Images shows prize winners Ailbhe and Caoimhe

Interview with Expo Prize Winners

We spoke with Ailbhe and Caoimhe, two talented Computer Science students who presented their impressive project 'Classroom Captions' at the Final Year Projects Expo 2023. The Final Year Projects Expo in the Faculty of Engineering and Computing is a flagship event on the DCU calendar. Attended by a host of employers, the Expo is an opportunity for final-year students to showcase their cutting-edge skills and knowledge acquired at DCU.


Classroom Captions

While brainstorming ideas for their final year project, Ailbhe and Caoimhe reflected on the challenges of hearing lectures at times and considered students who have hearing impairments. They reached out to the university's Disability Support Office and found that 2.6% of students in DCU are registered with hearing difficulties. This information, combined with their interest in automatic speech recognition (ASR), led Ailbhe and Caoimhe to develop the Expo prize-winning project 'Classroom Captions', a web application that offers real-time transcriptions during lectures. 

Speaking about the challenges of developing 'Classroom Captions' Ailbhe said "I think the biggest challenge was the quality of the ASR transcription. The first time we did it we were using an audio stream, so transcribing it live. The  performance was not great so we decided to try recording short audio clips and then sending that to the ASR system to transcribe, and that was much better."



Ailbhe and Caoimhe's project won joint first place in IBM's 'Best Use of Open Source Technologies' prize at the Final Year Project Expo. Open Source refers to a license that allows users to view, edit and share software without any restrictions.

Speaking about the Expo, Ailbhe and Caoimhe told us "it was nice to show off what we were working on for so long. They said that the opportunity to engage with employers and representatives from across industry prepared them for discussing their project in great detail in their final project grading.


Computer Science

We asked Ailbhe and Caoimhe what advice they would give to someone interested in studying the BSc in Computer Science at DCU, and Ailbhe said  "Don’t be intimidated at the beginning. I kind of went into it thinking that everyone would be ahead of me because I had never really done anything like that, but everyone kind of starts off the same."