Horizon Scholarship recipient makes impact through data-driven decision making

NOTE: This is one in a series of articles on Brock’s 2023-24 Horizon Graduate Student Scholarship recipients. Read other stories in the series on The Brock News.

Sheraz Ahmad is driven to uncover hidden truths in data.

The Brock University master’s student, and recent Horizon Graduate Student Scholarship recipient, discovered the power of data science during his undergraduate studies in Pakistan, where he conducted impactful research on the effects of COVID-19 misinformation on social media and developed innovative measures of happiness across global regions.

After completing his undergraduate degree in 2022, he worked with global organizations such as the World Health Organization, the British Council, World Bank, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The work inspired him to pursue a master’s in Mathematics and Statistics at Brock, where his research focuses on using impactful data, predictive modelling and advanced statistical techniques to enhance policy-making.

“At Brock, I am refining my statistical skills, vital for interpreting complex data and making meaningful contributions to the field,” Ahmad says. “My journey beautifully merges academic inquiry with real-world experiences, fueling my passion for uncovering data-driven truths.”

He was grateful to be chosen to receive a Horizon Scholarship.

Being recognized with this scholarship is an honour. It’s a testament to my journey and Brock’s commitment to academic excellence,” he says. 

Ahmad’s recent research project, analyzing crime data from the Toronto Police Service, is a testament to his skills. His analysis has unearthed patterns and predicted trends, aiding the development of efficient crime prevention strategies.

“This research stands out for its real-world impact. Transforming data into insights directly influences policymaking, a process that is both challenging and immensely rewarding,” says Ahmad.

Beyond the academic challenge of completing his master’s degree, Ahmad has overcome several obstacles to pursue his dreams, including moving to a new country as an international student and seeking financial support such as the Horizon Scholarship to allow him to continue his research.

Ahmad says these challenges contribute to his personal growth, teaching him resilience, adaptability and value of perseverance. He has found that meaningful relationships with peers, mentors and loved ones overseas are crucial to overcoming personal and academic difficulties.

Looking ahead, Ahmad aspires to leverage his expertise as a consultant and eventually lead his own firm, aiming to revolutionize how data informs decisions and policies in government and corporate sectors.

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