Graduate School News

Discoveries: When breathing isn’t so easy

IMG 8159Courtney Petty, a graduate student in the Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology theme of the Graduate Biomedical Sciences program, researches new therapeutics that could potentially improve the lives of people living with cystic fibrosis.
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Not just a postdoc, not just a soldier

DSC 0919Samir Rana, a postdoctoral fellow from Nepal, has spent the past two years balancing life as a postdoc and as a solder in the U.S. Army Reserve.
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Discoveries: Does living longer always equal better?

IMG 8199Leigh Ann Bray is a Ph.D. student in the School of Nursing with a research focus on helping those with cystic fibrosis have a better quality of life.

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Samir Rana

Eman Hamsa has received her M.Sc. in Mathematics and is currently working on her Ph.D in Applied Mathematics. She began her work here at UAB in mathematical physics.

Eman explains, “Mathematical Physics is concerned with the rigorous mathematical study of physical systems and the development of mathematical methods suitable for addressing physical problems. One of those problems is the effects of internal randomness on the conduction properties of solids. For example, the existence of randomly distributed impurities inside a metal will affect how well it conducts electricity. My research focuses on the study of systems where the randomness is due to an external magnetic field affecting the metal rather than impurities inside it. The presence of such a field induces certain internal random processes affecting the electrons and causing their behavior to change dramatically, turning the solid from a good conductor to a complete insulator in some cases. A rigorous study of such systems combines a number of mathematical disciplines such as probability theory, spectral theory and functional analysis.”

UAB’s math department and the outstanding faculty members working in different areas of mathematical physics are why Eman chose UAB for her graduate studies. “Since I have always been fascinated with problems in mathematical physics, UAB was a natural choice for me. The friendly atmosphere at UAB, and Birmingham in general, were also major factors in my decision.”

While attending UAB, Eman was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society in 2004 and has received the Outstanding Mathematics Graduate Student Award at the doctoral level for 2007.
She believes that being at UAB gave her a great opportunity to interact with the diverse UAB community. “These interactions have enriched my life greatly and made me proud to be a member of this community. Aside from research I think my most rewarding experience at UAB was being able to teach. It is an amazing feeling to be able to share with others some of the beauty of mathematics, while providing them with the basic knowledge needed in numerous applications in life.”

Eman feels very fortunate to have met some amazing people here at UAB. “Whether they were my teachers or my friends,” she adds, “each had an undeniable impact on my life. I think the greatest impact was that of my mentor Dr. Gunter Stolz. His enthusiasm about mathematics, confidence and optimism is a great inspiration for me, while his encouragement and support continue to help me develop both scientifically and personally.”

When asked if she has any advice for her fellow graduate students, Eman replied, “Because graduate school is a life enriching experience, my advice for graduate students is to enjoy every class you can take.”

Eman plans to pursue a research career in mathematical physics while teaching mathematics at the university level.