I began at Otago in 1999 when I started a BSc (Hons.) in computer science and mathematics. In my final year (2002) I focused on A. I. and logic (my COSC490 project was on sub-symbolic representation of lexical semantics). Following this, in 2003, I began an MSc in visual cognition and memory. This research was eventually upgraded to a PhD in 2005, and was my most recent focus.
The aim of my PhD was to investigate how our brains translate the pixel-based retinal image (having only as much information as a digital photo), into a full-blown representation of a scene and the objects that it contains. Only with such a representation may we talk (literally) about things like "cups", and perform actions toward them like picking them up. I was supervised by Ali Knott and Anthony Robins from the Computer Science department, and by Liz Franz from the Psychology department. I submitted my thesis in April 2010, and it was officially approved and completed in September.
I was also a member of a computational neuroscience reading group (journal club) run in the A.I. Lab., meeting every Friday. It's a pretty free-form group with discussion ranging from synaptic dynamics, to attentional mechanisms, to linguistic evolution and more! (If you're interested in joining this group, contact Lech Szymanski.)