#AlumoftheWeek — Deo Byabazaire, AIMS Ghana ‘20
The year has been fruitful, and we have had several alumni share with us their AIMS experience and how it has contributed to their successes post-graduation.
This edition brings you the last on the #AlumoftheWeek for 2021. We meet up with AIMS Ghana 2020 alumnus from Uganda who is currently pursuing postgraduate studies at Hasselt University, Belgium. Deo Byabazaire is our guest for this week.
Q: Please share with us your journey before arriving at AIMS Ghana.
Deo: Before joining AIMS, I had a Bachelor of Science training in Education with a specialty in Mathematics and Physics from Makerere University, Uganda. I majored in Mathematics, an area I have always saluted for its application in solving prevailing societal challenges. I then joined the field of teaching for a while. I was privileged to be a strategic intern at the Makerere University at Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI). This was made possible with the help of some lecturers at the Mathematics Department, Makerere University. Special recognition goes to Dr. Rebecca Nsubuga and Dr. Rev John Kitayimbwa for always inspiring, encouraging, and recommending me in this career path.
Q: How would you describe your AIMS experience? Is there any moment that still stays with you?
Deo: I was privileged to have had some AIMS alumni as lecturers during my undergraduate studies. They would always share the beautiful experience of studying at AIMS, which served as a motivation to apply. To be sincere, joining AIMS was the best opportunity that transformed my life in terms of knowledge and skills.
The collaboration with different students from different African countries was extraordinary. The conducive environment could allow us to enjoy the weekends, celebrating some birthdays and sometimes playing games like football, volleyball, table tennis, swimming as one way of refreshing our minds.
Weekends were always hot as assignments were worked on to be submitted. The entire campus would turn silent as students would be busy getting these assignments done behind their laptops.
In general, the learning environment at AIMS was so good in terms of the cooperation of students with tutors, lecturers, and administrators inclusive. The treatment towards each other was family-based, while interactions between students and lecturers were extraordinary.
My good memory would be the first week of the program comprised of different assignments to be composed using LaTex, of which I had not yet grasped all the tricks of making a good assignment report using LaTex. I, therefore, realised that sleeping at night was not compulsory.
Q: With the experience highlighted, how would you say AIMS impacted your current path?
Deo: I appreciate the set-up of the whole program. It equips students with a variety of skills and knowledge, making them versatile in solving different problems from different angles. The theoretical concepts of most fields of science are transformed into real-life experiences by using various programming languages such as Python, R, Sage etc. These programming languages enhanced my understanding of problem-solving. The class presentations and weekly assignment writing were also very significant. These enhanced my presentation and scientific writing skills.
My love for mathematics increased after joining AIMS and fueled my desire to continue searching for more study opportunities to apply it. As a postgraduate Data Science student, these experiences and impacts are coming in handy.
Q: Tell us about your past-AIMS successes.
Deo: Although the period spent at AIMS is relatively shorter than most postgraduate training, the experiences and resources provided help you perform world-class research. As such, my first success was to get my AIMS thesis published in a journal. With my ambition to become a Bioinformatician, I have successfully gained admission to Hasselt University, Belgium. I am pursuing a master’s program that transitions into a PhD in Data Science. This, I deem a great success.
Q: How will your studies help solve any of the Sustainable Development Goals?
Deo: In my studies, I investigate genetic and genomic data. That is, information related to the analysis of DNA, RNA, and their associated diseases in the human body. The goal is to discover control measures to deal with those specific diseases. This helps appreciate people’s good health and well-being as one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Q: Having the chance to share a word with a current student at AIMS or an African youth, what would you say?
Deo: My words will be few; “believe in yourselves and have the mindset that everything is possible and attainable. Notwithstanding, work hard and never give up no matter the situation you experience. The pressure you experience today makes a good tomorrow when you endure.”