UCL, research assistant
Mahmoud’s background in spatiotemporal analytics and big data mining as well as geology and remote sensing make him uniquely placed to work with CAAL on web development by implementing new features in Arches and analysing the collected data – using machine learning methods to examine the archaeological data and reveal undiscovered patterns and stories.
He is fired up by driving meaning and use out of data: I believe that the core of the scientific inquiry lies in obtaining good data and then analysing it correctly. The same concept also works for the professional decision-making process. Most of my work related to data has either spatial or temporal aspects or a combination of these. Understanding the significance of these two factors along with hidden patterns within this data and then presenting insights driven from these data in a visually appealing and approachable way is my goal. I utilize machine learning and data science techniques to sift through the data and extract a story which brings the data to life and makes it easy to understand the how, where and why things are happening the way they do. Branching out of this is my interest in computer vision and 3D modelling, my work on web development especially in Arches and GIS and remote sensing process automation.
Mahmoud is one of those rare persons who maintains a dual professional and academic career: I started my professional career by working as an exploration geologist for a gold mining company operating in the Eastern Desert in Egypt. In addition to the mapping and exploration tasks, I was responsible for the GIS side of work. Having already started my academic research with a focus on the remote sensing analysis and GIS application, I managed, with my team to map one of the largest gold concessions in the country and identify potential gold occurrences. Ancient Egyptians are known for their skills in mining especially when it comes to gold. Working in the same locations they mined millennia ago and witnessing first-hand the marks and writings of each civilisation which came after and mined gold from the same locations has connected me in a new way to the history of my country and helped me understand the value of historical objects and the joy of unlocking their secrets.
Later, I joined the Industrial Development Authority of Egypt which manages the industrial sector of Egypt. There I helped design and implement a new system for the licensing.
During this time, I continued to be involved in academic life by working on many research projects. I have gained more than a decade of experience in processing remote sensing data and spatial analysis. Many of these projects involved fieldwork aspects which took me around the country visiting tens of historical sites in the process.
In 2018 I began an MSc at UCL on a fully-funded Chevening scholarship. The course strengthened my data analysis and programming skills. I was also elected as representative and eventually graduated with Distinction. My dissertation focused on building an algorithm to extract the optimal frames for 3D models out of videos. In 2022 Mahmoud attended his graduation ceremony from UCL with an MSc in temporal analytics and big data mining. All while being ‘project database genius’ for the Mapping Africa’s Endangered Sites & Monuments project at Cambridge.
When he is not typing code, Mahmoud can be found listening and recording audiobooks and beach running or swimming. He is also an active member of the Future Leaders Connect network.