answer research questions, so they need more flexibility and agility to radically change direction quickly, if necessary.