Fatema Al-Gharbi, who is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Mathematical Computational Sciences at Stanford University, was awarded entry into the Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program. The ten-week program allowed Fatema to focus on her chosen topic of data mining and data analysis under the mentorship of Prof. Susan Holmes at the Statistics Department. Through this award, she was able to conduct hands-on-research and laboratory experiments, attend weekly talks given by faculty mentors on a variety of scientific fields, and learn about the research of other fellow students. At the end of the ten-week period, Fatema joined her peers in exhibiting research results at the Bio-X symposium, which is open to the public.
“This summer, I had a very unique experience,” says Fatema. She explained that her research focused on writing an application to visualize the Dynamics of Bacterial Communities through a time course experiment. “The application turns large datasets on bacteria records to graphical networks that may show interesting patterns or clusters of the distinct bacteria in the dataset. Currently some researchers, especially biologists at Stanford, showed their interest in using the application to find patterns and clusters of bacteria in the human mouth.”
“This was such an amazing experience for me because I found myself in love with data mining and data analysis. It helped me improve my coding skills in R and learn new packages to process and visualize data. I learnt that in order to solve a problem one needs to be educated in interdisciplinary fields, hence I am encouraging everyone to take a few courses that are not related to their fields and try new things. That is the way one can discover and learn about their hidden skills and talents. I realize everyday how blessed I am to have the support of CPISP, no words can express my gratitude.”