Home Country: Saudi Arabia
Major: Systems and Control Engineering and Dean's Approved Major in Computational Neuroscience
Graduation Year: Fall 2014
How has your global perspective changed now that you have studied in the US?
Having grown up in the Saudi Aramco compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, with its international population consisting of people from over 35 countries, speaking multiple languages, and having multiple faiths, I thought I was culturally diverse in perspective and that continuing my education in the US would be business as usual for me. However, I have gained far more exposure to opinions on culture, religion, and politics as well as developed my critical thinking skills through many memorable debates with the friends I have made both on and off campus. After spending four years here in the US, I believe that I have become a better ambassador to my country and am able to approach life in a more objective way.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
I frequent Starbucks at the Village late at night to work on my assignments and research. The friendly atmosphere and having some vivacious background noise goes a long way to help me focus!
What is a fun place you have visited in the Cleveland area?
In the four years I have lived in Cleveland, I've discovered a taste for fine dining. One of my favorite places to visit downtown is East 4th street and surrounding areas. There are a lot of really cool restaurants in the area, and it is fun to make an activity out of restaurant hopping and sampling the variety of appetizers at the different places.
What was your favorite class at CWRU, and why?
This semester I am taking Dynamics of Biological Systems II taught by Dr. Snyder who is an incredible professor and really passionate about the material. Since I have recently developed an interest in applied mathematics, the topics of this course really speak to me. Homework assignments including problems, such as using math to describe things like hungry graduate students seeking pizza and parties to which agitated Democrats and Republicans are invited, add dimension to make this class quite an experience. In fact, I have been so inspired by the material in this class that I have been able to apply some of the theory to a real-world research problem in the capacity of a researcher with the Institute for Health and Productivity Management, Middle East and North Africa chapter, which I will be showcasing at the Intersections undergraduate research symposium this semester!
What would you like to do after you have completed your educational experience at CWRU?
Over the past two years, I have had the opportunity to work with a professional from my sponsoring company, who has mentored me in the field of Health and Productivity Management. We have published several papers on this topic during my transition from a trainee into a full research member of the team. I want to further my higher education specialization in Systems Engineering, with an emphasis on mathematical modeling of social systems to prepare myself for becoming a subject matter expert on emerging topics of particular interest to international industry regarding issues, such as organizational health, safety, and security management.
What advice would you give to students arriving to study at CWRU?
If I had to choose, I would boil it down to a few things. First, do not be afraid to explore different academic disciplines and take different courses because you never know what topics are out there that will excite you and shape your career. Second, it is never too early to get involved in undergraduate research; you will gain invaluable skills to reinforce and support what you have learned in class, making you a more valuable professional in the process, and you never know what kinds of exciting career opportunities you may find in the process. Finally, add dimension to your campus life by exploring the city, getting to know the people, and seizing opportunities to reflect upon different cultures, perspectives, and ways of thinking.