Jean-Pierre van Zyl

I'm a


Hi there, welcome to my personal portfolio.
I'm Jean-Pierre, a Stellenbosch University Computer Science student. I'm currently doing my PhD in machine learning and artificial intelligence under the supervision of Professor A.P. Engelbrecht.

During my undergrad and Masters, I lived in Majuba Men's Residence and had the privilege to serve on the leadership of the House. My experiences on the House Committee, as Primarius and as Vice-Primarius were phenomenal and have had a great impact on my views and capabilities. These experiences have taught me how to lead, manage my time, make sacrifices and to be part of something bigger than myself.

Research has become my passion and I aim to continue making contributions to the artificial intelligence community. My Master's thesis, "Rule Induction using Swarm Intelligence", made new contribution in the field of explainable artificial intelligence with the idea that transparent models are more interpretable and therefore trustworthy. My PhD thesis is focused on automated machine learning, specifically the use of concepts from quantum mechanics to improve state-of-the-art optimisation methods. Automated machine learning aims to democratise the power of modern day artificial intelligence, by making tools more readily available to non-technical users.

Personal information.

In my spare time I enjoy triathlon training, pretending that my problems don't exist, shouting at the TV, volunteering for SANParks, and making cocktails.
If you want to know whether I want to create an AI that takes over the world, the answer is yes.

  • Website:
  • Phone: You'll have to buy me a drink first
  • Institution: Stellenbosch University
  • City: Stellenbosch, RSA
  • Current Occupation: Student
  • Degree: MSc
  • Email: jeanpierrevanzyl -at- proton -dot- me
  • Freelance: Available

The internet is no place to get to know someone, take a walk outside.


I am a hard-working individual with a well-rounded set of skills stemming from years of experience in student leadership and extra-mural activities including musical theatre and sport. I aim to live a balanced lifestyle to ensure that I always perform to the best of my abilities.


Jean-Pierre van Zyl

Brief overview of experience

  • Download CV
  • Currently hold MSc in Computer Science
  • Work experience consists of multiple internships
  • Multiple years spent serving on student leadership


PhD in Computer Science (In progress)

2023 -

Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, RSA

  • Currently studying under Professor A.P. Engelbrecht

Master of Science in Computer Science (Cum Laude)

2021 - 2022

Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, RSA

Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computer Science (Cum Laude)

2020 - 2020

Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, RSA

Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Sciences (Computer Science)

2017 - 2019

Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, RSA

  • Completed a BSc in Mathematical Sciences with a main stream in Computer Science
  • View Degree

National Senior Certificate

2012 - 2016

Fairmont High School, Durbanville, RSA

  • Obtained 6 distinctions

Professional Experience



BMW IT Hub, Pretoria, RSA (

  • PhD funded by BMW as a contractor for the IT Hub



Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, RSA (

  • Worked as marker and guest lecturer for MEng (Ind)


Mar 2021

Merlynn Intelligence Technologies, Centurion, RSA (

  • Merlynn is an artificial intelligence firm developing customized AI solutions, without the need for historical data.
  • Worked remotely while studying my MSc, contributed to expanding the capabilities of their AI systems.


Jan 2021 - Feb 2021

Polymorph Systems, Stellenbosch, RSA (

  • Polymorph is a software solutions company with wide range of focus and experience across industries
  • Worked as a part of the in-house R&D team which drove the expansion of the company's IoT work to include Computer Vision at the Edge


Nov 2020 - Dec 2020

NMRQL Research, Stellenbosch, RSA (

  • NRMQL is an AI-driven investment company using cutting-edge technology to disrupt the industry
  • Position provided first introduction to the Fintech industry
  • Contributed to the expansion of the set of tools used to trade securities

Research Experience

All this stuff is fake. How does one even judge an open-ended skill as a percentage? But I see all the kids are doing it.

Particle Swarm Optimisation 90%
Genetic Programming 60%
Combinatorial Optimisation 85%
Neural Networks 80%
Rule Induction 80%
Quantum Mechanics 15%


Outlined are selected publications

Set-Based Particle Swarm Optimisation: A Reivew

The main objective of this paper is to review the set-based particle swarm optimisation algorithm and to provide an overview of the problems to which the algorithm has been applied. MDPI Mathematics.

Rule Induction Using Set-Based Particle Swarm Optimisation

The SBPSO algorithm was successfully applied to induce rule sets on categorical data to allow for transparent classification for critical industries. This work has been published at the IEEE World Congress On Computational Intelligence (2022).

Polynomial Approximation Using Set-Based Particle Swarm Optimization

The SBPSO is an adaptation of the standard PSO for problems in a discrete search space. This algorithm was applied to solve regression problems and published for the International Conference on Swarm Intelligence (2021).


Unfortunately most previous works are covered under NDAs, but below are some open-source projects I've done part-time.

  • All
  • Finance
  • Afrikaans


Feel free to contact me about any freelance work, academic consultations or general queries


Media Lab, Engineering Faculty, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch 7600


Still waiting on that drink