By Ellen Tsaprailis Photos by Lindsay Ralph
Maryam Havakeshian is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to find ways to reduce costs when building software applications for the vast 5G network.
“5G is a software-defined network,” says Havakeshian. “Our ultimate aim is to propose a framework to reduce the test cost of software to build a more reliable wireless network.”
Havakeshian is one of six graduate students who are Ericsson Fellows at Carleton University—a unique, talent-building program born out of the Ericsson-Carleton University Partnership for Research and Leadership in Wireless Networks.
Instead of working as a teaching assistant during their graduate studies, Havakeshian and the other fellows are being supported to fully focus on their pioneering wireless communications research and get input from both their academic supervisors and Ericsson professionals.
Havakeshian received both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in software engineering from Azad University in 2008 and 2014, respectively. She worked in industry for 10 years before moving to Ottawa to pursue a PhD in electrical and computer engineering.
“Working as a senior software engineer and studying at one of the top universities in Iran, I realized there is a gap between theory and practice to ensure reliable software testing,” says Havakeshian. “Reliable software testing tools are the missing link in most industries where software products are supposed to be delivered in limited time frames and this missing link inspired me to study.
“Having good development and maintenance practices are the magic bullet for expertise to deliver high-quality software products. I want to narrow this gap.”
While working, Havakeshian followed the research by Systems and Computer Engineering Department Chair and Professor Yvan Labiche who also runs the Software Quality Engineering Laboratory (SQUALL) at Carleton. Havakeshian eventually contacted Labiche who agreed to take her on as a PhD student in 2020 in addition to encouraging her to apply for the fellowship program. She became an Ericsson Fellow at the same time as she started working at SQUALL.
“In an engineering department it is fundamental to be able to collaborate with industry,” says Professor Labiche. “With that respect, the Carleton-Ericsson partnership and the fellowship is a wonderful opportunity. With industry, we need to find a research topic that can be “sold” to two different stakeholders: the industry partner as something valuable that can help them; the institution as a thesis. For Maryam, it is a great opportunity to see first-hand what the work in industry is like. My experience with this kind of interaction is that it is important to embed the student in the day-to-day activities of the industry partner, and for Ericsson it is a chance to evaluate a potential new employee.”
Havakeshian is excited for her future.
“With the kind of facilities I am being provided with, and the Ericsson expertise on my projects, I can enhance my experience of solving real-world problems through deploying my proposed solutions in the authentic system environment of Ericsson. I can grow my R&D skills to develop a solution for industry needs and this is paving the path for success in my future career which is working either as a software engineer in industry or as a researcher in academia.”
Ericsson Fellowship In this prestigious fellowship program, Carleton graduate students conduct hands-on research alongside Ericsson experts in state-of-the-art facilities, ensuring students build skills that are in high demand in today's telecommunications industry.
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