Featured in Five is a monthly section where we pose five questions to a Computing Reviews featured reviewer. Here are the responses from our June featured reviewer, Mariam Kiran (University of Bradford, UK).
Q: What is the most important thing that's happened in computing in the past 10 years?
A: I think it’s the advanced hardware, which has brought us into a new age of technology, whether through powerful parallel computing nodes or small mobile computing devices. These technologies are responsible for vast amounts of data processing, including the quick and intelligent decisions being made by the devices we use daily.
Q: By the end of your career, where do you think computer science will have taken us? What are you working on that might contribute toward that?
A: We are working toward a technology-led life. I can expect a life that will be smart in every way, although we will be highly dependent on tiny gadgets to make our lives easier. My research is focused on cloud computing and connected devices, where I am working largely in the area of smart cities. I am looking at issues with how data can be collected and sifted for relevance, and ways to make intelligent decisions, sometimes through simulations. These are issues that will be applied in all walks of life.
Q: Who is your favorite historical figure? Why?
A: It would be a mix of Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace. They were the women who inspired me to pursue science and engineering as a career, leading me to become a software engineer today. It is fascinating to see how these women were able to reach the heights in science that they reached. They inspire me everyday. Science is not a male-led field; women have a key role to play.
Q: If you weren't working in the computer science field, what would you be doing instead?
A: I would have been a surgeon, as I was initially training to become a medical doctor. Alas, even though I now work with technology and computer algorithms, I still use biological principles, physics, and math in many of the algorithms and frameworks I design today.
Q: What is your favorite type of music?
A: Indian classical and jazz.