Mr Devin Pelser graduates with his BSc in Computer Science and Maths

Summa Cum Laude Graduate Aims for a Future in Artificial Intelligence

Mr Devin Pelser graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

The high achiever, who is now pursuing his Honours in Pure Mathematics at UKZN, said he always enjoyed the challenging subject of mathematics. One of his greatest accomplishments was attaining 100% for a third-year level exam, thereby achieving a 99% average for that course. Another highlight was when he worked on a new proof for a theorem with Professor Bau Sheng and discovered that his contributions were correct.

‘Devin is one of the most hard working people I have met, working every day to achieve his best and make his future dreams a reality,’ said girlfriend, Caitlyn Leggat.

Speaking of the discipline of Mathematics at UKZN, Pelser said students were in the hands of the best minds he has had the pleasure of meeting. He said it was a privilege to study under awe-inspiring individuals like Bau, Professor Fortuné Masamba and Professor Precious Sibanda.

‘Their excellent understanding of such difficult topics gives me something to aspire towards,’ said Pelser.

‘I was inspired by the fact that my maths lecturers easily grasped topics I could barely wrap my head around initially,’ he said.

‘Knowing they persevered and became such intelligent individuals gave me hope that one day I too could.’

Words that Pelser lives by, when failure happens are: ‘If it does not matter in five years’ time, it does not matter now.’

The Maritzburg College alumnus has also had a lifelong interest in computers, adding that artificial intelligence is the future. Mathematics will, he said, form the backbone of growing artificial intelligence technologies.

After completing his honours, Pelser is planning to pursue his Masters in Computer Science at another institution, focusing on artificial intelligence.

Words: Christine Cuénod