Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Doctoral study hints at revolutionary breakthroughs in your life, says Maryam Doborjeh who came to AUT as an international student from Iran to complete a PhD in computing.
“A PhD gives you the opportunity to make important discoveries in a specific subject that you’re passionate about. I believe there is no endpoint in learning, especially when you become more specialised in the field of your interest.”
Maryam’s research is in the field of artificial intelligence, particularly spiking neural networks.
“I’m involved in several national and international projects. For example, in a joint project between AUT and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, I developed a new AI-based personalised modelling system to improve decision-making in healthcare.
“My vision for this research went beyond improving the decision-making accuracy; it also included enhancing the model interpretability. Every patient deserves to have a personalised health profile that can inform the end-users about the casual interactions between risk factors that have triggered a certain event.”
A thriving research environment
She is proud of where she is and what she has achieved in her research so far, Maryam says.
“I adore being based at AUT’s Knowledge Engineering and Discovery Research Institute (KEDRI), and being involved in challenging research projects that involve international collaborations and encourage me to think outside the box.
“During my PhD study at AUT, my work has resulted in 17 publications in reputable international journals and other publications.”
She considers AUT a renowned venue for study and research, says Maryam who was awarded a competitive doctoral fee scholarship from KEDRI and received the AUT dean’s excellence award in 2016 for her outstanding research performance.
“AUT is a university where students can strengthen their learning through ongoing professional development. I particularly appreciate the university-wide collaboration with national and international institutions and companies. That is very beneficial for doctoral students.”
Advice for other students
Expecting to complete her PhD at the end of the year, Maryam has some great advice for other students.
“The PhD journey demands a curious and ambitious person who likes digging for something new. If you want to challenge and push yourself to achieve life-changing goals, then a doctorate may be for you. Just bear in mind that sometimes the PhD journey can feel frustrating. A PhD is like an adventure, where you not only find the right solution but will also discover the wrong paths.”
Make the most of the opportunities available at AUT, she advises.
“AUT supports a wide range of meet-ups where students can get together with academics and other experts in their field of interest. You can also join various group discussions which will enhance your research skills, critical thinking, and of course your confidence and English skills.”