Cherie joins us for the summer

6 December, 2018

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Mechatronic engineering student Cherie Vasta, from the University of Canterbury, is working as an intern at Dragonfly until February. Her project, machine learning for te reo Māori, is with Te Hiku Media and run through the Te Pūnaha Matatini summer internship programme.

She says the project particularly appealed because it involved Māori language and coding.

“I have some Māori heritage that I’m trying to connect with more closely. I learned te reo at school, picked it up again at university this year and want to keep going. The plan for my summer project is to build a tool to help people learn and practice the language in a fun way.”

Cherie chose to study mechatronics, which she says has elements of mechanical, software and electrical engineering, because of her love of problem solving.

“I wanted a course that was practical and quite broad. My favourite part so far has been the Robocup competition, where in teams we had to build a robot that would find metal weights, pick them up and take them back to its home base. We spent the year doing that – it was pretty challenging and took us a long time to get it working, but very satisfying to succeed in the end.”

Cherie spent last summer in Auckland for an internship with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and will complete her bachelor of engineering degree in 2019.

“I’m really enjoying working at Dragonfly and learning a lot – people are really friendly, welcoming and encouraging. There’s always someone around to help me with my coding problems.”

Cherie attended a training day in Auckland for all 30 Te Pūnaha Matatini interns in mid-November. She met with William Asiata and Max Bunting who are also working as interns with Te Hiku Media for the second time this summer.