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November 4, 2018

HBKU Alumnus and UN Fellow Advances Education Data

A graduate of the College of Science and Engineering (CSE), part of Qatar Foundation member Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), is working to improve access to education in areas facing critical humanitarian challenges, through a highly selective United Nations (UN) fellowship program at the Centre for Humanitarian Data in The Hague, Netherlands.
Abdulaziz Al-Homaid, who earned a Master of Science in Data Science and Engineering degree from HBKU, was awarded a prestigious fellowship by Education Above All (EAA) in partnership with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Centre for Humanitarian Data. He is one of only four candidates selected for the 2018 Data Fellows program from more than 700 international applicants.
The fellows were based in The Hague, where they were tasked with designing and delivering projects targeting education data challenges including data science, data storytelling, predictive analytics, and user experience research.With Al-Homaid’s assigned area being data science, he set out to gain a deeper understanding of the types of education data most widely gathered and used in different crisis scenarios, focusing his data research on Iraq, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen – all countries where complex emergency scenarios often arise.
Al-Homaid said: “My aim was to carry out extensive research using generated data to reshape a structured format by developing a ‘meta-dataset’ on education in emergency situations, which could be used to analyze its completeness for specific indicators.
“An example would be to identify a missing indicator within one country, but its existence within the other, so it could provide a roadmap for the center and its partners to help fill this gap. This EAA-OCHA Fellowship has opened up so many avenues and enabled me to work with an organization such as the UN. The invaluable experience I’ve gained will definitely contribute to my future academic and career prospects.”

Al-Homaid’s current responsibilities as a research associate at Qatar Computing Research Institute, part of HBKU, include adapting state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to public health informatics for healthy living, and in urban dynamics.

Find out more about Al-Homaid’s work by visiting

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