Alumni Profile

Tendai MUGWAGWA from Zimbabwe is a 2003 AIMS graduate. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Rochester Medical center in New York State, USA

What did you gain from AIMS?

At AIMS I gained a lot of skills and important life experiences. For instance, problem solving, computing, research paper writing skills and the power of networking in academia. AIMS changed my view of science. Before, I used to see mathematics as a set of problems that needed solving, but now it is a set of tools that I can use to solve other life's problems.

How did your education at AIMS prepare you for your current job/studies?

In my current job, I use the majority of the skills I gained at AIMS. As a researcher in theoretical immunology, my work involves the use of mathematical analysis and computer simulations to understand the dynamics of various diseases causing pathogens within a particular host.

Which AIMS lecturer(s) made a lasting impression on you and why?

Probably because of the close interaction I had with the lecturers at AIMS, I still clear memory of all of them and what they taught me. To mention a few here, I will always remember Dr Micheal Pickles, who I still think is the most patient lecturer I have ever met. He was happy to answer any questions I had regardless topic, location or time of day. I will also mention Dr Gareth Witten who introduced me to the field of theoretical immunology and to whom I credit my first scientific article in an international journal.

What advice would you give to today’s students?

Before you decide to come to AIMS be prepared to give your all to the experience that awaits. Be ready to experience science rather than to be taught science. In between the science, I hope you take time to learn how to surf!

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