Alia has been setting records and making history starting with reading at 8 months old. Her IQ was determined off the charts. She went from 4th grade to college, earning a B.S. in Applied Mathematics summa cum laude from Stony Brook University at age 14, the youngest female in American history. She then earned an M.S. and Ph.D. (ABD) in Materials Science and Engineering from Drexel University. Alia is the youngest ever to receive fellowships and awards from the Dept of Defense, NASA, GAANN and NSF.
Also multi-talented, Alia has been performing with orchestras since her solo debut at 11 with the Mozart Concerto where she was billed a music prodigy. She has also performed with musicians as diverse as Lang Lang and Smash Mouth. She enjoys performing as an orchestral member, chamber musician and soloist equally and is venturing into crossover, jazz and fusion. As a Juilliard School student she was mentored by some of the world's greatest musicians and is the winner of several celebrated awards.
Alia has done groundbreaking work towards developing nanotube-based cellular probes for use in medical research. These will allow the ability to measure the reaction of nano-materials injected into individual cells. She is also interested in a venue to develop non-invasive optical blood glucose meters for people with diabetes. Alia tries to be a role model for young people, especially girls by breaking the stereotype that scientists are nerdy. She is also passionately interested in helping improve the quality of STEM education in this country.
Alia wanted to help the relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, so when she learned that Southern University at New Orleans, a historically Black public college, was the only college still operating out of trailers, she accepted a temporary position there as her way of giving back. While continuing her research efforts long distance with Konkuk, she has been teaching four courses at SUNO and living at the Mount Carmel Motherhouse, also devastated by Katrina. In May Alia will head for South Korea.