Alumni Spotlight: A Conversation with Hauwa Ibrahim ’19

Hauwa Ibrahim Aminu is a BSc Hons Computer Science graduate from our Class of 2019, who recently completed an MSc in Business Information and Systems Management with Distinction from Middlesex University, Mauritius. Hauwa is an ardent programmer who loves to code, and loves to find solutions to common issues that affect people’s everyday lives. We recently caught up with Hauwa to find out what she has been up to since she graduated from LUG.

Why did you choose to study Computer Science for your first degree, and why LUG?
I chose Computer Science because of my passion for programming. I already had some knowledge about information, communication, and technology in general, so I was confident that it was something I would enjoy doing for the rest of my life, and given the trajectory of the world in technological advancement, I figured it was the right programme for me.

LUG honestly was just the perfect option for me. It seemed very convenient for me to get a British degree, without having to go through the trouble of travelling all the way to the United Kingdom. From the very moment I heard about the university, I knew it was the kind of environment I wanted to be carryout my research and learning.

Another reason why I chose to study Computer Science at LUG was because of the course structure; it was really more than just programming. A lot of the other modules on the course on areas in human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, security and risk, operating systems, and much more. I have no doubt now that Computer Science was the right course for me, and there was no better place to study it than LUG.

Tell us about your experience studying Computer Science at LUG.
I believe that my time at Lancaster University Ghana was truly one of the best experiences I have had so far. Beyond the academics, I had opportunities to attend tech conferences, and even present at some of these conferences by showcasing projects, and these were some of my most memorable memories at LUG. This is one of the many reasons the Computer Science course at LUG stands out. As a student, you get to have firsthand experience of the real world even before graduating from the school.

I really tried to make the best of my experience as a student at LUG. During my study, I was a project manager in my foundation year, a class captain, and a student union electoral commissioner during my undergraduate years. In addition to that, in my second year, I was a teaching assistant for Digital Information Systems, Project Management, and Mathematics. I had to ensure that I was able to balance being a TA with my own academic endeavors, and thanks to the very supportive team of teaching and non-teaching staff at LUG, I did it seamlessly.

Another thing I loved about the university was the long summer breaks. During such breaks, I partook in various activities; I gained valuable work experience, travelled, and also signed up for some institutes which helped in making me a better programmer. Each time I came back for a new academic year, I realized that I was a better version of myself as a result of the things that I had learnt during the summer.

LUG is truly a university that I would recommend to everyone because I enjoyed my time there. From the very first day I was there, the people – both the staff and students, were really welcoming, and they were always available when you needed help. In the university, it is almost as if we are all family, because we all play a part in lifting each other up, as well as also try to bring the best out of each other.

What would you say about the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study?
The transition from my undergraduate degree to postgraduate study was not incredibly challenging. As mentioned earlier, LUG offers various courses that mold its students to go into various fields. The course I studied for my MSc was Business Information and Systems Management. At the beginning of my MSc, I found it a little bit challenging adjusting to the new environment. However, after a short while of trying to adjust and adapt, I realized that I already had prior knowledge on most of the modules I was studying, thanks to my studies at LUG.

Tell us a bit about the apps you have created.
Two of my latest projects from my undergraduate and post-graduate research, have focused on developing solutions to some of the problems that certain groups in specific industries face, or people generally. I am presently working on gathering further feedback from experts for my most recent project, and subsequently, I hope to put out the app on various platforms for general usage, but here’s a little information on JupiMart and ArchiScope:

JupiMart
JupiMart is an augmented reality-based mobile application that provides users with features that enables them to see a 3D representation of a product in real time, in various colors, and from different angles. Click here for a video that discusses the app in more details (including a demonstration of the app).

ArchiScope
I wanted to improve communication between architects and their clients, because I realized that clients usually lacked technical knowledge on architectural designs and hence, blueprints are likely to not provide an adequate representation of what the finished project would look like. As a result of that, clients might not be able to confidently visualize and finished building, making them potentially unhappy with the results.
ArchiScope was developed utilizing the powerful Unreal Game Engine, and the mobile application provides a number of features, such as allowing clients to interact with buildings in a novel way, including taking off certain floors to have a closer view, or to focus more on another floor.

The integration of augmented reality into the architectural field brings about a form of visualization tool. This can result in a more efficient way of communication between the architects and their clients.
Upon my return to Nigeria in January 2021, after completing my master’s degree, a lot of architects and building professionals picked interest in my project work, and this gave me the opportunity to demonstrate the details of the work to experts. A majority of the feedback I got back has been positive.

What are the future plans for your apps?
Both JupiMart and ArchiScope are applications that a lot of people have showed an interest in, and that makes me fulfilled already. Having this much support from many people is really motivating. Three years from now, I wish to push at least one of my applications into the market with the hope of having clients to work for. I hope that these applications are able to achieve their true potential and also have people actually benefit from it.

What advice would you give young ladies considering STEM, which was formerly said to be a very male-dominated field?
I want to tell the young people out there especially the ladies to not give up. I know they have probably heard this so many times, but I do not think you can hear it enough as it is a very powerful phrase. There are so many opportunities for people out there, especially the ladies because more and more people are trying to get more ladies into the field so that there will be a gender balance. During my study at Lancaster, I had various opportunities to go to tech conferences that were tailored for women in STEM. I would advise ladies interested in STEM to take advantage of such opportunities as they are particularly useful.

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