23 February 2017
Dr Zahraa Abdallah says that her job as a research fellow in applied data science is to find solutions. She uses new technology to organise and make sense of the avalanche of data that is being generated every day.
“One of the major challenges in data science is that the amount of data we have to deal with is growing exponentially,” she said.
Dr Zahraa Abdallah is a postdoctoral research fellow at Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology. She received her PhD in 2015 from Monash and was the recipient of the prestigious Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal for best doctoral thesis in 2015.
Dr Abdallah’s research is broadly in the areas of data stream mining, information retrieval, text mining and mobile and pervasive computing systems, where her focus is on developing intelligent applications that aim to service real-time information needs.
Her PhD thesis focussed on activity recognition and adaptation, particularly in a streaming or online environment. Activity recognition is useful in a range of settings including health and wellness, where fitness devices can monitor the distance that you walk or assist in the remote supervision of home-based patients. It can also be used to monitor crowd movements, create targeted advertisements or for surveillance.
She says that working on her PhD not only gave her the opportunity to explore interesting areas of research, it also allowed her to further develop her deductive reasoning, analytical and critical thinking skills.
“Joining programs and clubs outside of the curricular program is really beneficial. I found that getting involved was a great opportunity to build my network and learn from colleagues and professionals, along with enhancing my communication skills,” she said.
Besides research, Dr Abdallah is a lecturer and course developer in the Masters of Data Science at Monash.
“I am so enthusiastic about teaching students state-of-the-art technologies in data science and machine learning,” she said.
“I strongly encourage all postgraduate students to take hold of every opportunity that is aligned with their career goals. As a postgrad student, now is the time for you to grow and start to take the first steps in your dream career,” Dr Abdallah added.