Meet KAUST new student: Mohammed Khalid Aljahdali

By Jovana Cvorovic

Mohammed Khalid Aljahdali obtained his B.Sc. from King Abdulaziz University, Faculty of Computing and Information Technology, Rabigh, Saudi Arabia.

For Mohammed, joining KAUST is a dream come true. Originally from Thuwal, Khalid Aljahdali recalls when KAUST was founded and what it meant to him and his local community. Since then, his dream has become a reality as he joins the University as a M.S./Ph.D. student in the Software-defined Advanced Networked and Distributed Systems (SANDS) Lab led by Professor Marco Canini.

What was your main subject during your undergraduate degree? Why did you choose it?

I wanted to become a computer engineer, like my father. As I loved video games, I wanted to become a programmer, too. Then after doing some research, I realized that I should study computer science.

Why have you chosen to pursue a M.S/Ph.D. at KAUST?

KAUST has excellent state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Shaheen supercomputer and Ibex GPU cluster. Moreover, KAUST’s computer science faculty are among the best in the world. By doing a M.S/Ph.D. here, I will be able to conduct high-quality research and hopefully advance the world further.

When did you first become interested in computer science? What are your research interests?

During my preparatory year at the university, I learned more about different majors and their topics. By that point, I was hooked on computer science as it afforded me the most creative freedom one can have. The possibility to create whatever one can imagine is amazing. 
Over the past two years, I’ve been involved in the field of artificial intelligence, specifically deep learning. I enjoy creating things, and the opportunity to create using cutting-edge technology excites me. So, I am interested in deep learning research because of the interaction between discovery and the building of new systems.

What do you do in your spare time? What are you passionate about?

I enjoy reading manga, playing video games, and basketball. I try to divide my spare time between these activities.

What is your future outlook?

I will be working on improving neural networks on a fundamental level.

Can you give a piece of advice to students who plan to pursue a M.S/Ph.D. at KAUST?

Find your research interest. Find something that you enjoy working on, something that will motivate you even during tough times. Then find a professor who shares the same or similar interests.