Tasneem Zehra Husain is the first female string theorist in Pakistan. Growing up, she was lucky to have well-educated parents who started supporting her from the very beginning. Although at some point in her life she was homeschooled.
Hussain found the regular school boring. She felt like the curriculums were being taken round in circles so she told her father she was tired of going to school because she felt she was lagging behind. It was, however, her father’s idea that she schooled at home to speed up her education to the O Levels. When she turned thirteen, she sat for her O Levels through the British Council and at fifteen she sat for her A-Levels.
During her childhood days, much value was not placed on education like it is now, so it was difficult to find a lot of books around. But Hussain’s parent had a lot of books, so she and her brother decided to create a public library where people could borrow books to read.
Hussain was also good at writing. She wrote many articles that were featured in magazines and newspapers. She won an international essay competition in 1988 in California and a Nobel prize essay in Pakistan.
Although her parents were not involved in science, Hussain started developing a deep attraction to science, but her parents, not having an intuitive knowledge in science gave her all the support she needed and through that, she excelled in it.
When she grew much older she began to understand the particular aspect of science she was interested in. She discovered that she had the curiosity toward things, how they worked, and why they work differently from others then she discovered that it had to do with theoretical physics.
She went further to do her BSc in maths and physics in the college of Kinnaird Lahore and her MSc in Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad concentrating on physics. She was fortunate to receive a scholarship from Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) for a year-long post-graduate degree in the field of High-Energy Physics at Trieste Italy. She had her PhD in Theoretical Physics from Stockholm University and also obtained her doctorate at Harvard University.
Hussain is Pakistani’s first female string, the theorist. She started to make her academic impact after she left Harvard for Pakistan. She became a member of the Lahore University of Management Sciences and School of Science and Engineering as an Assistant Professor of Physics.
She is a notable figure in the Pakistan educational sector especially in areas that deal on sciences. She is also involved in the Alif Laila Book Bus Society, an educational NGO that caters for underprivileged children.
She is the brain behind the design of the logo for Pakistan’s world year of physics. She took Pakistan physics through a journey to the international physics Olympiad.