Professor's portrait: Shahina Begum
Shahina Begum, Professor, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Division of Computer Science and Software Engineering.
Please tell us briefly about your academic career – what decisions have brought you to where you are today?
I always had an interest in the academic career from a young age. My father has encouraged me to get into it, and I also found that I like it a lot since I found I can help people and make a positive impact on the society with this career by educating people and performing research in the areas that can help people.
In what area do you conduct research?
I am doing research in Artificial Intelligence. During my BSC degree when I studied some topics in AI, I was fascinated about AI, partly because I loved to read science fiction books that predict the future connected with technologies. But at that time there was not many options to apply AI in real applications. In 2011, when I have completed my PhD in the area of AI, at that time also as far I remember many industries failed to see any immediate value of the application of AI in their business. But, at that time, I have already started to see the potential of AI to help people and society in different application areas, so I was fully motivated and continued my work in this field.
How would you describe your research environment at MDU?
I started my journey at MDU in Dec 2005 with my PhD degree, so I have been here quite a long time. I really feel that MDU has a very rich and friendly research environment. It gives me a working environment to perform good research activities.
What is the driving force in your research?
I like creative work- I enjoy when I work with a new idea and challenges to solve some unsolved problems.
Which research domains are particularly important for you?
The research that keeps human as a central part and work with the intention of helping people.
How do you feel about becoming a Professor given that MDU has recently become an official University?
MDU as a new university will now get the opportunity to expand its activities in different areas where I as a new professor in AI can support and help to place MDU as a university - excellent both in education and research in Sweden and internationally. So, I see this is a very good timing to become a professor at MDU.
What's the best part about conducting research at MDU?
Collaboration among the research activities and disciplines.