Maike Meier has a BSc in Mathematics and will soon start her MSc at the University of Oxford. She worked with us as an intern.

How did you hear about 510?

When I finished my BSc in Mathematics in February 2019, I was looking for a meaningful way to spend the half-year I had before I commence my MSc in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing at the University of Oxford. When searching online for a mathematical internship in the humanitarian sector, I came across the 510 website. 510 was exactly what I was looking for – using technical solutions and quantitative analyses for a good purpose!

What project are you currently working on?

I am working on the distribution algorithm in the 121 project, which is essentially a way to design a decision-making process for the distribution of Cash Based Aid (CBA). It will hopefully make the distribution decision-making process faster, both specifically for the aid program of a particular humanitarian organization and the context of the disaster situation. Before starting the internship and with very little knowledge of humanitarian assistance, I thought mathematics would surely be the answer to all questions. Now, six months in, I know it can only assist in the process. In the development of 121, we must not forget to take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of experienced aid workers and the local knowledge in the communities!

510’s purpose is ‘Improve speed, quality and cost-effectiveness of humanitarian aid by using data & digital products.’ How are your skills helping 510 reach its purpose?

I specifically hope to increase the speed of CBA by designing a clear decision-making process in the targeting of assistance based on data and digital solutions.

Read more about the distribution algorithm on the 121 website.

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