Emile Ferreira
Emile Dos Santos Ferreira

Postgraduate computer scientist and award-winning entrepreneur, contributing to responsible artificial intelligence. Allan Gray Fellow. Breakthrough Developer of the Year, MTN Business.

  • with years of programming experience
  • Cape Town, South Africa
Experience
2020–
Founder and Bot Whisperer

InsiteBot is a website chatbot that's as easy to set up as editing a spreadsheet.

2023
Head Teaching Assistant

I led a team of eight to plan, present and assess the Computer Science 343 course for 176 students. I also assisted with Computer Science 334.

2021
Student Project Leader

AWS partnered with Stellenbosch University to create an educational app that assesses and improves the numerical literacy of primary school students who learn remotely. I led a team of six to successfully undertake this student project.

2017
Intern Developer

Root is an end-to-end digital insurance platform. I focused on Android development while working at Root.

2017
Developer

A free, collaborative, in-browser integrated developer environment. I worked on the Replit education platform.

2016
Intern Web Developer

Aura is a web hosting and development company. I created websites and marketing content for their clients.

Education
2023
BScHons in Computer Science, cum laude

My research focused on language models, formal language theory and artificial intelligence interpretability. I obtained a grade of 93%.

2019–2021
BSc in Mathematical Sciences (Computer Science), cum laude

I studied mathematics with a focus in computer science and machine learning, achieving a 93% final-year average.

2015–2018
National Senior Certificate

With a subject choice of Physical Sciences (90%), Information Technology (96%) and Visual Arts (94%), I achieved an 88% average.

2016–2017
2-year certificate

I studied design principles and best practices.

Scholarships
2019–2023
Fellowship
Allan Gray Orbis Foundation

The fellowship is awarded to "high-impact, responsible entrepreneurs" in Southern Africa. It funded my studies at Stellenbosch University.

2020, 2021
Merit Bursary
Stellenbosch University

This is awarded to the top 5% of undergraduate students of each faculty.

2018
Victoria Scholarship
South African College High School

This is awarded to the two students who score highest in the Victoria Scholarship Examinations and "is the top scholarship award in the school".

Service
2017–
Founder

Bestee is an offline, privacy-respecting virtual assistant for Android, which I chose not to monetise. Bestee has more than 150 000 downloads from over 200 countries.

2023–2024
Candidate Fellow Committee Head of Portfolio

I served as head of the Fellowship Curriculum portfolio, overseeing a subcommittee to strategically plan entrepreneurial education and training.

2023
Science in Context 178 Project Supervisor

I devised, presented and supervised a research project on understanding the technology behind ChatGPT for 40 undergraduate students.

2023
Year-group Leader

I was elected as leader of the fourth-year candidate fellows; responsible for communication management, conflict resolution and representing my peers.

2023
Explore SUNLearn Volunteer

I co-hosted an interactive session to introduce the first year computer science students to Linux and the teaching network.

2022
Volunteer

I spent four months volunteering at Camphill, which strives to provide high quality of life and meaningful work for adults with intellectual disabilities.

2021
Peer Mentor

As a senior candidate fellow, I volunteered to mentor junior candidate fellows as they embarked on their university journey.

2019–2021
Co-founder

I co-founded and presented for Debugged, which offered computer science talks and workshops to Stellenbosch University students. A portion of proceeds was donated to Code for Change.

Awards
2023
Best Computer Science Honours Project
Stellenbosch University

My research project on understanding transformers through formal languages earned the top mark in a class of 47.

2020, 2021, 2022
Membership invitation
Golden Key International Honour Society

Golden Key recognises the top 15% of university students.

2021
Van der Walt Medal runner-up
Stellenbosch University

The Van der Walt Medal is awarded to the top undergraduate computer science student.

2020
CS50x Puzzle Day certificate
Harvard University

My team solved 6/8 challenging puzzles.

2019
Hackathon winner
Stellenbosch University

My team developed a mobile banking app which creates a Bluetooth Low Energy mesh network to facilitate offline transactions.

2018
Best Breakthrough Developer and Most Innovative Solution winner
MTN Business App of the Year Awards

My virtual assistant was recognised as the most innovative app in Africa. Bestee was the only app to win in more than one category.

2016
Full Blue – Cum Laude
South African College High School

I received academic colours for achieving above 85% in the mid- and end-of-year exams.

2016
Hyme Rabinowitz Prize
South African College High School

This is awarded to the student who achieves the best mark for Visual Arts in grade 10. I also received the Afrikaans Prize and Information Technology Prize.

Testimonials

Emile is very talented not only in coding but also in video production and has a knack for marketing as well. This makes him one of a kind technical talent.

Amjad Masad
Founder at Replit

Emile has excelled at SACS and has risen above his peers especially in the academic aspect of school life. He has consistently delivered top marks thanks to excellent academic discipline.

Brendan Grant
Headmaster at South African College High School

If you are looking for someone who is prepared, competent, industrious, creative, entrepreneurial, connective and - above all, a really decent human being - you will have found that in Emile.

Andrew Putter
Director at Putter School

I want to congratulate [Emile's team] for winning the Fintech Coding Challenge. This is certainly a fantastic achievement for a group of first year students!

Prof. Louise Warnich
Dean of Science at Stellenbosch University

In over 15 years of running a design and hosting company I have never seen such potential and enthusiasm for our industry.

Thomas Knowler
CEO at Aura Hosting

[...] Elon Musk of the future.

Annette Muller
Founder at Flexyforce

Punctuality, efficiency, responsibility, conduct, willingness - all excellent.

Louw Hopley
CEO at Root

Your [Computer Science] 345 project was definitely one of the best student projects I've seen over the years.

Prof. Brink van der Merwe
Head of Computer Science at Stellenbosch University

[Emile] is a team player and always willing to bring more than is expected of him.

Sam Hodson
Executive Manager at Camphill Farm Community Hermanus
Contact

Thanks. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

© Emile Ferreira. All rights reserved.