campus life

IT student of the year: Johan Torås Halseth

In June 2015, Master student in computer science at the University of Bergen, Johan Torås Halseth (24), was awarded the prize for best Norwegian computer science student of the year.

Johan Torås Halseth
UNEXPECTED PRIZE: Master student Johan Torås Halseth was pleasantly surprised when he got a phone call announcing that he was the winner of the award as Norway’s IT student of the year.
Photo: University of Bergen

Main content

Halseth became aware of computer science, or informatics, when he was a student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and took a mandatory course in programming. Later he started his studies at the Department of Informatics at the University of Bergen (UiB), and this June he was named IT student of the year.

“We have a very good environment among the students at the Department of Informatics at the University of Bergen. The people who work here are nice and there is constantly a lot of activity. Each student essentially has the freedom in to choose whatever subject he or she wants to study. I appreciate that. There are plenty of choices, and for me it has been a huge advantage to be able to pick what I want to learn more about and specialise in,” says Johan Torås Halseth.

The award is handed out every year by the international research and consulting firm Universum and the talent network Nova and goes to the best students in department finance, technology and computer science.


A wide range

What does it take to become IT student of the year?
“The way I have understood it, the jury emphasised the wide range of what I have been doing. I have achieved excellent academic results at UiB and Berkeley, where I was an exchange student last year. In addition, I have done various relevant programming works outside of school. It is great that someone appreciates that,” says Halseth, who aims to deliver his Master's thesis on algorithms in autumn 2015.

This summer he has had a three-month internship at Medallia, a company in Silicon Valley that helps companies improve their customer service, by collecting and analysing customer feedback.

A good class

“We were very happy to learn that one of our students had won the prize,” says the head of the Department of Informatics, Petter E. Bjørstad.
In the second week of August, Bjørstad welcomed a new group of computer science students to UiB. His hope is that they are ready to take the good environment further.

“It looks like it is a good class that begins this year. This year's number of applicants was very high. When the competition increases, the quality automatically increases,” says the head of department.