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"My dream has always been, not only to contribute to Science but to the whole of humanity." says Dr. Bashir

15 December 2019


Ali M Bukar

Today, we are excited to present Dr. Bashir, a post-doctoral research fellow at the prestigious Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, USA. His research works to find a solution to network traffic congestion on Energy Science Network(EsNet).



Research interest or field:

My research is focused on developing AI and Machine Learning algorithms to optimally control distributed network resources, improve high-speed big data transfers and control high-speed networks that will eventually minimize network downtime and avoid network traffic congestion for critical exacscale scientific workflows.



Tell us about your research in layman's language

I am currently developing AI and Machine Learning algorithms to control high-speed networks, such as avoiding data traffic congestion, degraded network performance, and network downtime for important Science Bigfile transfers and experiments. My method will minimize network downtime, save the US Department of Energy (DOE) millions of dollars on equipment cost, and free engineers to work on science experiments. My research contributed to the core network research and operations with my strong background in High-Performance Computing and cloud, where I developed and built these infrastructures during my Ph.D.



What do you enjoy about your research and what is it about the field that excites you?

I enjoy my research because it allows me to discover some of the latest cutting-edge solutions for one of the most significant challenging open research problems in Network engineering research: which is the Network traffic congestion problem. This excites me a lot because every day, I learn something new and exciting.



Did you always want to be a scientist? Tell us about your first exposure to science and whether it was why you developed an interest in It?

I have always been interested in Science since when I was a kid. I used to enjoy taking things apart to see how they work. Building my first computer was an experience that remains fresh in my memory. Looking over what seemed to be a city of silicon, I was amazed at how elegantly the chips, integrated circuits, and all the components were arranged on the computer motherboard. This was how I started developing interest.



Is there a scientist working today who you admire, and why?

My current boss and advisor, Dr. Mariam Kiran of ESnet. She built the Network research project on the same foundation that she runs her research group: Deep and Autonomic High-Performance Networks (DAPHNE), with an open flow of information, ideas and effort. It makes a massive difference in how we work together as a team, collaborate with other groups in other US National Labs, and even how we work with other institutions. She is an inspiration to a lot of upcoming young scientists.



What do you think are the biggest challenges currently facing scientists and their work in Nigeria?

I must say this: Nigerian is the most educated black nation in the world, We have a lot of talented Nigerian scientist all over the world doing amazing and cutting edge scientific research but the environment is not conducive, supportive and encouraging, and above-all, lack of equipment is a key bottleneck to conducting quality scientific research.



What are the challenges and sacrifice you have had to give for science or while doing science?


Science has been a big part of my life. For my first degree, I went to the University of Technology Minna, where things were very challenging. You had to have a thick skin with a high level of ambition to be a successful student. One thing that kept me going is the idea that I would invent something that would positively impact humanity.

This passion propelled me to pursue further a master's and then a Ph.D. research degree. 



If you weren’t a scientist, what do you think you’d be doing?

I will be an actor performing in a play on stage in a theatre.



What do you think is the most significant scientific discovery of all time?

In my opinion I think it is Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Intelligence.  It is amazing to see how AI techniques have become an essential part of the tech industry, helping to solve many challenging problems in computer science, software engineering and operations research.

Covid 19

Aspiration – What do you aspire to do next, could be research, grant, collaboration etc

My dream has always been, not only to contribute to science but to humanity. Being part of the Berkley Lab research Team gave me the platform to innovate and to work with some of the world’s smartest scientist and researchers. Currently Berkeley Lab has 13 Nobel prize winners. I aspire to be part of the Team that will win the 14th Nobel prize for the Lab.  Hopefully my contributions will inspire young Africans to also push ahead and chase their dreams. I also aspire to mentor young students having the passion for science towards discovering their potentials.

A few words of advice for aspiring scientists

My advice for aspiring scientist is to be persistent, focus and develop their novel ideas, thereby helping to carve a niche for themselves in their chosen research field. I will advise them to always think of the overall impact of their research not just to Nigeria alone but to Africa and the world at large.

What you wish to tell the public about your research or field.

Can you imagine one single day without an Internet Connection? As at 2018 over 60% of the world population were already connected online, which means internet network traffic will continue to grow exponentially day by day. My research is using Artificial intelligence to bring a lasting solution to this world challenging research problem.

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