Maryam Asghari

MSCS Degree Helps Designer Pivot to New Career as Data Scientist

Maryam Asghari
Data Scientist at Telenav
MS in Computer Science (MET’22)

What do you find most fascinating about the discipline of computer science? Do you have a particular focus within the broader field?
Computer science is the art of solving complex and challenging problems, and creating something new. It is full of opportunities. It does not have any boundaries and the possibilities are endless.

During my master’s degree program, I had the chance to explore and focus on state-of-the-art Natural Language Processing (NLP) and object detection algorithms. It is very impressive to see how powerful these algorithms are and how our lives can be enriched by computation.

Did you always intend on going back to school, or did the need arise at a particular moment?
I have a degree in architecture engineering and interior design, and I was working as a designer. But my job was not satisfying and I needed a change. I took several courses to find what I would enjoy and want to spend the next chapter of my life learning and using. That’s when I came across the BU MET computer science certificate program. I started to take computer science courses and as I learned more, I became more passionate about the field. It was then I decided to continue and go for a master’s degree. The MS in Computer Science program at MET was a great option for me to learn and work simultaneously.

Congratulations on your high achievement in the Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) program and your Award for Excellence in your studies! Looking back, what do you consider to be the main ingredients of your success?
the main ingredients to my success, in addition to my family’s and my advisor’s Dr. Farshid Alizadeh-Shabdiz help and support. I had the great pleasure of being taught by and working with Professor Alizadeh-Shabdiz as his TA and RA during my time at MET.

How were you able to successfully balance your studies with your commitments outside the classroom?
Being a mom, working part time and going back to school was not an easy task. BU MET part-time and evening classes made this possible for me. I had the option to attend evening classes twice each week. I needed to put some part of my life on hold for two years, which was not hard due to COVID-19 restrictions. Without my family’s support I could not have managed everything. I’m so thankful for having such a supportive family.

Was your success in the program driven by a particular outcome—such as professional advancement, educational achievement, personal satisfaction, or something else?
Getting back to school and changing my major was a life-changing decision. I was scarifying my time with my family to attend classes and study. I needed it to be worth it. I wanted to get the most out of my courses, be the best of myself and succeed.

Is there a particular course or project that enhanced your experience in the MSCS program?
It is really hard to only choose one course or project but I can narrow it down to two courses. Web Mining and Graph Analytics (MET CS 688) with Professor Reza Rawassizadeh was the best course that I took in data analytics, and Software Engineering (MET CS 673) with Professor Yuting Zhang was the strongest in computer science. I learned a lot and gained valuable skills, from research to working on a group project. I used the skills and knowledge that I gained from these two courses during my internship and my fulltime job.

How do you plan to apply the skills and competencies you gained during your studies moving forward? What is next in store for you?
The skills and competencies that I gained helped me to attend an internship program which later converted to a fulltime position. I started my career as a data scientist right after finishing my master’s program. During my studies at BU, in addition to gaining knowledge and skills, I was able to build my self confidence and become aware of my potential, which is very helpful in my career as well as my personal life.

You were recognized by faculty and peers for your hard work and dedication to the MSCS program. What “words of advice” or encouragement have served as a guiding principle, or simply inspiration, for you?
To never give up and believe in yourself and your abilities. You can achieve any goals and dreams with persistence and dedication.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Joining the BU MET master’s program was the best decision of my life and changed it for the better. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the great instructors and mentors, the amazing faculty of the MET program, my colleagues and my family who helped and supported me all along my journey at BU. I want to specially thank Professor Alizadeh-Shabdiz. I had the pleasure of working as his teaching assistant during spring semester 2021, and as his research assistant during fall semester 2021. With Professor Alizadeh-Shabdiz’s guidance and support, I grew educationally and professionally. I will always be so grateful for all he did for me.

View all posts