#AlumOfTheWeek – Jeanette Nyirahakizimana, AIMS Senegal & AMMI alumna.

Data continues to drive decision-making in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Several institutions and companies gather extensive data to make the best decisions that promote effective and efficient administration and planning. The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) saw this from afar and targeted to train the brightest students of Africa to be part of this revolution. AIMS prepares students in problem-solving techniques rather than exam-based approaches and makes critical thinking a core part of its module. The young and talented African is exposed to training in Machine Intelligence and other modules that combine theoretical knowledge with work experience. They engage in real-life data gathering, manipulation, and realistic predictions.

Partnering with like-minded institutions and industrial companies, AIMS provides internship opportunities to its alumni to help them in their data-decision plans. One of such institutions is the Inshango.ai group. Inshango.ai serves as the bridge between Africa’s top talents and global business. They offer global companies the ability to access the untapped talent pool in Africa; the AIMS alumni.

In the inaugural cohort of the AIMS-Inshango Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Fellowship Program, Jeanette Nyirahakizimana worked on the Tobacco Farmland problem from Philip Morris International.

Jeanette Nyirahakizimana is Data Analyst and a Machine Learning Engineer. She is a Rwandan national. She attended the AIMS Senegal Centre and obtained the African Masters of Machine Intelligence (AMMI) degree in 2021. She worked on a thesis titled “A Cluster-Based Variance Reduced Method for Online Learning.”  Before that, she had gained the AIMS MSc. in Mathematical Sciences, where she worked on “Modelling Transshipment of Breweries Products: A Case Study of Bralirwa Beverages Company” as her research thesis. She graduated from the University of Rwanda in 2016 with a BSc. in Applied Mathematics.

Jeanette is good in Python and R programming languages and has taken steps in improving her skills through self-learning in Mathematical modelling of the ecological system, 2019; International Computer Driving License, 2019; Big Data Analytics with Python short course, 2019; PRAIRIE/MIAI Artificial Intelligence Summer school, 2021; and Machine Learning foundation courses on AWS Platform, 2021.

In September 2021, Jeanette joined Philip Morris International (PMI) as a Data Scientist fellow. She carried out agricultural data analyses and undertook data preparation and visualization. She gave recommendations for farmers on improving ground operations, efficiently managing the crop, selecting the best quality tobacco seeds, and avoiding mixed cropping for the highest yields and returns. The fellowship was an opportunity to fulfil Jeanette’s dream of becoming an accomplished data scientist working with international companies. She said, “I  first heard of the  AIMS-Ishango Data Science Fellowship Program through the AIMS Experiential Learning Platform. I read the values of ISHANGO, and I realized that it would fulfil my dream and my desire. I want to become a data scientist and get real-world experience. I hope to apply the knowledge I get from this fellowship to the industry. I also want to get experience to work with various business sectors.”