Volunteering helps with studies – and vice versa

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Student Lina Maudlej was awarded The Council for Higher Education Award for Social Involvement in the Community for her extensive volunteering activities

At just 26 years of age, Lina Maudlej has already accumulated a very impressive list of projects and achievements including her volunteering activities. In recognition of this, she was recently awarded the Shosh Berlinsky Sheinfeld Award for social involvement in the community. The 10,000 ILS prize is intended to encourage and appreciate students who donate their time and skills to the community.

Ms. Maudlej was born in Kafr Qara in Wadi Ara and attended Al-Qasemi High School in Baqa al-Gharbiyye. “I didn’t have a background in computing at home, but science always interested me – and in high school I was particularly passionate about physics and mathematics. Since I knew that the Technion was the place for these subjects, I signed up and was accepted.”

Ms. Maudlej began her studies at The Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical Engineering, and after taking several courses at the Henry and Marilyn Taub Faculty of Computer Science, she joined the combined track of the two faculties – computer engineering. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she went on to pursue her master’s, which she is hoping to complete this year under the guidance of Professor Mark Silberstein. Her research, conducted in the Accelerated Systems Laboratory (ACSL), deals with accelerator management in cloud computation systems. Most of the work is focused on building a new operating system that will run computational accelerators such as GPUs while achieving high performance and maximum efficiency by using network accelerators.

“My supervisor always saw great potential in me,” said Ms. Maudlej, “both in my research and in my volunteer work. That is why he was so supportive and helped direct me to places where I could develop myself in unexpected ways. I know that being challenged is the right place for me and working with Prof. Silberstein is the right choice. Every day you learn something new. Science never ends, and the challenge is what makes it interesting.”

 

Lina Maudlej with Itai Dabran

Throughout her undergraduate and graduate years, she hasn’t stopped for a moment. In the final stages of her undergraduate degree she worked at Intel, won an award from Amdocs and led projects in the IT course, the “Internet of Things.” On top of this, she continued with her many and varied volunteer activities, which included expanding Wikipedia into Arabic for math, scientific, and technological subjects; participation in the Landa Project, supporting Arab students; and involvement in the Hasoub NGO, promoting technology and innovation in the Arab sector.

 

 

Professor Dan Geiger, dean of the Henry and Marilyn Taub Faculty of Computer Science with Lina Maudlej

Toward the end of her undergraduate degree, Lina became the facilitator in charge of the “Internet of Things” course in the Computer Science Software Development Center (ICST) led by Itai Dabran, and within this framework mentored many young students. She also led systems development projects for the Technion Social Hub together with various organizations, including the Levchash association. The various projects carried out through the hub helped nonprofits by developing programs to support those organizations in need and matching them with volunteers and donors. In this capacity, she dealt with a reduction in food waste in Israel, supporting needy populations, and recycling.

When asked if volunteering gets in the way of her studies, Ms. Maudlej replied, “On the contrary, volunteering helps studies and increases motivation to learn, and vice versa.” And what’s next? “On one hand, I really like academia so going on to do a Ph.D. is a definite possibility. On the other hand, my research is already very practical, and is carried out in cooperation with industry, so finding a job outside academia is also possible. The Technion teaches us to think, and this is an important and very effective tool wherever you are – either here at the Technion or in industry.”