Empowering young scientists
My name is Sofiat Olaosebikan and I am from Nigeria. I am currently a fourth year PhD candidate in Computing Science, working on how we can use mathematical algorithms to find solutions to matching problems.
My ambition was born out of a strong desire to give back by empowering students and staff from within the STEM fields in Africa with computer programming skills, which, unfortunately, they are currently lacking and do not have free access to.
I am very lucky to have been awarded scholarships that have enabled me to realise and explore my passion for programming and problem-solving; and most importantly, enabled me to get to this point in my academic career.
It saddens me to know that there are so many students back in Africa who do not have access to the same opportunity and who are lacking the basic skills to realise their potential. As a result, they are not well-equipped to tackle the challenges affecting the continent for which scientific computing skills are required. These students are my motivation for starting PWSAfrica, an initiative which aims to train, inspire and empower them.
With support from the School of Computing Science, my amazing team, and the generous funding from our sponsors, we have successfully ran two programming workshops; in 2018 at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and in 2019 at the University of Rwanda in Kigali.
So far, we have trained over 200 participants on the fundamentals of Python programming for scientific purposes. In 2019, we invited two of our participants Ifeoma and Paul from our 2018 workshop to join us in Rwanda as tutors, creating a ripple effect of empowerment.
I am very enthusiastic about PWSAfrica and I have had a very rewarding experience leading our past workshops. As I look forward to future workshops, I am excited about the opportunity it presents: to make a significant impact in the lives of others.
I chose to study at the University of Glasgow because it houses experts and world-leading academics in the area of research that aligns with my interest.
Why Computing Science?
I am passionate about problem-solving and programming. During my Masters, I was introduced to the area of algorithmic graph theory and I got hooked! I was fascinated by how we can model real-world problems as graphs, and how we can study the structure of these graphs to answer questions arising from the problem. I enjoyed working in this area, so I decided to do a PhD to explore this interest further.
What I like most about my research is the rigour, the problem-solving process and the joy of knowing that results from my work have immediate applications in the real-world.
Sofiat is one of the University of Glasgow’s Future World Changers: students with ambitions to improve lives across the globe. Follow their journeys using #UofGFWC.