Electrical Engineering Student Chosen for Prestigious Fulbright Foreign Student Program

zkhan@masdar.ac.ae (Zarina Khan) | Sat Nov 3, 2018

Maryam Abbas Ahmad Hussain Sajwani Keen to Focus her Master’s on Machine Learning to Develop Software that Tests Students’ Skills


For Maryam Abbas Ahmad Hussain Sajwani, currently studying for her BSc in Electrical Engineering at Khalifa University, her most recent birthday proved to be extra lucky. It was the day she found out she was chosen for the prestigious Fulbright Foreign Student Program for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Since June 2018, I had not received any response on my application, so it was a great surprise,” said an elated Sajwani on receiving a call on her birthday from the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

The scholarship program is a two-year fellowship that provides full funding for two academic years to achieve a Master’s degree at a US university. Sponsored by the US Department of State, the Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program designed to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchange.

The America-Mideast Educational and Training Services (AMIDEAST), a private American nonprofit organization engaged in international education, training, and development assistance work, administers the Fulbright Foreign Student Program for the Middle East and North Africa on behalf of the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Sajwani said she would be applying to a maximum of eight universities, but her preference is clear. “My top five choices are Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, University of California Berkley, Georgia Tech or University of Pennsylvania,” she shared.

Sajwani is grateful to Khalifa University faculty and officials, especially Marianne Hassan, former Chief of Staff, who had briefed her about the program and had guided her along the way.

She added: “I had started my application process in April 2018 and submitted my application in June. Then I was called in for an interview, during which I had been asked about my past experiences, my goals and why should I be selected into the program. A week after the interview, I was again invited, along with other applicants, for an alumni get-together, where we socialized and gained further insights into the program.”

Sajwani intends to focus her studies on machine learning. “I am planning to study Applied Mathematica with a focus on machine learning -- a derivative of artificial intelligence (AI). I want to do research on how educational systems can be evolved and how to attain a maximum success rate with development of a software that tests students’ skills, creates a unique roadmap for learning, accelerates their recurring power and increases their thought process.”

She has also set her sights high for further studies to continue with her research work when she is back in the UAE.

She said: “On my return to the UAE, I wish to apply for a PhD program. I aspire to make learning easier and more engaging, by creating a tool that helps educators understand their students learning patterns and helps them get the best out of their learning experiences.”

Clarence Michael
News Writer
4 November 2018