STARKVILLE, Miss.--A Fulbright Scholarship brought Zadia Codabux in 2011 from the tiny Indian Ocean island of Mauritius to Mississippi State University.
Two years later, the computer science doctoral student was awarded a prestigious IBM Ph.D. Fellowship. After going through the complete evaluation process for the second time, Codabux recently learned she will receive the internationally competitive fellowship through 2015.
Not only does the fellowship fund Codabux's studies and her research, but it also sponsors a mentorship program with an IBM distinguished engineer.
"His name is Dr. Murray Cantor, and he's in the Boston area," Codabux said. "When we talk every two weeks, I get continuous feedback. He gives me ideas, and his expertise is invaluable because he provides industry perspective."
The American multinational technology and consulting corporation created the fellowships program to recognize top doctoral students whose research may help solve problems relevant to IBM. Their work might lead to invention or modernization in one of many areas, such as computer science and engineering or electrical and mechanical engineering, among others.
Codabux said her MSU research focuses on agile predictive analytics, especially the quantification of technical debt.
"In software development, when you run out of money or out of time, you might compromise on quality: The code is working, but it's not perfect," she explained. "In predictive analytics, a very new area of research, you can use statistical models to build a framework to guide managers to make decisions on which technical debt item to address first."
"This work can benefit the software engineering community in general."
The supportive atmosphere she has found in MSU's computer science and engineering department, as well as expertise of the faculty, has made the university an excellent place for Codabux to complete her studies, she said.
"I like the department, the lab and the faculty members," she said. "Equal opportunity is given to everybody, and they'll help you whatever way they can."
Codabux credited assistant professor Byron Williams, department head Donna Reese and graduate coordinator Edward Allen for their encouragement and assistance in helping achieve her goals.
Extending that support to other women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics is very important, she said. She serves as chair for Graduate Women in Science and Engineering, a campus network of women in a range of science, technology, engineering and math--STEM--disciplines.
Discover more about MSU's computer science and engineering department at www.cse.msstate.edu.
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