# Postdoctoral Fellow Spotlight: Farid Aliniaeifard

**Can you tell me about your research background, how you became interested in this field and why you chose UBC?**

Earlier, my primary research area was algebra. However, I noticed that many research areas are shifting towards computer science. As a result, I began working in algebraic combinatorics, which is a research area that not only has applications in computer science but also benefits other branches of mathematics. I chose to come to UBC mainly to work in its discrete mathematics group, especially with Professor Stephanie van Willigenburg.

**What is the focus of your current research, and what are the key questions or problems you are addressing?**

I am doing pure mathematics and currently working on topics that study the relation between different structures in mathematics.

**What methodologies or techniques are you using in your research, and why did you choose them?**

In pure mathematics, problems are often solved using creativity. There is no specific technique, but engaging in discussions with others in the field has been invaluable. Additionally, computers have greatly aided in the verification of our conjectures.

**What have been some of the biggest challenges or obstacles you've faced in your research, and how have you addressed them?**

Concerns about prejudice and discrimination in the field of pure mathematics in western countries, particularly in relation to the evaluation for hirings, grants and publication of research. It's unfortunate that there may be biases affecting the consideration of work based on an individual's name, race, gender, and place of birth rather than the merit of the research itself.

**Can you share any significant findings or outcomes from your research so far?**

There are some objects in mathematics called Schur functions, they appear in many branches of mathematics. This family of objects has been discovered by Jacbi in 1841. We extend these objects to new spaces in mathematics.

**What are your future research plans and career goals, and how do you see your work evolving over the next few years?**

I am considering focusing on AI, as I believe my research is increasingly valuable in the field of Deep Learning. Specifically, my work in combinatorial representation theory may have applications in the study of neural networks. My objective is to broaden the scope of my work to computer science and financial modeling.