"I’ve always been curious about understanding new research areas and new technologies"

Antonio Fernández Anta talks about how he started at Computer Science and what he highlights about being a researcher. First part of the interview given by the IMDEA Networks’ researcher

20 September 2019

Next November 5th the researcher and professor Antonio Fernández Anta will receive the ARITMEL Award, one of the four National Computer Science Awards jointly granted by the Spanish Computer Science Association (SCIE) and the BBVA Foundation. Due to this award, we’ve asked him about some aspects of his professional career.

What is the origin of your interest in Computer Science?

I ended up in Computer Science just by chance. When I had to choose my degree to study in college, essentially I had the choice of going for the classical studies: Maths, Physics. Some colleague was already doing Computer Science and he said “why don’t you join us?”. At that time I had never touched a computer, they were not usually something that you had access to. So I started and it was really nice because it’s a mixture, it’s a nice middle ground between Engineering and Science (Mathematics, Physics…). I think it’s a very rewarding area if you like technology and you like science.

What would you highlight about your professional career?

To say everything in one word I would say “change”, the fact that I’ve been changing my job. I moved from one university to another and then to IMDEA’s research center. But also in my research areas. I’ve always been very curious. I always had curiosity to understand new areas, new technologies, new research topics. I’ve been jumping from graph theory, switching to packet routing, to distributed systems to energy efficiency and more recently I’m looking into blockchain. I’m trying to understand the fundamentals of blockchain technology and what the science behind it is. Also, giving all the facts, I want to understand exactly what is so interesting or so great about AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning. I’m trying to understand what is that. I don’t expect to be able to make huge contributions on these areas yet, but at least I want to know why they are so important and why people believe they are so important.