In CHOOSEMATHS grant winner profiles
CHOOSEMATHS Grant recipient profile: Marzieh Rahmani Moghadam

Marzieh Rahmani Moghadam

La Trobe University

Winter School Confirms Industry Ambition

La Trobe University student and AMSI Winter School 2017 participant Marzieh Moghadam is well aware of the commercial value of mathematics, particularly within the biomedical sector.

Currently completing a PhD, she is focusing her research on machine learning and deep learning approaches to optimise cell recognition accuracy.  An area of increasing focus as researchers grapple with large volumes of data, this work is maximising capacity to apply this critical information.

As well as ensuring the rapid identification and accurate tracking of cancer cell types to improve diagnostics and test treatment effectiveness, Marzieh’s work plays a role in managing immune diseases.

“My work has a range of applications including cancer and immune disease. The ability to track the immune system, for example, means we can check the trend of immune cells in patients with conditions such as HIV,” she says.

Marzieh plans to use her specialist expertise, of significant value to commercial laboratories, to pursue an industry career as well as mentor others.

“In ten years I see myself as a high-level industry researcher mentoring new employees at all levels,” she says.

AMSI Winter School 2017, one of Australia’s leading residential postgraduate training schools, gave her a taste of why such role-models matter for those laying the foundations for a research career, particularly women.

“This is a male-dominated field, it was great to have interactions with other women and build additional networks,” she said.

Not just about networking, the annual training school also proved the ideal platform for Marzieh to immerse herself in new areas of her field and exchange ideas.

“Exposure to so many relevant subjects in a timely, super efficient way was so beneficial.  I also enjoyed exchanging ideas during the machine learning sessions. I was able to give advice and share approaches from my own research,” she said.

As a student with budget constraints, Marzieh was only able to attend Winter School 2017 thanks to the support of a CHOOSEMATHS grant.

“I wouldn’t have been able to attend without this support, particularly the assistance to cover travel and accommodation,” she says.

Marzieh, whose interest in maths started when she was a child and only grew in high school, believes Australia has work to do on its mathematical pipeline.

“It is essential that Australia strengthen mathematics, particularly research linkages to industry,” she says.

For now Marzieh has her sights on an AMSI Intern placement, something she sees as essential to her entry into commercial research.

“Next year I hope to complete an AMSI internship as part of the final year of my PhD. I am really keen to do this as I think it is an essential way to better understand industry careers and how to achieve this,” she says.

Hosted by the Queensland University of Technology, AMSI Winter School 2017 focused on the computational foundations of data science.