Bangladesh origin UAE student seeks public vote to help her school win big | 2018-09-11 |

Bangladesh origin UAE student seeks public vote to help her school win big

Khaleej Times     11th September, 2018 11:20:21 printer

Bangladesh origin UAE student seeks public vote to help her school win big

An Abu Dhabi-based school is set to win a $100,000 (Dh367k) worth science laboratory if one of their former students wins a global science competition she has taken part in.


Ayesha Ahmed, the Bangladeshi national who graduated from the International School of Choueifat, Abu Dhabi, is one of the top contestants in this year's Breakthrough Junior Challenge, funded by Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and co-founder of Facebook, and his philanthropist wife Priscilla Chan.


If she wins $250,000 scholarship, her Abu Dhabi-based school wins a $100,000-worth science laboratory and her nominated teacher wins $50,000.


The contest requires students to upload a video explaining a theory in physics, mathematics or life science. The Bangladeshi student is urging public to 'like' her video on Facebook page.


Ahmed, who has made it to the semifinals and is one of the remaining 29 participants, said: "I nominated my computer science and mathematics teacher Mr Yahya Nasser for the $50k and my high school for the $100k on-campus science laboratory.


"There were countless times I approached him in his office with questions outside of our calculus and computer science topics and barraged him with questions. There was never a time he did not have time to answer each and every one considerately. Kindness is so important when teaching a young audience. He has an impeccable moral character, deep understanding of computing concepts, and deep-rooted empathy."


Ahmed took part last year as well, however, did not make to the finals with her String Theory in physics.


She is currently studying statistics and science data at the University of Melbourne and her video for the competition, which had 12,000 registrants this year, is on the 'P VS. NP Problem' in mathematics and computer science. She hopes she will win by the required popular vote this year.

"The P vs. NP problem is one of the most famous open problems within mathematics and computer science," Ahmed said. "The P vs. NP problem asks - is there a way to convert difficult to solve NP problems into P problems? If we can, the implications are drastic. Problems that previously had no obvious solution are suddenly solvable in seconds. This includes understanding protein folding, which could cure cancer."


"Since the prize is a $250k scholarship, I will use this to pursue my dreams to be a mathematician in ways that will help me grow and gain tremendous experience. I want to be representative of the notion that you don't have everything to be able to thrive. I was born in Dubai to two loving parents in a cozy home full of books. I didn't have access to top-notch scientific training or even great laboratories. What inspired me the most were the thrilling rides and the journey that accompanies making huge waves in science," Ahmed said.


The winner of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge will be announced at the internationally broadcast 2018 Breakthrough Prize ceremony live from Silicon Valley on November 4.