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Six Questions with: Ghofran Othoum

Six Questions with: Ghofran Othoum


Ghofran Othoum is a PhD student at KAUST and was a Visiting Fellow on the Mathematical, Statistical and Computational Aspects of the New Science of Metagenomics programme in 2014.


When did you become first interested in mathematics and what keeps your interest fresh?

I have always been interested in Mathematics for as long as I can remember. Initially, my interest was somehow generic for all of the conceptual parts of mathematics. However, when I realized how all of these concepts can be 'magically' applied to model and understand what usually is hard or even impossible to do in reality, this interest turned to fascination.


Could you tell us a little about your career path so far and what your current research involves?

I'm currently doing my PhD where I'm using mathematics and computer science to model complicated biological systems. My background includes computer and biological sciences.


What achievements are you most proud of?

Finishing my Masters degree studies successfully and publishing my undergraduate research about modelling breast cancer survivability rates. I hope that I can accomplish more in the coming years of my research.


How do you achieve a balance between your work and homelife?

I try to be satisfied with all things that I do in order not to focus on one aspect while neglecting the other, keeping in mind that an unbalanced lifestyle often fails in achieving its main goal.


What advice would you offer to young women who are just starting their careers in the mathematical sciences?

Persistence never fails anyone and that "Where there is a will there is a way" is not a cliché, from first-hand experience.


Has your visit to the Isaac Newton Institute been fruitful?

Yes. It is one of the most interdisciplinary places I have been to. It was interesting how a common goal easily unites different mindsets from different backgrounds, and how science is more united than we think.

University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons