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Munira Zainab Jowaheer

South Africa

AIMS South Africa 2018

Munira studied Physics at the University of Mauritius, with a focus on Astrophysics, and her thesis was on higher-dimensional black holes. She graduated from AIMS South Africa in 2018 and was awarded the Ben and Mary Turok Scholarship for Excellent Achievement. She is currently working as a software developer. During her time at AIMS she also completed the AIMS-ESMT Industry Immersion Programme as well being selected as one of 13 participants to take part in the 8-week Data Science Intensive Programme organised by AIMS South Africa and funded through the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council-funded ‘Data Intensive Science Centre in SEPnet’(DISCnet). The emphasis of this programme was on practical skills in machine learning, big data and AI. She also volunteered as a mathematics tutor for high school students. Immediately after leaving AIMS she started a data science internship, funded by DISCnet, at an NGO which focuses on youth unemployment. She then moved to a consulting firm specialising in credit risk management and worked there briefly as an analyst. “I decided that I want to do ‘actual machine learning’ and I worked as a consultant on machine vision projects, but I have now taken up a permanent position as a software developer. In my spare time, I am also learning software development. For the next step of my career, I would like to work as a machine learning engineer. I want the experience of not only designing models, but also implementing and scaling them.” She believes that the work she does could be used to alleviate any number of problems. In terms of healthcare, AI can be used to improve the diagnosis of certain ailments. It could also be used to aid learning by suggesting appropriate courses/resources to students based on their needs. It could be used to better detect cases of financial fraud by banks. In another way, with the current heightened interest in machine learning, teaching it to students will provide them with many job opportunities in industry.

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