Maryam works in the math field of STEM as a PhD candidate and Teacher Assistant at the University of California Irvine. When asked about some of her favorite aspects of her job Maryam replied, "I love creating mathematical models about various social phenomenon. Some of my projects explore how meaning arises in a population, what is culture and how does it evolve?". She also enjoys working alongside incredible scientists, traveling and presenting her work, as well as become a better thinker and understanding our social world better. Some of her favorite past times include traveling and backpacking, construction, archery, crafts, and gardening. In high school her favorite subject was literature and she has on to earn many degrees in Computer Science Engineering, Psychology, Economics, Philosophy, Political Science, and is working on a PhD in Mathematical Behavioral Sciences.
As one of the only women in her Computer Science Engineering classes, Maryam quickly learned that her gender affected the way her peers and superiors viewed and interacted with her. She experienced discrimination and inappropriate behavior many times on account of her gender, but refused to let it interfere with her learning.
"Instead of reacting to the difficulty I experienced as a female and let it unconsciously shape me, I thought about who it is that I want to be and I did my best to stay true to myself"
Maryam would encourage girls to take ownership of their learning, and let their curiosity guide them to study and learn about things in which they are truly interested. She also says that "perfect is the enemy of good: treat your experiences as just that, experiences... your abilities will grow as you practice a skill and in the long term, the journey is more meaningful than the speed".
When asked how to get more girls involved in STEM, Maryam said to "teach mathematics in a more approachable way with a large emphasis on the intuition behind certain theories and why they were even developed". It is important to teach students how to think clearly, rather than just memorizing information. This is why she enjoys teaching her students "how to learn, and not just what to learn".