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Preskella Mrad

Institution/Organization: University of Texas at Dallas

Department: Mathematics

Academic Status: Graduate Student

What conference theme areas are you interested in:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for science and engineering
Applications in science, engineering, and industry
Data assimilation, challenges in data science, math of AI and ML
High-performance computing, emerging architectures and programming paradigms
Inverse problems, optimization, and uncertainty quantification


I am a first year graduate student attending online in my home country. I am interested in getting exposed to new areas of research as I am shifting from pure mathematics, specifically several complex variables to applied fields involving real world problems and use of machine learning and artificial intelligence. I attended the SIAM TXLA conference recently and got some ideas of potential research in broader aspects of applied math.

Non-Work Related Activities/Interests:

Every academic journey can be traced back to an initial spark that differentiates it from other ventures and gives it the possibility of uniqueness. For me, this moment was when I received a high school scholarship due to my distinction among all the students in a new school I was attending. I moved to live with my sister in the city at the age of thirteen to keep the offered scholarship and my journey of taking on responsibilities started there. It was a chance to hope for further education despite the cultural and economic obstacles that I faced. I was a high school teacher for 4 years teaching calculus and physics courses up till last year. I enjoyed teaching and linking the two fields as I did my masters in pure mathematics. . Encouraged by the teaching experience I had, I saw the chance I am given to be part of helping students reach their goals through formal instruction or by daily interaction. Exploring the slow but obvious improvement of particular students having hard times with the subject motivated me even more to give my best. Getting involved in smaller study groups or one-on-one teaching sessions helped concentrate on strengthening weaknesses and achieve better results. My interest in helping students from underprivileged communities and equipping them to be able to continue their education have led me to volunteer throughout most of the summers I spent in Bekaa in a school that teaches refugees. It is harder yet more rewarding to teach diverse kids as you get to hear the stories of these communities and the hardships they went through. Making a difference is quite easy in these situations since any help is appreciated, whether it is providing food, clothing, education, children programs, and trauma training. I was able to put to use the talents and abilities I have gained from my academic and professional experience to help in such communities. Some of the community outreaches I participated in include food distribution and basic language programs to camps and poor areas. Moreover, I helped in organizing sports activities like football tournaments to underrepresented rural areas for elementary kids. I attended trauma management conferences to better equip my ability to take part in field outreaches.