Today, I have the pleasure of inviting Hanan Hindy in the “How I Work” series. Hanan is a second-year PhD student in the Division of Cyber-Security at Abertay University, Scotland, UK. Her research focuses on Deep Learning usage for Cyber-Security, specifically Intrusion Detection Systems. Hanan holds a bachelor with honours (2012) and a masters (2016) degree in Computer Science from the Faculty of Computer and Information Sciences at Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. In addition to her research, Hanan has five year teaching experience at various levels and prides herself in helping students explore new subjects in computer science. Check her website here.
Current Job: PhD Student, Division of Cyber-Security, Abertay University
Current Location: Dundee, Scotland
Current mobile device: iPhone 8
Current computer: Dell XPS
Can you briefly explain your current situation and research to us?
I am currently a second year full-time PhD student at Abertay University. I am working on how Machine Learning (ML) can be utilised for building Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS). I am interested in applying new ML techniques to special-purpose networks IDS (i.e. IoT, SCADA, etc.) and how they are different from general-purpose ones.
What tools, apps and software are essential to your workflow?
Python, LaTeX/Overleaf, Email and Calendar app (currently Outlook), GoogleDrive and a Web browser, of course!
What does your workspace setup look like?
I usually have my laptop side-by-side with my notebook(s) and different colour pens and highlighters. Sometimes I use colour-codes but just using different pens help me concentrate. My headphone is a plus.
I tend to work from the University Graduate School office.
What is your best advice for productive academic work?
Keeping a work routine, not in a bad way but fixing working hours, breaks, etc. I strongly believe in this quote “Long-term consistency trumps short term intensity”
How do you keep an overview of projects and tasks?
To-do list, sometimes pen and paper (it feels good to strike off things that are finished)
Which skill makes you stand out as an academic?
Generally, perseverance that is led by the motivation of having an impact.
In terms of teaching, having the ability to communicate the same piece of information to different learning styles.
What do you listen to when you work?
It depends, sometimes silence is the key to concentration but my playlist has a variety of classical and instrumental music. When I miss home, I either listen to an Egyptian radio stream or Arabic hymns.
Are you more of an introvert or extrovert?
A mix of both, I think; which is helpful to keep going. My introvert side helps me stay focused and get the work done with minimal distractions, while my extrovert side recharges my energy and keeps my sanity.
What’s your sleep routine like?
I don’t have a fixed routine, but I don’t sleep before midnight and usually wake-up by 8.
What’s your work routine like?
I work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I tend not to work over weekends, however, when I’m too excited to finish something I do work late evenings and/or weekends.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
Appreciate your smallest achievements