Maha Mapara

Maha Mapara

Name: Maha Mapara
Year: junior
Major: biology and statistics double majo
Hometown: Karachi, Pakistan


  • Abby Howe Turner Award for outstanding thesis in biological sciences
“The alumnae supporting students through endowed scholarships says a lot about the College. It means they must have had a fulfilling experience here. And I am so grateful for being recognized in such a special way.”

Maha Mapara came to Mount Holyoke obsessed with being a really good biologist. Then she discovered a love of statistics and data analysis. So she added a second major.  

Her double major led her to an internship with a sleep lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she explored whether napping enhances the process of memory consolidation in infants. 

“A big part of the appeal of data science is the skills you can apply to different domains,” she says. “I love the idea of constantly learning about so many different contexts and data sets, how is this data collected, what does it mean, and making recommendations based on your work.” 

Mapara is exploring research possibilities with Marie Ozanne '12, Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Statistics, whose specialty is infectious disease modeling. She’s also thinking about applying to a technology immersion program for non-computer science majors in San Francisco called Liberal Arts in Silicon Valley. 

“I’ve evolved so much intellectually at Mount Holyoke,” Mapara says. “One of the great things for me has been meeting people who study things very, very different from me. I met my best friend, who double majors in English and ancient studies, in a history course on Athenian democracy. She brings a new perspective into my life when she talks about the philosophies she's studying. It’s really changed the way I operate as a person, the way I look at things.”