Walaa received her Ph.D. in December 2016 from the University of British Columbia, where her studies were supervised by Professors Heinz Bauschke and Warren Hare. She then held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Calgary, the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing (UC Berkeley), and Stanford University.
Walaa is a continuous optimizer, with research interests in convex analysis and its application to optimization algorithms, in particular splitting algorithms. These algorithms are powerful optimization methods which aim to solve constrained convex (but not necessarily smooth) optimization methods. Walaa's doctoral thesis focused on analyzing the Douglas-Rachford splitting method and its behaviour in the absence of minimizers, a situation that occurs in practice but is much harder to analyze.