Meet Amal Fahad in this Q&A series with 6 out of 200 mathematicians or computer scientists participating at the 2nd Heidelberg Laureate Forum, September 21-26, 2014. 24 Laureates (Abel Prize, Fields Medal, Nevanlinna Prize, Turing Award) will attend the forum together with them. For a full week Heidelberg in Germany will be the hot spot of mathematics and computer science.
Where are you based? USA
What is your current position? PhD Candidate.
What is the focus of your research? Improving the Internet service for developing regions at both hardware and software levels.
Why did you become a computer scientist? Among all my older eight siblings, who were studying or working in various majors, the sister who was doing CS looked to be the one who was enjoying what she was doing the most. She was writing these weird sentences, she called them “programs”, that do very cool stuff!! She wrote a “program” which does scientific calculation that I used to do my math homework with. With another one of her programs I was able to draw cool pictures, and she even designed a game! So I thought why not to join this major? This is what I was thinking of when I was trying to decide which school to apply to after I finished my high-school. I thought, why should not I pursue this direction as well? I was so thrilled to know what programs are, how to write one and how many possibilities computer sciences offer. So, no wonder, I ended joining the CS major.
Anything like a favourite project? I am actually working with a local Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, to implement my designed service accelerator technique. Such implementation will take my designed technique from just being theoretical suggestions to actually being beneficial to the ISP clients. I got remote access to one of the servers at that ISP station and I have installed the service accelerator I designed and am now collecting real data from that deployment.
What about your life beyond research? I love sports; badminton in particular. I also do a lot of volunteer working in the community where I live.
Why did you apply for the HLF14? I think it is an amazing idea to be able to meet those science leaders who left their footprints in the computer science field and understand how they managed to achieve that!
What do you expect from this meeting? Expand my connections network and meet leaders in my field in order to learn from their experience.
Any Laureates on your list you would definitely love to talk to? Leslie Lamport, since I was asked about Lamport’s logical clock in distributed systems in my thesis defense, but I have to admit, at this time I didn’t know it ! 😉