What My eagerness to gain a broader view

What motivates me to pursue a graduate degree in bioinformatics is the complexity of studying Genomics Data and the challenging problems that currently exist on this topic in the academic community. I am mainly interested in finding computational solutions to model evolutionary adaptation mechanisms in humans and pathogens. Also finding mathematical models to discover the basis of common diseases especially cancer. There are many open questions in this field that I would dream of finding the answer to. What features of our genomes and others are functionally relevant or even a simpler question: how to really recognize when it is nothing but noise? More importantly, why is it when a selection is acting? Can a single point mutation be disfavored for a minor disruption of a function? How are we ever possibly going to understand the human genome or the medical implications of its variants? I am eager to study such questions in a broad range of topics, including finding a mathematical model that explains how genomes mutate, how to de-noise data and other topics related to the Genomics Data. My particular set of skills in computation and analytics can help me approach these questions from a distinct perspective. I am interested in getting engaged in theoretical aspects of these topics as well as designing experiments, and utilizing experimental techniques to verify existing models.I always got encouraged by my academic performance in school. After elementary school, I was admitted to the national school which was run by the National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents. There was a huge competition between high school and college students where each team had to some mathematical problems which had an optimal algorithm to be solved. Our team made it to the final round among 100 other teams and eventually won the competition. When I realized that one of the students from our final opponent’s team was an international math and IOI medalist, I was shocked and also very encouraged. My eagerness to gain a broader view of the field of mathematics and theoretical computer science led me to choose the department of Mathematics and Computer Science to start my bachelor’s degree. Becoming more familiar with algorithms and programming led me to double major Mathematics and Information Technology. Given that it was a very new field of research, there was little knowledge of the topic among faculty researchers at our university. I searched for answers in other universities, even other cities, but it was to no avail. But I’m glad that I did not give up and after several failures, I was finally able to design an efficient multiplier for Optimal Normal Basis type I and type II. We are hoping that our publication on this topic will be soon published at IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II. My second project was about statistical approaches that applied to the R4MIM algorithm. During my last year of my Bachelor’s, I decided to familiarize myself with other fields of research in order to have a wider view of graduate research. I found myself really interested in bioinformatics. I started self-studying on this subject and taking some online courses. I started watching the instructional videos of Dr. Eric Lander from MIT which was extraordinary. Indeed, that was a period of overwhelming exhaustion and excitement at the same time. Sleeping at 3 a.m. and getting up 4 hours later was becoming a habit of mine at that time. Nevertheless, the feeling of learning something new and making important progress was itself a source of constant delight. Looking back, this period of my life has proved me of my academic interest in bioinformatics.That same year I decided to continue my graduate studies in the field of bioinformatics in ETH Zurich. ETH seemed like the perfect choice, given the institution’s global reputation and ranking, as well as the amazing faculty members there. I got admitted to the program and I was so excited, but because of financial problems I was not able to attend the program and destiny put me in a situation that I had to reject their offer. To follow my interests in bioinformatics while staying, it was a great opportunity for me to work with Professor Rabiee at Sharif who had a wide and comprehensive perspective on problems that related to Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Bioinformatics research. He also had a lot of international collaboration and introduced me to a faculty member in Australia: Dr. Alinejad. In my first research with Professor Rabieee, I worked on a review paper so that I could get a sense of the research that was being done in the lab and also there is no review paper that focuses on “Normalization methods for Hi-C data”.  I closely examined the weaknesses and strengths of every step of the algorithms as well as the comparison metrics themselves and our paper got accepted into “briefings in bioinformatics”. As the result of this review paper, we decided to develop a new mathematical model for preparing Hi-C data to proceed with downstream analysis. Another project that I work on with Dr. Alinejad is a chapter of “Encyclopedia of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology” that described some normalization method for microarray, RNA-Seq, and single cell RNA-Seq technologies. The Harvard Ph.D. The program is an ideal choice for me, due to the close parallels between my interests and those of several faculty members. I am very interested in working with Professor Sabeti on analyzing the sequences of the viral genome to understand how they are mutated and developed computational methods to detect genetic variants. In addition, I am interested in Professor Nowak work on using model-based experiments to study evolutionary dynamics. I’m also very eager to combine statistical methodology approaches using the knowledge of Professor Neale. I think that under the tutorship of the great faculty members in Harvard, I could strengthen my knowledge in biology and use my strong background in mathematics in order to research on biostatistics and bioinformatics.