In 2020, I graduated from King's College London with a Bachelor of Science (1st class Honours) degree in Computer Science. My thesis was a massive success in multiple ways. This is the brief story of that success.
My name is Munkhtulga Battogtokh. As of 2022, I am a PhD research student in Safe and Trusted AI at King's College and Imperial College London. I have interests in wide range of areas across arts, sports, and sciences. I most often practice martial arts, visual arts, and of course computer science.
A big part of my life is judo.
I come from a line of Mongolian wrestlers hailing from the Arkhangai province of Mongolia. I started training judo as a form of wrestling back in high school in Sweden at 15 years old. I earned my black belt by completing a line-up (defeating in a row five other men competing for a black belt) at Budokwai London during my second year of university. I officially became a judo coach certified by the British Judo Association in early 2022. My biggest achievement so far is my bronze medal from the British National Championships 2021 in -100kg category.
Despite its difficulty, I fell in love with judo. In this project, I pay homage to just one of its many fascinating aspects: beauty.
What motivated the project?
Judo is an elegant form of combat. Matches can end quickly. Blink and you might miss the whole match.
Furthermore, it is really difficult to master a judo technique to the point of efficiency and effectiveness that the best in the world demonstrate. When the world and Olympic champions execute them against other world class athletes, the moment of the score is truly golden. The momentary image that burns into the memories of millions of admiring spectators exhibits an expression of the human body that is bolder than the boldest of dances. Therein lies the beauty of judo, which we aim to capture in this project.
I was particularly inspired by the 4DREPLAY technology that captured judo's golden moments from all possible directions. Awed upon seeing it for the first time while watching the 2019 World Championships with my father, I decided to reconstruct these scenes in 3D so that I could materialise the brilliance of the big moments (and have them on my table). I immediately (and naively) tried several mobile and desktop apps to make this happen but none of them worked.
The rest is history...
Best thesis award by KCL
As fate would have it, right after the 2019 World Judo Championships it was my last year of BSc study at King's. This meant that it was now time for me to choose my thesis project.
Luckily, I met a great supervisor who would let me work on my own project. Within very limited time, I was able to explore several state-of-the-art approaches and combine two of them into a completely novel approach of my own thanks to the encouragement and support from my supervisor.
The journey was intense but fun, fascinating and ultimately rewarding. I was exhilarated to see the successful results for the first time.
The project was awarded the Alan Fairbourn Memorial Prize for the Most Meritorious Final Year Project by King's College London.
The project ultimately took me to EuroGraphics 2022, where I made my first scientific publication in the form of a short paper and presented it at the conference in Reims, France.
I also volunteered to be part of the Student Volunteers team to make sure I get the full experience from my first ever in-person conference.
This was not only a professional experience but also a life experience. I thank the Student Volunteer team for making everything more enjoyable.
Although all the external validation was great to have, the most rewarding part of this project was internal. It is my highest privilege to have been granted creative control over the most important project of my (undergraduate) university studies.
Therefore, discovering my own talent and passion for research was (perhaps) the biggest success of this project. The discovery has already guided me onto the path of pursuing a PhD and I am sure it will take me further. Most importantly, I am confident that I will enjoy the path ahead.
I truly appreciate everything about this project. My big thanks go to my supervisor and everyone else that have supported me before and throughout this journey.