Kennesaw State computer science graduate realizes potential through research
KENNESAW, Ga. (May 13, 2021) — Ask Kennesaw State University professor Mohammed Aledhari to describe graduate computer science student Rehma Razzak, and he will respond with one word: productive.
Her resume, on the other hand, speaks for itself. In her first 16 months of graduate study, Razzak authored and co-authored nine academic papers with another four papers submitted for review.
“Simply put, she is the most productive graduate research assistant I’ve ever known in terms of her number of publications,” said Aledhari, an assistant professor in the College of Computing and Software Engineering. “Her commitment to research is outstanding, and I believe her best work is yet to come.”
After earning an undergraduate degree in computer science from Kennesaw State, Razzak was drawn to research and ultimately enrolled in the university’s Master of Science in Computer Science degree program in pursuit of opportunities to apply her studies on something tangible. With a background in computer game design and development, the first research paper she submitted as graduate student explored the use of machine learning in predicting which video game genres would become popular in subsequent years.
More recently, she has focused her research around healthcare applications of machine learning. One such project studies how machine learning can be a useful tool in predicting Alzheimer’s disease before it appears in patients. Another project seeks a more accurate way to diagnose autism among females.
“Currently, the tests that are being used are effective in diagnosing autism in boys, but a lot of females are going undiagnosed or misdiagnosed,” she said. “It’s my goal to come up with a system that can help address those mistakes.”
Razzak credits Aledhari and Mike Franklin, associate professor of gaming, for opening her eyes to the world of research. As a student, she was inspired by hearing her professors discuss their research and the benefits it can produce in the real world.
“As they spoke, I would start to think about my own ideas that I could explore,” she said. “Now, it has snowballed to where I can see myself exploring a wide range of topics. I’ve become more open-minded the more involved I have become, and I’m becoming better at communicating my ideas.”
Beyond research, Razzak said she is most proud of the community she has built during her time at KSU. After earning her master’s degree this week, she intends to pursue a Ph.D. while continuing her research.
“Kennesaw State has an amazing research community, and it’s one where I feel welcomed,” she said. “It’s clear to me that the faculty here are not only invested in their research projects, but they are invested in their students as well.”
– Travis Highfield
Photos by David Caselli
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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers close to 200 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.