Time Machine 2018: Tasneem Zehra Husain, Pakistan’s First Female String Theorist

 In TM18

Tasneem Zehra Husain has been drawn to puzzles for as long as she can remember. It’s no surprise, then, that for a career she settled on the greatest puzzle of all: string theory and the workings of the universe.

Husain has always had a ravenous mind. She sat for her O Levels at the age of just 13. At 26, she became the first Pakistani woman to obtain a PhD in theoretical physics and string theory, before going on to research the classification of supersymmetric flux backgrounds in 11 dimensions.

Husain also works tirelessly to promote science and education for the next generation of physicists. She has been actively involved in science outreach for over a decade, and frequently delivers talks about theoretical physics to students and lay audiences. She has conducted training sessions for K-12 science teachers, and led writing workshops at various venues, from literary and science festivals to CERN.

But science is not her only domain. Husain has been writing and publishing articles since her teen years, and her works can be found in newspapers and magazines, as well as a regular column on www.3quarksdaily.com. In 2014, she released her debut novel, “Only the Longest Threads,” which reimagines defining scientific breakthroughs in a fictional narrative style.

Where many would see these interests in art and science as disparate, Husain disagrees. “I view creativity as being essential to science, just as it is to the arts,” she writes. “I am fascinated by ideas, the myriad ways we engage with them, and how such interactions shape us and what we think about.”

Whether those ideas are creative writing or string theory, Husain is determined to pursue them all; and in doing so, to reveal new possibilities of the universe.

As Time Machine 2018 approaches, we’re pleased to highlight some of the global executives, cultural innovators, and industry trailblazers who will be speaking at the conference.

Want to hear from these innovators in person? Register now before seats fill up!

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