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UAE’s first master’s student in mathematics defends thesis at AUS
The first thesis defense for a Master of Science in Mathematics (MSMTH) was held at American University of Sharjah (AUS) on May 1, 2014. The student, Mariam Abushammala, will be the part of the first batch of MSMTH graduates in the United Arab Emirates.
Students in the AUS Master of Science in Mathematics program may choose from the thesis or non-thesis option. To meet the thesis requirement, the student must complete independent research supervised by a faculty advisor. Abushammala's thesis discusses iterative numerical methods for solving boundary value problems, which are abundant with many applications in the natural and engineering sciences.
The thesis defense was divided into two parts: Abushammala first presented her research to the thesis committee and then proceeded to defend her thesis. "During my time in the AUS mathematics graduate program, I gained valuable experience both inside and outside of the classroom. The classes were challenging me to think about, and experience, math in new and interesting ways," said Abushammala. "The research I conducted gave me firsthand experience in applied mathematics, numerical analysis and technical writing/reporting in a way that opened my door to future professional research possibilities." Abushammala defended her thesis successfully before the thesis committee, which included Dr. Suheil Khoury, Dr. Marwan Abukhaled and Dr. Ali Saifi, faculty members in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
"The master's program in mathematics was launched in Fall 2012 as the first such program in the UAE. The program is growing steadily and is attracting students not just from the UAE but also from the region," said Dr. Mahmoud Anabtawi, Dean of College of Arts and Sciences. "I am very pleased to see the first batch of students is graduating this spring, and look forward to their participation in the graduation ceremony in June," he remarked.
"The master's program in mathematics started just two years ago, and this is the first master's thesis defense in the department. We are very proud of our program and students," said Dr. Abdul Salam Jarrah, Coordinator of the Mathematics Graduate Program. "Ms. Abushammala has been working hard on her thesis and we were pleased to see her succeed in her oral presentation and defense," he added.
The AUS Master of Science in Mathematics program is designed to train students with different professional goals, ranging from employment or career advancement in business, industry or government, to basic training in foundations needed to obtain a research career or pursue a PhD in mathematics or mathematics-related fields.