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April 2007

Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar


Cross-country running takes on a whole new meaning

akhbar A publication of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar A member of Qatar Foundation P.O. Box 24866 Doha, Qatar www.qatar.cmu.edu Marketing & Public Relations Department Noha Al Afi media relations manager Emma J. Bopf administrative assistant Andrea L. Zrimsek writer/editor

Editorial Board Nikki Krysak librarian

Aaron Lyvers planning analyst Anqi Qian director of strategic initiatives John Robertson assistant dean for academic affairs Dave Stanfield director student activities

Copy editors

John Barr, Ph.D. Majd Sakr, Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon Qatar faculty

Mission Akhbar is the official publication of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. Articles and photographs contained in this publication are subject to copyright protection. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the university.

Editorial inquires or reprints For reprints or inquiries, contact the Marketing and Public Relations Department at +974 492-8280 2 akhbar April 2007


table of contents

Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar

In this issue features 5 Qatar Run 2007

38 miles, 9 hours, 15,000 calories

8 LeaderShape Sixty-ďŹ ve students take part in LeaderShape

10 Collaboration Speaks Volumes Librarians reach out to Qatar University BOTBALL page 16

12 Heritage of Qatar The rich culture of Qatar is featured on this Web site

14 Case Competition Sixteen students take part in the Internal Case Competition

16 Volcanic Eruption BOTBALL reaches out to Kuwait and the U.A.E.

departments 4 dean’s column

With hard work, all things are possible

19 alumni corner Genny and Ankur Kothari

20 faces of carnegie mellon Indira Nair, Vice Provost for Education Indira Nair page 20

22 research spotlight Intelligent Diabetes Assistant

24 ba in focus Dan Boyarski teaches two-week design course

25 cs in focus CS4Qatar set for June

26 campus news Read about all of the activities on campus

40 staff & faculty news Faculty bios, staff news, awards and accolades

44 pittsburgh connection Learn to speak Pittsburghese

46 the back story Speak Pittsburghese page 44

Darlene Everhart spent years living at sea conducting research before coming to Qatar.

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dean’s column



hen I asked a group of students at Professional Day what it was that they as Carnegie Mellon students believed in, they didn’t say good grades, impressing others or being afforded opportunities. Instead they responded immediately and in unison with a resounding “hard work.” While some of the 135 company representatives in attendance may have been taken aback to hear that answer, those of us who work with these students every day were not surprised. Just like students in Pittsburgh, the young men and women in Doha are learning what Carnegie Mellon is all about. They are discovering that with hard work, dedication and support from others they can accomplish anything: inside and outside of the classroom. This is something that we not only teach at Carnegie Mellon, it’s also something that we apply in our own lives. Of course it shows up in our professional activities; but recently some of us also had the chance to apply the same principles in our “leisure” activities. When John Barr, Iliano Cervesato and I decided to run across the country of Qatar we knew we had quite a big challenge ahead of us. So, just like if we were Carnegie Mellon students, we formed a study group and began laying the groundwork for the 38-mile trek. We worked individually during the week by going out running. Then we got together every Saturday for “problem-solving” sessions, otherwise known as long runs, to build our endurance. When something got in our way, like a camel fence or chicken farm, we worked together to find a way around, over or under it. Even when injuries, illness and bad weather threatened our mission, we did not give up. After spending nine hours in the hot and windy desert, we crossed the finish line. When we were receiving congratulations for our achievement I reminded our friends, family and colleagues that none of us are the best athletes in the world. Nor did we do anything that anyone else couldn’t do. We simply followed in the true spirit of Carnegie Mellon in that we set a goal, worked very hard for several months and didn’t let anything keeping us from reaching it. 4 akhbar April 2007

My best wishes to you all,

Charles E. Thorpe, Dean


John Barr, Chuck Thorpe and Iliano Cervesato ran across the entire peninsula of Qatar on a wind-filled Friday in March.




he mercury topped out at a humid 88 degrees Fahrenheit, shifting winds whipped at speeds of 30 MPH and rocky terrain was tearing up their legs. Yet this didn’t stop dean Chuck Thorpe and faculty members John Barr and Iliano Cervesato and from running 38 miles across the entire State of Qatar in March. The day began with a 4 a.m. wake up call followed by coffee, a breakfast of bananas and some stretching. Still dark outside, the trio climbed into support vehicles and were driven to the designated starting point near the town of Al Jemailiya, which is northwest of the capital city of Doha. Only about a 40-minute drive from Carnegie Mellon Qatar, Al Je-

mailiya is a true Qatari desert town surrounded by wild camels and sand as far as the eye can see. “When we were planning the run we looked at a map of Qatar and found the most narrow part, which was from the west coast near Al Jemailiya to the east coast at Simaismah,” says Thorpe. Since Al Jemailiya is five miles in from the coast and there are no roads from the town to the water, the vehicles had to off-road through the rocky desert for the last leg of the journey. With the help of a handheld GPS, Thorpe, Cervesato and Barr were dropped at the shore where they quickly dipped their toes in the water and began their cross-country run as the sun was rising. continued on page 6 April 2007 akhbar 5


As if running 38 miles across the desert wasn’t enough for one day, both Barr and Cervesato attended a St. Patrick’s Day party the same night while Thorpe picked up a guest at the airport.



Above, the map of Qatar shows the route of the Qatar Run 2007.

continued from page 5

A strong head wind and high at Chuck when he first asked me if I temperatures were working against wanted to run across the country,” them from their first steps. “This says Barr. But after a few runs in the was a new challenge,” says Thorpe. desert he changed his mind. “I’ve never run in this much wind. It Training for what was dubbed takes a lot out of you.” the Qatar Run 2007 began in the fall Plus the dry and rocky and of 2006. All three runners would hit uneven terrain required the runners the streets a few times a week then to move at a slower pace because go for longer runs in the desert on they had to concentrate on picking the weekends. Each week they would up their feet so as to not trip. run for a greater distance until finally The three Ph.D.s had planned reaching about 30 miles. “Running out a route that would take them in the desert is very different from due east through five check points running in the city so you have to get before reaching the finish line on the yourself used to it,” says Barr. east coast. Some of the running was Thorpe says training for a long run through the camel-filled desert and Thorpe used a wrist-mounted entails working on cardiovascular some was along paved roads with GPS to keep the trio on course. training, preparing your joints for vehicles zooming by at high speeds. the pounding running puts on them and learning how The original course was plotted at 32.6 miles to free your mind. however a detour around a chicken farm, an oasis and It’s also includes learning what you can and a few other obstacles put the actual distance at just cannot eat on the day of a run. On a 38-mile trek each over 38 miles. This was nothing new to Thorpe who runner will burn approximately 5,000 calories, which has run several 26.2 mile marathons and a few ultra- means they must make frequent stops to eat, drink marathons of up to 50 miles in the seven years he’s and rest. been running. At each of the five checkpoints Barr, Thorpe Both Barr and Cervesato are longtime runners and Cervesato would eat bananas, peanut butter and and have completed marathons, yet they were a bit jelly sandwiches, dates, pretzels and an athletic food leery when Thorpe posed the idea last fall. “I laughed substance called Gu.

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Thorpe says he drank Coca Cola both for the sugar and the calming effects is has on the stomach. All three runners also carried water bottles and carbohydrate-filled snacks with them at all times. As the day went on, conditions for running got increasingly worse. Winds were shifting which was blowing an enormous amount of sand and temperatures remained high. “There was a point where I thought about giving up. I started feeling symptoms of heat exhaustion,” Cervesato says. But not wanting to quit he was able to push through it. During the day, Thorpe, Cervesato and Barr ran together at a pace that allowed them to carry on a conversation without being winded. Cervesato says the three chatted about a wide range of topics and when they ran out of things to talk about Thorpe began reciting poetry.

“There are some who like to run, they run for fun in the hot, hot sun.” - “Red Fish, Blue Fish” by Dr. Suess

Abdul Reqaz, a friend of Cervesato’s wife, welcomed the runners in his desert tent for a break. At this point the three had already run more than 26 miles.

After 38 miles and nine hours, Barr, Cervesato and Thorpe (left to right) celebrate their achievement by dipping their hands in the Arabian Sea.

The Qatar Run 2007 included one aspect that is surely not part of any long-distance run anywhere else in the world: a stop at a tent in the middle of the desert. When Cervesato’s wife, Shelley, told her colleague, Abdul Rezaq, about the run, he mentioned that he had a tent in the area they would be running through and invited the men to stop by. When they arrived, Rezaq greeted them with a bowl of fresh fruit and a variety of beverages, and asked them to sit for a while. “That was so cool,” Thorpe says. “How many people can say they’ve stopped in a tent in the middle of a marathon. And since you can’t have three computer scientists run across the desert without any gadgets, the run of course had a hi-tech angle. Using a wrist-mounted GPS and Google Earth, Thorpe was able to chart their exact path and measure their speed in relationship to location and elevation. The GPS also served as a guide to the next checkpoint. Even their clothing is hi-tech, Thorpe says of his moisture-wicking shirt, breathable shorts and sweat-absorbing socks. As the runners reached the last leg of the route, they were joined by family, friends and even a few students who joined in to run or walk the last few miles. “It was touching to see a few students cheering us on,” Cervesato says. “That encouragement really helped me get through the last few miles.” Barr, Cervesato and Thorpe all reached the finish line at Simaismah about nine hours after beginning. As the tide was out, they had to hoof it a few extra feet through the mud to once again touch the water in their coast-to-coast adventure. Q April 2007 akhbar 7


LEADING WITH INTEGRITY LeaderShape comes to Qatar


ix days of non-stop self-discovery and learning from practical experiences that build leadership concepts and abilities. It’s go, go, go for more than 12 hours a day... and students love it. This is LeaderShape. Fifty-nine students from universities in Qatar attended the first international LeaderShape experience at Al Sultan Beach Resort in Al Khor over spring break. Organizing the first LeaderShape outside of the United States was the initiative of Dave Stanfield, director of student activities at Carnegie Mellon Qatar. “I realized there was no formal leadership development for students in Education City,” says Stanfield. “Having been through LeaderShape as an undergraduate I felt it would be a great asset to students in Doha.” Based in Champagne, Illinois, The LeaderShape Institute is an interactive, energizing and unique experience that builds leadership skills. The non-profit organization seeks to improve society by

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inspiring, developing and supporting young people who are committed to leading with integrity.

Founded in 1986, more than 25,000 students at colleges and universities in the United States have graduated from the program. LeaderShape director Kristen Young says she was thrilled when Stanfield contacted the organization last year about bringing the program to Doha for the Spring 2007 term. “Our mission is to develop more young adults to lead with integrity,” she says. “Ideally we want every young adult to go through the program, no matter where they live.”

Knowing that Stanfield was familiar with LeaderShape and was willing to head it up helped make the decision to offer the program to students in Doha easy, Young says. Stanfield worked closely with Qatar Foundation and the other universities in Doha to open the program up to all local students. The program was even endorsed by Sheika Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, wife of the Emir and chairperson of Qatar Foundation. Students were equally excited once they learned about the program. Those who were interested in attending had to go through a selection process that included writing two essays. Sixty-five students were selected out of a pool of many more and 59 accepted. Joining nearly 20 students from Carnegie Mellon Qatar were students from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, Texas A&M University at Qatar, College of North Atlantic – Qatar and Qatar University. “I applied because I thought it would be a fun and different ap-


Students from Carnegie Mellon Qatar spent six days at Al Sultan Beach Resort in Al Khor as part of the first international LeaderShape, which was sponsored in part by RasGas.

proach to learning,” says Lina Menshawy (Tepper 2008). Yasmine Abdelrahman (Tepper 2008) says she wanted to apply because having an expert perspective on leadership would help her become a better leader on campus. Stanfield says he was pleasantly surprised at how excited everyone was about the program. He hopes students who aren’t involved in activities outside of the classroom will be encouraged to take on leadership roles. And that those who are involved in activities will further develop their leadership skills. The activities schedule for LeaderShape is exactly the same as the one that is used in the U.S. by more than 70 colleges and universities each year. Day one is about “building community.” This means exploring what leadership means and discussing its core components. Students are split into groups called “Family Clusters” that serve as their primary reference group for the week. Day two focuses on “The value of one: the power of all.” Team-building activities and build-

ing relationships through trust are the thrust of this day. Day three is called “challenging what is: looking to what could be.” This has students work on developing their own vision for the future which defines a bold change for the community, group or cause back home.

“Leadership involves living in a state of possibility, making a commitment to a vision, developing relationships to move the vision into action and sustaining a high level of integrity.” Bringing vision to reality is the focus of day four. On this day students learn how to take dreams and turn them into actions. The issue of power is explored on this day in a dynamic group simulation exercise. Living and leading with integrity makes up day five. Integrity is central to LeaderShape’s philosophy of lifelong leaders. On this day students discuss core ethical values, thoughtful decisions and courage. The last day is all about

staying in action. As they prepare to head home students learn what it means to be part of the LeaderShape community, which is a network of mutual encouragement and support. A learning community commencement ceremony wraps up the week. All activities are lead by LeaderShape facilitators, who are all volunteers. Young, who went through LeaderShape as an undergraduate, says there are 130 trained facilitators in the U.S., and finding a few to come to Qatar was quite easy. She says more than 4,000 students in the U.S. will graduate from LeaderShape this year alone. Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh has never hosted a LeaderShape event on campus but a few students have attended LeaderShape events that are open to many schools. “It’s amazing to see the learning that occurs in students when they are challenged for six straight days,” Young says. “Before this program, a lot of young people don’t know they can change. But once they leave they know they can make a big impact on their community and on the world.” Q April 2007 akhbar 9



SPEAKS VOLUMES Carnegie Mellon Qatar librarians work with Qatar University


atar University recently announced a campus-wide reform plan to develop a stronger focus on learning-centered education and library practices while reinforcing ties to other Arab and international universities. As part of this plan, Qatar University libraries initiated a collaborative program with the libraries at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. “We immediately started to think of ways we could work to help them with their ambitious goal to be the library of the 21st Cen10 akhbar April 2007

tury,” says Isabelle Eula, Carnegie Mellon Qatar librarian. Yet this was no easy task. Qatar University has more than 100 librarians who work within antiquated systems. Books are outdated, there are tens of thousands of volumes and separate libraries exist for men and women. “At first we were very excited, though we did have reservations,” Eula says. “We gave it a lot of thought and decided the one area we could work with them was on improving professionalism and career development.” One important fact Eula and fellow librarian Nikki Krysak

wanted to emphasize in the program was that they would only be showing the participating librarians how they worked. “We would not be saying you must do this,” says Eula. After a rigorous application process, only two candidates from Qatar University were selected for the pilot program: Saeeda Al Sherawy, a technical services librarian; and Zainab Al-Bloushi, a reference services librarian. By spending two weeks with Carnegie Mellon librarians and two weeks with Georgetown librarians, Al-Bloushi and Al Sherawy had an opportunity to increase knowledge


Librarians Nikki Krysak (left) and Isabelle Eula are working with two librarians from Qatar University as part of an initiative at QU that aims to develop a stronger focus on learningcentered education and library practices. Librarians from Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Qatar are also taking part in the program.

of library practices while establishing a stronger connection with other libraries in the region. The program also encouraged exposure to different types of environments and work situations in order to build skills in areas where individuals have less expertise. In addition, the project aimed to reinforce a dialogue between Qatar University and Education City libraries through outreach services and to develop new insights regarding international librarianship. During the program, the Qatar University librarians worked on everything from collection development and technical services to learning how to better guide students in their research. Krysak says one of her main focuses has been on teaching how to effectively search through a

variety of databases. “Collaborating with other universities is one of the reasons we’re in Qatar,” Krysak says.

“Collaborating with other universities is one of the reasons we’re in Qatar.” - Nikki Krysak Carnegie Mellon Qatar librarian Both Krysak and Eula hope the participants ultimately will develop a greater understanding of their roles as information professionals through a five-pillar approach that encompasses information literacy concepts, collection development practices, public services ethics, technical services and professionalism. “At a practical level, candi-

dates are honing their skills in negotiating user needs and performing advanced database searching. They are also gaining an increased awareness of their role within the regional and international library community,” says Eula. Both Qatar University librarians kept a journal throughout the program in which they paralleled their experience with practices at their home institution. A final project was assigned with the intention for participants to take what they learned in the program and apply it at their home institution. “This program has been so wonderful that we want to continue it in the fall semester,” Eula says. “Our hope is that it will serve as a pilot that may eventually include other partner libraries at Education City and within the larger Qatar community.” Q April 2007 akhbar 11


HISTORY MEETS TECHNOLOGY Heritage of Qatar Web site shows off the desert country’s rich history

The courtyard of Al Zubarah Fort (above) and the remains of a watchtower and wall at Al Zubarah (top right) are must see sites in Qatar. 12 akhbar April 2007


he cultural heritage of Qatar is rich with ancient buildings and archaeological areas where Qatari traditions were born and perpetuated. Since many of these sites are unmarked, located several kilometers outside of Doha or only accessible with a 4x4 vehicle, they have been virtually unknown to both residents and visitors of Qatar. A new Web site, www.heritageofqatar.org, allows long-time residents, new visitors and the rest of the world to learn about and visit some of the most important and historically significant sites in Qatar’s history. “Our hope for this Web site is that everyone will all be encouraged to get out and explore the heritage and beauty of the country,” says Carla Salman-Martinez, project manager. “This Web site compiles all the information you need to visit the various places: their history, exact location and hours of operation. And the content is provided in a printable format so you can easily take it with you on a visit.” Twenty-one different heritage sites such as archeological areas, forts, museums, mosques and souqs are vividly featured in photographs and written detail on the Web site. Online visitors can explore artifacts and art from original settlements and peer inside a traditional Qatari home. The easy-to-navigate Web site also features an interactive model of a Qatari mosque as well as itineraries catering to three different audiences: visitors, families and those with an adventurous spirit. Detailed maps and driving directions from Doha are included to each location, and GPS users will be pleased to find global positioning coordinates listed. An interactive map of the State of Qatar is a great tool for


The Qatar National Museum is one of the locations featured on the Heritage of Qatar Web site. finding the cultural sites as well as navigating your way around the peninsula. There are downloadable maps for printing and links to Google Earth for further pinpointing locations. Each heritage site also includes information on what types of facilities are nearby as well as road conditions so visitors can be adequately prepared for a visit. Another feature of the Web site is a complete and detailed history of Qatar, which is something not found on any other Internet site. This 12-phase history is the ideal accompaniment to the heritage locations. This Web site was designed as part of Carnegie Mellon’s commitment to reach beyond the classroom and into the community. Carnegie Mellon Qatar developed the heritage Web site with input and feedback from the Qatar Museums Authority. Salman-Martinez conceived

of the site and headed up the task. Assisting her were: Guido Licciardi, an expert on cultural heritage preservation, who gathered content for the Web site; Hatem Alismail, freshman computer science student at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, who developed the site; and Eman Yousif and Fatima Al-Kuwair, graphic design students at Virginia Commonwealth University, who completed the design work. “We’re thrilled that our first collaboration with Qatar is one that so beautifully showcases the culture, the heritage and the people of a country that has so graciously welcomed us,” says Dr. Charles E. Thorpe, dean, Carnegie Mellon Qatar. “This Web site shows the deep and vibrant history of Qatar, and Carnegie Mellon looks forward to many more ways in which we can work together with community officials.” Visit heritageofqatar.org. Q April 2007 akhbar 13


THEORY IN PRACTICE Internal Case Competition has students putting it all together


inanne Tabra (Tepper 2008) sums up her first Internal Case Competition in one word: intense. “It was definitely one of the most interesting and rewarding ways of applying what we learn everyday at business school,” she says. “It was a great opportunity to draw on everything we know about business theory, teamwork, communication and time management.” A case competition is an opportunity for students to apply skills and knowledge from all of their courses in a single, multidisciplinary context, says Patrick McGinnis, Tepper faculty member. McGinnis, along with John Robertson, assistant dean for academic affairs at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, organized the inaugural Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar Internal Case Competition that took place during mid-semester break on Feb. 28 and March 1. “Case competitions foster healthy competition in students; give students a real opportunity to begin seeing themselves and each other in professional roles and they provide an opportunity for the community to see students acting as professionals,” McGinnis says. “Students literally bring everything they know to the competition.” Many students applied for the Internal Case Competition but only 16 were selected to make up 14 akhbar April 2007

the four teams. “We formed the teams in an effort to create teams that were strong in all areas,” says Robertson. The competition began at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon when the teams received the case, which is a write up of a business situation that provides current information, a background story and relevant data. The case, selected by McGinnis, had to do with international cola wars. He chose it because it was a current topic with recent data that was readily available on the Internet. Teams were tasked with designing a strategy to move Pepsi into the future. At about 15 pages, the case gives teams a foundation for them

to engage the situation. They have 17 1⁄2 hours to conduct outside research, collect marketing information and secure historical financial data. From there they must assemble a full presentation to make to a panel of four faculty and staff members who act as the company managers who hired them to do the consulting. Acting as judges were Starling Hunter, Ph.D., assistant professor; Ian Lacey, Ph.D., visiting special faculty; Cyndi Mills, chief information officer; and Jon Caulkins, Ph.D., professor of operations research & public policy. Beginning in the morning of the second day, each of the four professionally dressed teams has 30 minutes to present and 15

STUDENTS CAPTURE 1ST AND 3RD PLACE IN THE COLLEGE OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC -QATAR GULF CASE COMPETITION Seven students from Carnegie Mellon Qatar took part in the Gulf Case Competition March 14 and 15 at the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar. Up against teams from Qatar and Abu Dhabi, Carnegie Mellon secured two victories. Jinanne Tabra (Tepper 2008), Yasmine Abdelrahman (Tepper 2008) and Ramzi Ramsey (Tepper 2007) secured first place while Rooda Al Neama (Tepper 2008), Lina El Menshawy (Tepper 2008), Nasser Rowhani (CS 2008) and Omar Khan (Tepper 2008) landed in third place. (Note: Carnegie Mellon Qatar students ended up in the same bracket and thus could not win first and second.)


Members of the winning team of the 2007 Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar Internal Case Competition are (left to right) Hicham Nedjari (Tepper 2009), Rooda Al Neama (Tepper 2008), Jinanne Tabra (Tepper 2008) and Samiha Kamel (Tepper 2008). for Q&A. Presentations include PowerPoint presentation and other tools to fully explain the team’s strategy. Teams are split into two brackets and the top team from each bracket is chosen by the judges to go head to head in the final afternoon round. Students are given a few hours to fine tune their presentations before going in front of the judges again. “This was the first time I’d seen a case study run as a straightforward competition and I was very impressed at the hard work done by all the teams,” says Ian Lacey, visiting special faculty and Internal Case Competition judge. “Given that this was a new experience for all the students involved it was even more impressive; they’d clearly worked long and hard through the night to develop professional presentations

the next day. As a judge, I found it to be a rewarding experience, seeing students many of whom I’d taught the previous semester tackling something new, and in a different environment to that of a classroom. I look forward to the next competition.” The winning team was made up of Rooda Al Neama (Tepper 2008), Samiha Kamel (Tepper 2008), Hicham Nedjari (Tepper 2009) and Jinanne Tabra (Tepper 2008). The other team to make it to the final was made up of Hala Abbas (Tepper 2008), Yasmine Abdelrahman (Tepper 2008), Mohammed Abu Zeinab (Tepper 2009) and Reem Khaled (Tepper 2008). Other participants included Noora Al-Ansari (Tepper 2008), Noor Alathirah (Tepper 2008), Nora Al Subai (CS 2008), Maha Al-Hanzab (Tepper 2009), Rana

El Sakhawy (Tepper 2009), Salma Kayali (Tepper 2008), Sahrr Malik (Tepper 2009) and Rasha Mkachar (Tepper 2008). Case competitions are a regular part of the business program in Pittsburgh and are typically open to only juniors and seniors in the Tepper School of Business. Since there is no senior class in Qatar, the competition was open to all sophomores and juniors-both CS and BA majors. “This Internal Case Competition was the first step in bringing opportunities like this to students in Qatar,” McGinnis says. He adds that this will become an annual event and that more and more students will be involved each year. “I also hope it will lay the foundation for other case competitions in the region.” Q April 2007 akhbar 15

High schools students from schools in Qatar, Kuwait and the U.A.E. attended the two-day features BOTBALL workshop in March. Teams have approximately seven weeks to prepare for the competitions. The theme of this year’s competition is Volcanic Eruption.

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BOTBALL expands to include schools in Kuwait and the U.A.E.


OTGUY is on the move. After enchanting students in Doha, he is now capturing the hearts and minds of young people in the U.A.E. and Kuwait as BOTBALL 2007 is expanding to these countries. “Schools were so excited when we contacted them,” says Mohamed Mustafa, Carnegie Mellon Qatar academic assistant who coordinates the program. “Especially since we could go to them and do workshops.” BOTBALL is a U.S.-based organization that introduces robotics to high school students. It’s a hands-on learning experience in robotics designed to engage young students in learning the practical application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The goals of BOTBALL are mostly educational for both students and teachers or educators. They include: technology awareness, system engineering, mechanical principles, C programming, Internet research and design and creativity.

Until 2005 BOTBALL was only offered to students in the United States. In 2005 Carnegie Mellon Qatar hosted the first international BOTBALL robotics competition in Doha in which four local high schools participated. In 2006 the event expanded to include 6 teams. This year BOTBALL competitions are being held in Doha, Kuwait, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. A dozen teams will compete against each other in Doha; three teams will compete in Kuwait; and three teams in the U.A.E. All participating students began the competition with a twoday BOTBALL workshop in March at Carnegie Mellon Qatar. At the intensive workshop, the teams were given the necessary background and expertise to build and program their own Lego© Mindstorm robot. Over the next few weeks, students will work with teachers and mentors to build and program their robots. The learning experience culminates in April and May

when the teams from each country compete against each other on a 4 ft. x 8 ft. playing field in a fast paced, non-destructive tournament. Robots score points by placing ping-pong balls into scoring position. The winning team also must demonstrate the work they’ve done in order to program their robot. The top two teams from each national competition will go on to compete in the Regional BOTBALL Championship. “BOTBALL is a great way for high school students to learn about robots,” said Chuck Thorpe, dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar and former head of the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute. “It’s also an excellent way for students to put their skills in math, engineering and teamwork to use.” In addition to growing the event from six teams last year to 18 teams this year, the event will continued on page 18 April 2007 akhbar 17


After working on their robots for approximately seven weeks, teams will compete against each other in country-level BOTBALL tournaments. The top two teams from Qatar, Kuwait and the U.A.E. will then compete in the regional BOTBALL championship in Doha in May. continued from page 17

get international television coverage. Al Jazeera Children’s Channel believes so strongly in the mission of BOTBALL that it is producing a four-part documentary on BOTBALL and robotics. “Al Jazeera Children’s Channel finds in this competition an exciting tool to help inspire students around the region and raise awareness of the creativity level of the Arab child,” says Mostapha Mellouk, Deputy General Manager of Al Jazeera Children’s Channel. “During last year’s event, we witnessed the ability of Arab children to use subjects they learned in school in a meaningful way. They managed to design, build, program and document their robots.” A JCC TV crew will be on location to cover all aspects of this 18 akhbar April 2007

year’s event, which will be broadcast in the form of several reports starting with the workshop in March all the way to the finale that will be held in Doha in May. Another great thing about BOTBALL, says Mustafa, is that it exposes students to Carnegie Mellon and the programs we offer. He says one school that has participated in BOTBALL is even considering adding robotics to its curriculum. “Without Carnegie Mellon that would never have been possible. Once students participate in BOTBALL they realize what robotics is and how it can be used in many ways in many fields.” BOTGUY plans on getting schools in Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia involved in the 2008 competition. Q

COMPETITION DETAILS Country-level BOTBALL competitions will take place on Saturday, April 28, in Doha; on Thursday, May 3, in Kuwait; and on Saturday, May 12, in the U.A.E. Twelve teams will compete in Doha, three in Kuwait and three in the U.A.E. The Regional BOTBALL Championship will take place Thursday, May 24, at the Diplomatic Club in Doha. BOTBALL special reports on Al Jazeera Children’s Channel will air internationally in May. Dates are not confirmed. For more information on BOTBALL, visit www.qatar.emu.edu/botball.

alumni corner

ANKUR & GENNY KOTHARI Leading the way in alumni relations in Qatar


hen asked if he would move to Qatar to help Microsoft expand their consulting operations, Ankur Kothari (CIT 2001) politely declined. “I told them I don’t want to move to Africa. But to let me know if they find anything in Dubai or the Middle East.” After a brief conversation with his wife, Genny Kothari (MCS 2001), he realized Qatar was in fact in the Middle East. As a Carnegie Mellon graduate he had heard there was a new campus in Doha, but just wasn’t sure exactly where it was located. Both natives of Chicago, Ankur and Genny were looking for an opportunity to move abroad for a few years so they agreed to make the move to Doha. Ankur arrived in February 2006 and Genny a few months later in July. “Since my laptop was being shipped I arrived here with no

computer and had no way to check e-mail,” he says. “So the first thing I did was come to campus, say I was an alumnus and ask to use a computer.” Ankur was given access to a computer and so was the beginning of what both Ankur and Genny hope will be a strong alumni-student network in Qatar. “As underclassmen you look toward the seniors for guidance, only these juniors have no one to look up to. I hope they can look toward us for that support.” Genny laughs when she says they were both “bad alumni” in the U.S. They were not involved with current students or any type of outreach between education and industry. Now that they are in Doha, they plan to change that. Ankur, a consultant for Microsoft, and Genny, who is employed in the banking sector by

Qatar Financial Centre, both want to develop a relationship between their employers and Carnegie Mellon Qatar. Through this partnership they want to see internship and job opportunities for both business administration and computer science students. “One thing I really want to do is help kids get jobs,” says Ankur. Along with 130 other local business representatives, Ankur attended the first Professional Day in March. Here he was able to meet and network with students and discuss possible careers opportunities. By setting the groundwork for alumni relations, Ankur and Genny hope to convey the message to current students in Qatar that their bond with Carnegie Mellon does not end once they toss their mortar boards. “College for me was some of the best years of my life,” he says. “Carnegie Mellon becomes a big part of who you are and the friends you make here will be some the closest friends in your life. Fostering that for future generations is very rewarding.” Q April 2007 akhbar 19

faces of carnegie mellon

Vice Provost for Education Indira Nair on a recent visit to Doha. 20 akhbar April 2007

faces of carnegie mellon


Vice Provost leading the way in global education


s the Vice Provost for Education, Indira Nair, Ph.D., is charged with broadening the Carnegie Mellon education. She is tasked with approving new majors and minors, creating elective courses and was intensely involved in the negotiations that led to Carnegie Mellon’s presence in Qatar. “We must give our students global literacy,” she says. “This means educating the whole student as a citizen, as a professional and as a leader.” Her mission for global education includes designing courses for each of the colleges at Carnegie Mellon that look at connections between us all. This way students can see themselves as agents of the environment and learn to respect diverse cultures both at home and abroad. One such class is called Technology Consulting in the Community. Taught in the School of Computer Science, this course teaches consulting skills while at the same time provides high-quality, capacity building assistance to leaders in non-profit organizations. Bernardine Dias, Ph.D. and Joe Mertz are set to teach this course in Doha during the Spring 2008 term. Ben Reilly, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon Qatar faculty, teaches another global literacy course entitled Disastrous Encounters: Technology & the Environment in Global His-

torical Context. Broadly conceived, this course examines so-called natural disasters as key historical moments in the evolution of cultural and economic relationships in the world from the modern era through the late twentieth century. Other courses created as part of Nair’s vision for global literacy include Environmental Biotechnology Principles, which presents the theory of microbiological processes relevant to environmental systems.

“We must give our students global literacy. This means educating the whole student as a citizen, as a professional and as a leader.” - Indira Nair Vice Provost for Education A class in urban architecture allows students to explore the architectural designs of various cities, while an upcoming class in engineering will focus on construction management with teams in countries such as Israel, Turkey and Brazil. Another upcoming class in the Tepper School of Business will combine international strategy with finances. Nair’s passion for global learning was honed as a child growing up in Trivandrum, India. She says she read books about all topics as part of her schooling. One topic that was studied at great

length, she says, was geography. When she and her husband moved to the United States to attend graduate school, she was surprised how little people in the U.S. knew about other cultures. She was also surprised so few global courses were offered in the educational system. After nearly 20 years at various positions at Carnegie Mellon University, Nair was named as the third Vice Provost for Education. This added to her existing roles as an associate professor and associate department head for undergraduate affairs in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy. Nair’s main teaching focus now is on elective courses. She creates and teaches new electives that attract a wide array of students. One recent course she taught was called “The Year is 1905; E=mc2, photons and relativity,” which centered on the amazing achievements of that year. She says she enjoys teaching new elective courses because they bring together students from all disciplines. In doing this, these students are able to learn from each other and gain exposure to more ideas. “The world is small now,” she says. “By taking global courses and new electives our students will be more confident and able to make it on their own.” Q April 2007 akhbar 21

research spotlight

DIABETES ASSISTANT Researcher David Duke working on better diabetes management


avid Duke was no stranger to diabetes when he was diagnosed with it in 2003. Both of his grandfathers, ages 85 and 92, have the disease and have managed it successfully. According to the International Diabetes Federation, Duke’s family is not rare. Statistics show almost 200 million people worldwide have the disease, which is a chronic condition where the body does not properly control the amount of glucose in the blood. And unfortunately the number of cases is on the rise. In 2003, Qatar had the third highest adult diabetes rate in the world with 16 percent. The U.A.E. was second with 20.1 percent and Nauru, an island nation in the Micronesian South Pacific, was first with 30.2 percent. The United States is farther down on the list with 6 percent. Diabetics fall into three categories: Type 1, where the pancreas does not produce insulin; Type 2, where the sensitivity to insulin is decreased; and Gestational, which occurs during pregnancy. Duke has Type 1, which occurs in 1 in 10 diabetics. Most diabetics control their disease with a combination of medication, diet and exercise. The 22 akhbar April 2007

With the Intelligent Diabetes Assistant, diabetics could better monitor their disease through a program that would work on their cellular phone and upload information to a Web site.

patient’s care team only periodically adjusts therapy as the illness progresses or changes. Duke feels this one size fits all approach is not the best way for people to manage their disease. He believes a management plan should be formulated as an individualized therapeutic alliance among the patient, the family, the physician and other members of a health care team. Thus he has been working

on a research project called the Intelligent Diabetes Assistant. Using machine learning software in a way that interacts with the patient, collects data and communicates with the doctor, the IDA is designed to help people better manage their diabetes. By simplifying data collection of meals, energy expenditure and blood glucose, those with diabetes can have a more accurate continued on page 23 measure

research spotlight continued from page 22

of how everything they do affects their blood. It can also serve to predict how food they are about to eat will potentially affect their blood glucose. Working with a dietitian at Hamad Medical Center, Duke has designed and written a program that works on a cellular phone that he hopes will help take away some of the ambiguity and effort of diabetes management. “If you learn how different foods, exercise and medication af-

fect your glucose, you may be able to better control your diabetes,” he says. The user-friendly application can immediately transfer data to a Web site accessible by the patient and medical professionals. This allows for the constant tailoring of an individualized program and minimal time and effort spent. Duke started working with the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute as a Ph.D. student in 2002. He came to Doha in 2004 to con-

tinue his Ph.D. and focus on his Diabetes research. One thing Duke has learned in his research is that there is a strong need in Qatar and the Gulf Region for diabetes education and awareness. By educating people about diabetes, he hopes to be able to minimize the number of new cases. If his IDA proves successful, he hopes to implement it in both English and Arabic.

HANDS-ON LEARNING Bernardine Dias and Iliano Cervesato are awarded first-round QNRF grants for undergraduate research projects


ndergraduate research is one of the pillars of the Carnegie Mellon University education. Looking to help advance that mission, Qatar National Research Fund, an entity of Qatar Foundation, offered to fund 61 undergraduate research grants of up to $10,000 each. Carnegie Mellon professors Bernardine Dias, Ph.D. and Iliano Cervesato, Ph.D., both applied for and were awarded grants in the first round of funding. Dias received funding for one project, Cervesato for two. Dias’ research project will address the problem of illiteracy among Qatar’s blind. She will work with Noura Mohamed El-Moughny (CS 2008), who will research the blind community of Qatar. El-Moughny will work to find out what the literacy rates are among the blind and what tools are being used to educate them.

Dias says the overall goal of the research project will depend on

“These are things that no one has done in the world – ever.” Iliano Cervesato , Ph.D. computer science faculty the needs of the society. She does, however, hope to develop a system for writing Arabic Braille. Cervesato’s proposals are both in the field of computer security. The first project will build on Cervesato’s past work on a special language for describing how computer networks operate. Rishav Bhowmick (CS 2010) will take the language and apply it to real computer networks. In the second project, Amal Al Barwani (CS 2010) will work on technology that allows program-

mers to protect their programs from unscrupulous competitors and hackers who may try to steal or abuse their programs. She will work toward finding a way to execute a successful program in a way that will not open it up to competitors. Both students will do reports along the way and write a paper on their project. “These are things that no one has done in the world – ever,” Cervesato says. “It’s great that they are excited to do it. Plus it’s good for them to see things outside of school.” QNRF grants were awarded to all five universities in Education City as well as Qatar University and College of the North AtlanticQatar. The next competition cycle will run later this term and the third cycle will run in the fall. April 2007 akhbar 23

ba in focus


GOOD Mini-course exposes students to graphic design fundamentals


ver quickly exit a Web site because the colors were harsh or the font was unreadable? Ever buy a new snack item because the cheery bag caught your eye? Ever pick one shop over another because one had a cooler looking logo? Graphic design played a role in all of these decisions-whether you realized it or not. “Design can affect people’s lives. It helps you communicate more clearly to the folks you’re working with,” says Dan Boyarski, professor and head of the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. Boyarski spent part of the spring term in Doha teaching a two-week mini course on Communication Design Fundamentals to sophomore business administration students. This nine-unit elective was designed to give students a brief taste of design and how it affects their communication. In a way, Boyarski says, he is teaching students visual language and how design gives form to information and data. The 17 students in the class were challenged to take words like loud and soft and give

24 akhbar April 2007

Dan Boyarski, professor and head of the School of Design, taught a two-week course in Doha.

them visual meaning by choosing fonts, sizes, colors and placement on the page. The course also covered the differences between communicating on the Internet versus communicating on paper. Additionally, Boyarski gave a brief introduction to several computer programs used in design. Before enrolling in the class, Fatima Al-Rumaihi (Tepper 2009) says she never thought about changing fonts or using color to convey a message. “I realize now that these things can make a huge difference,” she says. “I find that I look at things differently now. I pay more attention to fonts, spacing and pictures.” Boyarski created the mini

version of a class he teaches in Pittsburgh as a way to help broaden the education offered to Carnegie Mellon Qatar students. Patrick McGinnis, who teaches Business Communication to sophomores in Doha, thought adding an interactive design course would give students a further understanding of visual communication. “In a global market, design is important,” Boyarski says. “Much of what is designed today is used globally, whether you realize it or not.” Still don’t think design is important? Think about it next time you’re searching for a rest room in a foreign airport, using a remote control in a hotel or searching for a parking lot.

cs in focus


QATAR Computer Science for Qatar

Computer science faculty reaches out to local teachers


S4Qatar is a new program offered by the Computer Science faculty at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. The three-day professional development workshop is tailored to reach out to technology, math and computer science teachers in local schools and middle schools. Mark Stehlik, assistant dean for undergraduate education in the Carnegie Mellon University School of Compute Science, will conduct the seminars with assistance from other faculty members. The workshop will provide resources to teachers that will better allow them to teach computer science principles in a fun and relevant way. This includes helping teachers understand all of the exciting career possibilities that are available to students who go on to study computer science in college. “We’re finding that a lot of teachers don’t know what computer science is,” says Majd Sakr, Ph.D., professor of computer science. “If we can help teachers understand what the field of comput-

er science encompasses, they will be better equipped to educate their students and enhance computer science programs at their schools.” The workshop is comprised of seminars on three topics. The first session is “computer science unplugged: how to teach and learn computer science without programming.” This session will focus on how teachers can convey the concepts of computer science without a computer. It will include discussions and demonstrations of fundamental concepts of computer science that can be taught in the classroom devoid of any programming language or assignments. Topics covered will include exploring algorithmic thinking — or how computer science solves problems by examining real-world applications of computation in action. The second day will be devoted solely to Alice, an objectbased, 3-D graphics authoring environment used to teach computer programming principles to students in middle school and

high school. The Alice environment makes it easy for students to get excited about programming by manipulating objects in a 3-D graphical environment and ultimately using those manipulations to tell “stories,” a subject many young minds find fascinating. Alice has been used in many schools as a feeder to more traditional programming courses in Java and C++. The workshop will conclude with a day-long seminar on Java, an object-oriented programming language that is widely used in introductory courses in programming and computer science. Java is the programming language used in the first programming courses at Carnegie Mellon. It is also the delivery language of the College Board’s Advanced Placement course in computer science. CS4Qatar will run from Friday, June 1 through Sunday, June 3. Learn more about it at www.qatar. cmu.edu/cs4qatar.

April 2007 akhbar 25

campus news


Six teams attend first High School Programming Competition


eams from six local high schools gave up a beautiful Saturday to hunker down in the computer cluster solving problems and writing computer code as part of the first Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar High School Programming Competition. “Our responsibility in Qatar spans the entire community. We believe we have to sponsor events that will extend the environment of computer science, especially to the secondary schools,” says Majd Sakr, Ph.D., who was one of the coordinators of the event. This competition was designed to allow high school students to compete against their peers in a computer science-based contest. During the competition, teams of up to three students were given three computer problems and three hours to work together to find a solution to each one. Students used their knowledge of computer programming

26 akhbar April 2007

languages such as JAVA, C and C++ to solve their problems. Carnegie Mellon faculty members John Barr, Ph.D., Nina Cooper, Ph.D., and Lynn Carter, Ph.D., worked as judges to determine if the programming code executed the correct solution.

“Our responsibility in Qatar spans the entire community. We believe we have to sponsor events that will extend the environment of computer science, especially to the secondary schools.” - Majd Sakr, Ph.D., computer science professor Teams came from the American School of Doha, M.E.S Indian School, Global Academy and Doha College. In addition to the competition, students and their teachers

were treated to lunch, a presentation on studying computer science and a live robot demonstration. All students received Certificates of Participation and the winning team from the American School of Doha took home a trophy. Only a few hours after the event was over, Sakr began receiving e-mails from teachers who attended the event. Many of them had students who left the competition, went home and continued to work on the problems they did not solve successfully during the competition. “I was thrilled to see how excited these kids were. Competitions like this give creative computer science students an opportunity to get together and put their skills to use,” says Sakr. “We plan to make this an annual event and we hope this competition is one of many outreach events between Carnegie Mellon and local high schools.”

campus news

MIND BOGGLING Meeting of the Minds kicks off in Doha

do,” says Mark Stehlik, assistant tially creating new technological dean for undergraduate education breakthroughs, undergraduate rein the School of Computer Sci- search encourages students to exence. tend themselves beyond structured “Plus parents, locourse material and of the cal professionals and faculty become independent from other universities get thinkers and learners. a sense of what Carnegie “Involving underMellon students are like.” graduate students in Students in both the research has become computer science and busia pedagogical tool naness administration use posttionwide, and underers, videos and other visual graduate research at aids to help them present Carnegie Mellon has their work in a manner that become a national can be easily understood by model,” said Indira those who are not in that chosen Nair, vice provost of education at filed. Carnegie Mellon. Through this experience, Meeting of the Minds has the young students learn how to been held at the end of the spring bridge the gap between conducting term at Carnegie Mellon Pittsresearch and presenting it to a gen- burgh for several years. All undereral audience. graduates engaged in research and The event also will help creative projects are encouraged to those in the Qatar community take part. understand the importance of Carnegie Mellon Qatar conducting research. Research has held similar events in the past. also enables students to en- However, this year will mark the hance their learning beyond first official Meeting of the Minds. the classroom and become This event will be complete with a creative and independent committee consisting of local inthinkers who apply their skills dustry experts and faculty memin numerous ways that benefit bers from other universities who society. will review all of the projects and In addition to deepening choose the best overall projects and our understanding and poten- best posters.

meeting minds

nvolvement in state-of-the-art research is one of the key components of the Carnegie Mellon undergraduate program. Some projects grow out of coursework in a student’s chosen major, while others typify Carnegie Mellon’s emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration to solve realworld problems. Students in Qatar will be showcasing their research projects at the inaugural Meeting of the Minds student research and project symposium in April. Meeting of the Minds is part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Undergraduate Research Initiative, which is a program that supports and encourages undergraduates to participate in innovative research. The annual research symposium gives students an opportunity to present their work to a wider audience of faculty, fellow students, family members and industry representatives. Students demonstrate robots they have built, show movies they have made, discuss experiments they have conducted and more. “It’s a great opportunity to see the best of what our students can



April 2007 akhbar 27

campus news


New elective course for BA majors


new elective course was added to the schedule in the Spring 2007 term that is teaching junior business administration students how to better communicate in a global business world. “The idea behind the Cross-Cultural Business Communications course is to build on the foundation created by business communication and business presentation classes, and consider them in the light of effective business communication across cultural lines,” says Patrick McGinnis, Tepper faculty member who teaches the course. Since the class maintains a business focus, it was only open to juniors who have taken sophomore Business Communications. McGinnis set up the course to have two phases. Phase one is to assemble the 17 students into teams to explore communication variables of another culture. McGinnis says ‘another’ culture cannot be American, Arab any nationality of the students on the team. “I did this so there would be a broad base from all over the world,” he says. Teams chose to study Spain, China, Japan, India, Switzerland and Mexico. As part of phase one, students had to learn how

to effectively communicate in the culture they chose. To do this they conducted library research, read scholarly journals on communicating in other cultures and interpreted data by applying what they already know about business communications. “Once you examine and begin to understand a single culture’s communication characteristics, you can apply those skills to all cultures,” McGinnis says. Phase two of the course has the teams take what they learn and apply it to a realworld situation that involves a written or oral communication involving a difficult subject such as downsizing or layoffs. The class culminates with each team writing a full-blown research paper and presenting it to the class so that everyone can benefit. This is the first time this class has been taught, however McGinnis says there are similar classes offered on the Pittsburgh campus. “This class is important to offer because increasingly all business education is international education,” he says. “These kids represent many different countries and cultures so for them all business will be cross cultural.”

COURSE CAST DEBUTS IN DOHA CS majors try a new style of learning


unior computer science majors experienced a whole new style of learning this term. Course Cast, a teaching method developed at Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh, is a way to archive a lecture so that it can be viewed for subsequent classes. Instead of listening to a live lecture, students in the eight-week Web Application Development course taught by Mark Stehlik viewed videotaped lectures by computer science professor Jeff Eppinger, Ph.D., who is an expert in the course material. During class periods, students watched and listened to Eppinger’s lectures. Stehlik was present in the classroom to answer questions and reinforce points made during the videos. This is the first time this technology has been used in Doha and Stehlik says it served as a test run for this new type of learning. “We were thinking a bit outside of the box,” 28 akhbar April 2007

he says. “This is another way to have a world-class expert who is in Pittsburgh teach a class in Qatar.” One benefit of this type of course is that the lectures are available on the course’s Blackboard site so students can watch them as many times as they want. Stehlik says the 24-hour accessibility is an excellent means of reviewing. One shortcoming of this class, according to Stehlik, is that students feel a bit disjointed because they are not forging a personal relationship with the main instructor. Course Cast was developed in Pittsburgh for the benefit of a student who is in a wheelchair. By recording the lectures and making them viewable online the student could watch them at home. Stehlik says this technology could pave the way for the sharing of even more classes and instructors between Pittsburgh and Doha.

campus news


Summer courses added to the schedule


ummer will not be a time of rest and relaxation for Carnegie Mellon Qatar. Six 6-week summer courses are being offered to Carnegie Mellon Qatar students as well as any local students enrolled in an English-medium university. “This is what we should be doing,” says John Robertson, assistant dean for undergraduate education, Carnegie Mellon Qatar. “Taking classes in the summer takes pressure off of students during the school year.” When it came time to decide what classes should be offered, Robertson contacted all of the deans on the Pittsburgh campus to see what was feasible. “We wanted to meet the needs of a lot of students and offer things that aren’t on the regular schedule.” The course offerings agreed upon include: Instruction to Modern Chemistry 1; Organizational Behavior; Business Policy and Strategy; Shakespearean Tragedies: Madness, Guilt and English Renaissance Culture; Postmodern American, British Fiction and Cinema; and Dynamic Decision Making.

Robertson says the real driving force behind offering summer courses is the students. “The interest is very strong. Students have been asking for two years now,” he says. With no courses offered in Doha in the summer, several Carnegie Mellon Qatar students have gone to Pittsburgh or to other local universities to take courses. Some students take summer courses to get ahead, others take them to

catch up and some take them just to broaden their education, according to Robertson. The six courses in Doha will be taught by faculty from both the Pittsburgh and Qatar campuses. So not only will students get exposed to new classes and new ideas, they also will have the opportunity to learn from even more esteemed Carnegie Mellon faculty members. Summer classes will run from May 22 through July 1.



rown Bag lunches are a way for Carnegie Mellon faculty members to share their research and project work with their colleagues over an informal lunch. Lunches take place twice a month and are open to all faculty and staff members. Lunch events for the Spring 2007 term include: Bill Brown, Looking for Life in Extreme Environments (NASA Robotics project); Majd Sakr, a case study into

the development of an effective CS curriculum for the Middle East; Hanadie Yousef, Viral vectors, gene therapies, and cancer; Bernadine Dias, Autonomous teamwork among humans, robots and software agents; Starling Hunter, Social network analysis of advertising revenue generating potential of web blogs; and Brenna Argall, Incorporating the critique of a teacher: Improving robot motion control policies. April 2007 akhbar 29

campus news

Barbara F. Freed, Ph.D., held a lecture on her book, screened her award-winning documentary and spoke at a lunchtime lecture as part of her visit to Doha.

SPEAK UP Distinguished Lecture Series kicks off B

arbara F. Freed, director, producer, screenwriter and Professor of French Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, was the first speaker in the new Distinguished Lecture Series at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. “The philosophy behind the Distinguished Lecture Series is to bring in futurists: people from all over the world who have different messages and different areas of expertise,” says Gloria Khoury, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at Carnegie Mellon Qatar. “This helps our students see where their education can be plugged in once they graduate.” Another great advantage of this series is the opportunity to show that Carnegie Mellon has so much more to offer than business administration and computer science. The heart of the Carnegie 30 akhbar April 2007

Mellon education is cross-disciplinary collaboration and exposure to all sorts of topics and people, and this series is an ideal vehicle to carry that out, Khoury adds. Freed’s visit to Carnegie Mellon Qatar included a lecture on her book Artists and Their Museums on the Riviera as well as a screening of her award-winning documentary film A Model for Matisse: The Story of the Vence Chapel. The film presents the relatively unknown and tender relationship that existed between artist Henri Matisse and the woman he considered “the true initiator” of the revolutionary chapel he described as the masterpiece of his life’s work - The Chapel of the Rosary. Held at Qatar National Theatre, the documentary was

widely attended by people from all over Doha. The topic resonated so well with people that several requests were made to purchase a copy of the film. Freed also hosted a lunchtime lecture entitled Understanding Second Language Fluency and Second Language Learning in A Study Abroad Context for teachers of foreign languages. Her academic research addresses the learning of second languages, a topic on which she writes and lectures internationally. The next speaker in the Distinguished Lecture Series is scheduled for the Fall 2007 academic term. While some speakers will be affiliated with Carnegie Mellon University, the series will aim to include everyone from philanthropists and entrepreneurs to world leaders.

campus news

SNEAK PEAK Summer College Preview Program set for July


reparing the young adults to be the leaders of tomorrow is something that must start while they are young. That’s why Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar is introducing a new program for talented high school students who want an introduction to college courses The Summer College Preview Program is a rigorous threeweek experience targeting students who are currently in their 10th or 11th year of high school who maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or above and have a high level of English proficiency. The non-residential, noncredit-bearing summer course will introduce participants to college level teaching, course content and the higher caliber of work that will be expected of them at an American university. “A lot of students find the

transition from high school to college quite difficult. Their schools spend a lot of time preparing them to gain admission to colleges and universities, but very little time and attention is spent teaching students what will be expected of them once they arrive on campus,” says Gloria Hill, assistant vice provost for education at Carnegie Mellon University. “Our aim for this program is to give motivated students an introduction to college-level courses. This will help bridge the gap between high school and what will be expected of them at college,” she says. Admission to the program is selective with room for only 15 rising juniors and 15 rising seniors. These students will have a unique opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge about life as a college student. Classes will be coeduca-

tional and taught entirely in English by highly-regarded Carnegie Mellon professors and full-time graduate students. Students who are accepted will take classes to improve skills in math and English, and become familiar with American approaches to teaching and learning. While some aspects of the program will focus on the mathbased business administration and computer science majors at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, Hill says the experience will be useful for any highly-motivated, academically-talented student who is pursuing a college degree in any field. “If we help prepare them now, they’ll have a greater chance of success in college. This, in turn, will lead to a wider choice of careers and greater professional success.” April 2007 akhbar 31

campus news




HUMAN RESPONSE Scholarship contest underway for incoming freshman


ducation isn’t cheap. And unfortunately money – or lack there of – can keep excellent students from attending top universities. Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar is hoping to take money out of the equation for a few lucky members of the Class of 2011 by offering a scholarship contest. “In the past we’ve lost students due to financial reasons. By offering scholarships we can make sure Carnegie Mellon is attracting the best students,” says Bryan Zerbe, director of admissions, Carnegie Mellon Qatar. The grand prize of the contest is one full-tuition scholarship (worth about $35,000). There are also five 1st Prizes of half-tuition scholarships. All scholarships are renewable for up to four years. Zerbe says the number of entries has greatly exceeded expectations. Some 50 applications have come in from Qatar and more than 100 from Pakistan. Students from as far away as Brazil, the United States and Australia have applied. 32 akhbar April 2007

And interest has been raised in Honduras, France and Canada. Only students who apply for admission to Carnegie Mellon Qatar for the Fall 2007 semester at are eligible for the contest.

“In the past we’ve lost students due to financial reasons. By offering scholarships we can make sure Carnegie Mellon is attracting the best students.” - Bryan Zerbe director of admissions, Carnegie Mellon Qatar In addition to completing the standard application process, students must write an additional essay on how they would push the limits of business and technology to alleviate a major crisis facing the world today. Essays will be judged by a panel of Carnegie Mellon Qatar faculty members.

Carnegie Mellon is the first university in Education City to hold an essay-based scholarship contest. Virginia Commonwealth University has held design contests for scholarships. These are not, however, the first scholarships offered by Carnegie Mellon Qatar. Since the Fall 2005 term, five or six merit scholarships of $10,000 have been awarded each year. Zerbe says these new scholarships are for recruitment not retention and thus are not available to current students. As with much existing student funding, the money for these scholarships will come from Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. Qatar Foundation is the driving force behind Education City and Carnegie Mellon’s presence in Qatar. Many current students receive financial assistant through QF. To view geographical locations of applicants, log onto www. cmuqatar.ennect.com/.

campus news

GOING GLOBAL Two-part series on Global Citizenship


hat makes a global citizen? Are we simply born as one or must we grow and develop as one? And how do we teach this principle to our students? These questions were the topic of a two-part series on global citizenship that was hosted by Carnegie Mellon Qatar in February. The first part of the series, which was open to all of Education City, focused on defining what a global citizen is. Moderators Chuck Thorpe, dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar; Bernardine Dias, Carnegie Mellon Qatar faculty member; Michael Murphy, Carnegie Mellon associate vice president; and Jim ReardonAnderson, dean of Georgetown School of Foreign Service Qatar, led the group discussions. Murphy discussed global citizenship as it related to politics, the economy and the culture. “It’s a sense of self. A sense of what one can bring to the table,” he says. “It’s also the belief in others.” Dias talked about global citizenship more on a personal and more fluid level. “It’s a continuous process and students must learn to define it for themselves,” she says. An excellent step toward understanding what it means to be a global citizen is putting yourself in an entirely foreign situation. By doing this, Dias says, you can learn a lot about yourself and you can learn to value others as fellow global citizens. Teaching young people to not only learn but also to teach is one way Reardon-Anderson defined global citizen. “Students must hear the music of learning and want

glob • al | globel |

• adjective of or relating to the whole world; worldwide : the downturn in the global economy. • of or relating to the entire earth as a planet : global environmental change. • relating to or embracing the whole of something, or of a group of things : some students may prefer to be given a global picture of what is involved in the task.

cit • i • zen | sitizen |

• (abb r.: cit.) noun a legally recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized : a Polish citizen | the rights of every citizen. • an inhabitant of a particular town or city : the citizens of Los Angeles.

to dance,” he says. If they enjoy learning they will know how to do it, want to do it and want to share what they learned. Other characteristics of a global citizenship that were discussed were understanding the difference between globalization and westernization; critically looking at all cultures including your own; caring for the world environment; letting go of assumptions; being a free thinker; and being open to travel. Once varying points of global citizenship were discussed, the second part of the series focused on how to get students in Qatar to take responsibility as global citizens. A challenge unique to Doha is that being a global citizen may mean different things to Qatari students versus non-Qatari students. The non-Qatari students are already living in a different culture surrounded by people from all over the world. The Qatari students, while surrounded by a diverse mix of people, are still embedded in their own culture, where most will remain.

Adding a global citizenship class to the curricula at Education City was thought to be a good idea by many in attendance. Similar to the civics or world cultures classes many faculty and staff took in school, this course could delve into the real issues of being a responsible global citizen. It would give young students a better understanding of what it is to play a role in society. One attendee suggested an Education City-wide elective that would bring together students from all five universities. This class could have components that take place both inside and outside of the classroom. Another idea for teaching students to become global citizens is have an emphasis on global citizenship in all courses across the curriculum. This way students would realize it’s something that spans every part of their life. Everyone agreed that the seed needs to be planted today. This way students will be equipped for a responsible global life. Further talks on this subject are sure to take place. April 2007 akhbar 33

campus news

HYBRID LEARNING Bill Brown shares Modern Biology course with Qatar University


art of the strategic plan of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar is to work in collaboration with the other universities within Education City and all over Qatar. Bill Brown, Ph.D., professor and former head of the Biology Department at Carnegie Mellon University, is doing this in a new way that combines science and technology. Brown is sharing a freshman-level Modern Biology course he developed and teaches with the Qatar University Biology Department. But this is no regular course. The class is a hybrid of a traditional class and an online learning class. “It’s the classroom of the 21st Century,” Brown says. How it works is students obtain their course materials online instead of through a classroom lec-

ture. Students read and study the materials independently then twice a week the class meets for 90 minute sessions with a professor. “In the class sessions we don’t teach them what they know, we focus on what they didn’t fully understand in the materials,” he says. “This opens the classroom up much more to dialogue. And students are more interested because they’re not getting lectured to all the time. It’s really quite exciting.” Brown has been teaching this course at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh for a few years and is now teaching it himself at Carnegie Mellon Qatar. Currently 26 other universities around the United States also are using Brown’s course as well as

a school in Santiago, Chile. He says by using the course internationally he is able to study whether the program needs to be adjusted for different regions. One difference that has already surfaced in Qatar is that Qatar University only offers segregated course. Right now only students in the men’s collage are enrolled. However QU is considering adding the course to the curriculum for both men and women. “These collaborations are a great opportunity to try innovative, new ways of learning,” he says. Another added benefit of this collaboration is that a test showed the retention rate was higher for students in this hybrid class than it was for those taking the same class in a traditional form. “All indications show we

YUNZ meets Y’ALL

Faculty has meeting with Texas A&M University at Qatar


s part of an effort to reach out and meet faculty at the other universities in Education City and Qatar University, Carnegie Mellon invited faculty from Texas A&M University at Qatar to a joint lunch. “It’s important that we start collaborating on research projects and find out how our curricula could complement each other,” says Majd Sakr, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon Qatar computer science faculty member. Texas A&M was chosen as the first school because of the natu34 akhbar April 2007

ral relationship between computer science, which is taught at Carnegie Mellon, and engineering, which is taught at Texas. Sakr says the two curricula could easily support each other so it’s important for the faculty to open the door to work together. “This is what it means to be part of a multi-versity such as Education City,” Sakr says. “We must find ways to work together.” The lunch was informal and was attended by nearly a dozen faculty members from each university. Carnegie Mellon Qatar Dean

Chuck Thorpe welcomed everyone to the lunch and encouraged open dialogue. As a result of the lunch, Sakr says initial communications were made that will result in several research collaborations and curriculum discussions. Carnegie Mellon Qatar plans to host joint lunches with Qatar University as well as the other universities in Education City, which include Georgetown School of Foreign Service at Qatar, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar and Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar.

campus news

Each black line represents the life journey of one member of the Carnegie Mellon Qatar faculty or staff.

THE ROAD TO DOHA Carnegie Mellon Qatar is where the world comes together


inding Qatar on a map is not an easy task. At only 11,437 square kilometers (about the size of the state of Connecticut) it’s one of the smallest countries in the world. Yet the bustling economy has turned the quiet desert community into a melting pot of cultures, nationalities and religions: Not to mention a home for Carnegie Mellon University. Some people came to Qatar because of Carnegie Mellon while others grew up here or came here first and found the university later. The more than 100 members of the staff and faculty have lived separate, diverse and fascinating lives - zigzagging the globe and crossing paths yet still unaware of each other. Staff and faculty were born in upwards of 25 different countries and have lived all over the world in locations as popular as London and as far-off as the Congo. Driver Enrique Isidro came straight from his lifelong home of Manila in the Philippines to Doha,

while others have surely racked up the frequent flyer miles. Events planner Kara Nesimiuk grew up in Vancouver, Canada; went to boarding school in Georgetown, Malaysia; lived in Bangkok, Thailand; then returned to Canada before life brought her to Qatar. Khadra Dualeh, director of professional development and international education, grew up in Somalia, moved to Cairo, then to the United States and back to Africa and the Middle East several times over before finding her way to Doha. Even dean Chuck Thorpe spent many years living in the Congo before connecting with Carnegie Mellon. No one could have predicted a few years ago that the small town of Doha would be the place where these lives would come to a confluence. Yet overlaying the individual paths on a map clearly shows that Carnegie Mellon Qatar is where the world comes together. April 2007 akhbar 35

campus news

RELOCATING Campus gears up for summer move Carnegie Mellon Qatar will be moving from the Weill Cornell Medical College building to the LAS building in July. Students, staff and faculty will remain in this new temporary home for the 2007-2008 academic year.


nrollment at Education City is on the rise and the universities are all feeling the pinch. Office space is at a premium, rooms are difficult to book and storage spaces are becoming a distant memory. This summer, Carnegie Mellon Qatar will move from its current space in the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar building to space in the Liberal Arts & Science building across the street. Once Carnegie Mellon moves, Cornell will take permanent occupancy of its entire building. The space that Carnegie Mellon Qatar will take over in the LAS building is now occupied by Texas A&M University at Qatar. TAMUQ celebrated the opening of its new building in March and are expected to be fully moved into their expansive new facility by May or June. Once TAMUQ has vacated the space, renovations will take place before Carnegie Mellon can move in. The actual move is set to take place in July, though 36 akhbar April 2007

final dates will depend on when TAMUQ is fully moved. Facilities Manager Ray Corcoran is confident the move will be quick and painless for all. As with all moves there will be pros and cons. Office sizes for Carnegie Mellon Qatar staff and faculty will go down from an average of 17.5 square meters to an average of 10.5 square meters. However we are growing from 68 offices and three conference rooms to 85 offices, six conference rooms and 35 open work stations. Architecturally the LAS building is quite different from the Cornell building with much more natural light and comfortable open spaces. There is only one cafeteria in the LAS building that serves both students and employees, which is a change from the separate areas in the Weill Cornell building. However the joint cafeteria is quite large and offers a bit more variety. It also serves breakfast and dinner. One drawback of the move

is that phone numbers cannot be transferred. All staff and faculty will be given new phone numbers and fax numbers will all be changed. Corcoran is working to have a dozen or so existing numbers - including the main reception number - put on permanent forward since these numbers are included in countless ads and existing materials. Carnegie Mellon Qatar will be housed in the LAS building for the entire 2007-2008 academic year. We will share the space with Georgetown School of Foreign Service Qatar and the Academic Bridge Program. Construction on Carnegie Mellon’s 44,000-square-meter Business and Computer Science building in Education City is underway and expected to finish in the spring of 2008. At this time Carnegie Mellon will move into its new home, which is nested between Texas A&M and Cornell.

campus news

BIRD’S EYE VIEW Webcam gives 24-7 access to construction of the Business and Computer Science building


ven when you’re not in Qatar, you can still watch Carnegie Mellon’s new home be built via a webcam. Mounted on a nearby building, the live webcam on the Carnegie Mellon Qatar Web site, www.qatar.cmu.edu, updates with a new photo every 10 seconds. This allows online viewers to watch the historic building rise from sand into one of the premiere teaching and learning facilities in the Gulf Region. “After several years of design work and a lot of anticipation, we are delighted that construction is now underway and that we can share it with the world,” says Kevin Lamb, assistant dean for planning and operations, Carnegie Mellon Qatar. The camera was installed in December after formal construction on the 44,000-square meter facility began in November. The three-level facility, which will be situated between the Weill Cornell Medical College building and the Texas A&M at Qatar engineering building, was designed by renowned architectural firm Legorreta+Legorreta. The state-of-the-art building has been under design for more than two years and is slated for completion in March 2008. Athens-based Consolidated

Contractors International Company (CCIC) and its local joint venture partner Teyseer Contracting Company have been awarded the contract for construction of facilities. Founded in 1952, Consolidated Contractors International Company has become the largest engineering and construction company in the Middle East. “We’re glad the world-class firm of CCIC was picked to build Legorreta’s first-class design. CCIC has a done a lot of work in Doha including the Doha Ritz-Carlton and they have experience in the region and beyond. We’re thrilled

that construction is underway and we have a webcam to capture the entire project,” says Lamb. The Business and Computer Science building is being built by Qatar Foundation to Carnegie Mellon’s unique specifications. This building will serve as a home to Carnegie Mellon’s first international, undergraduate campus in Doha where students can study either business administration or computer science. Watch the rise of the stateof-the-art building 24 hours a day on the Carnegie Mellon Qatar Web site, www.qatar.cmu.edu. April 2007 akhbar 37

campus news


Students make a splash on Professional Day


tudents at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar were given an unparalleled opportunity to meet and make contact with representatives of 27 companies at the university’s first Professional Day. This three-hour event on March 21 was the first time companies were invited to campus for a large networking event with students, staff and faculty. “Transforming Qatar into a knowledge economy will require a partnership between education and industry,” says Khadra Dualeh, director of professional development and international education, Carnegie Mellon Qatar. “By working together, Carnegie Mellon and local businesses are creating the next generation of leaders who will be ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow.” At the Professional Day event, each company set up a table in which they distributed information about their company and spoke with students about summer internships and possible job posi38 akhbar April 2007

for this event because we offer the best programs and have the best students. Business leaders realize that Carnegie Mellon students can be an incredible asset to their company,” says Dualeh. Several companies in attendance have already built a relationship with Carnegie Mellon Qatar by offering summer internships to students, and Dualeh hopes events such as Professional Day will help to continue strengthening that bond. Participating companies included: Al Fardan Group, Al KhaliRepresentatives from 27 compa- ji Bank, Cisco, Commercial Bank, nies attended Professional Day to talk with students about internship ConocoPhilips, Deloitte & Touche, Doha Bank, Dolphin Energy, Exxand job opportunities. onMobil, General Electric, Gulf tions after graduation. Faculty and Business Machines, Hewlett Packstaff were also able to meet and ard, HSBC Bank, iHorizons, Internetwork with company representa- national Bank of Qatar, KPMG, Microsoft, Nestle, Qatar Airways, tives. While most companies were Qatar Financial Centre Authorlocal to Doha, Cisco sent a repre- ity, Qatar Financial Regulatory Qatar Petroleum, sentative from Berlin and Hewlett Authority, Packard reps flew in from Moroc- Q-Tel, RasGas, Shell, Sidra Medico, Dubai and Lebanon. “We’ve cal and Research Center and Stanhad a lot of international interest dard Chartered Bank.

campus news

R E A D HITTING THE BOOKS Chuck and Leslie Thorpe selected for the READ series


f you had to pick one book to hold in a photograph that would be distributed en masse to educators, what would it be? Dean Chuck Thorpe recently had to make that decision after he and his wife, Leslie, were selected to appear on the Valentine’s Day READ card distributed by University Libraries. Gloriana St. Clair, dean of Carnegie Mellon University Libraries, initiated the library’s READ series in 2001. Since then, University Libraries has issued two new READ designs each year, one in February and one in December. St. Clair modeled the series on a well-known American Library Association advertising campaign

that features individual movie stars, musicians, sports heroes and other celebrities photographed with favorite books. In this case, the celebrities are Carnegie Mellon leaders, usually pictured with their spouses. Occasionally, colleagues are photographed as a group. Each card is also produced as a limited edition 20x30-inch poster. The posters are distributed to Carnegie Mellon colleges and campuses, displayed in the University Libraries (see them all in the Qatar Library), and given to READ honorees and their families. “This is a fun project that everyone enjoys,” says St. Clair. “It’s a way to celebrate our great

people and pay attention to what books and reading still mean to all of us.” St. Clair has tapped a variety of VIPs for the series, beginning with President Jared Cohon and his wife, Maureen, for the 2001 Valentine card. The Thorpes appear with Randy Bryant, dean of the School of Computer Science, and his wife Janice. As for book selection, Chuck chose Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; Leslie selected Mother Without a Mask: A Westerner’s Story of her Arab Family; Randy chose The World is Flat; and Janice picked A Wrinkle in Time. April 2007 akhbar 39

campus news





Starling Hunter is a visiting assistant professor. He has held positions at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the American University of Sharjah. His research interests include organizational consequences and strategic uses of information technology. Hunter holds a BSEE from Arizona State University; and an MBA and Ph.D. in Management from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Aziz Lookman is a professor of finance in the business administration department. In addition to teaching, he has been working on the engineering and financial aspects of the energy sector for the past 15 years. His research interests are risk management, credit risk, corporate governance and energy finance. Lookman completed his undergraduate studies at the Indian Institute of Technology, and he holds a Ph.D. in financial economics and advanced degrees in energy engineering and policy analysis from Carnegie Mellon.

Majd Sakr is an associate teaching professor in the computer science department. In addition to working at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, Sakr has held appointments at the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut and at the NEC Research Institute in Princeton, New Jersey. His area of research includes computer microarchitecture, compiler optimizations, scientific computing, embedded systems and reconfigurable systems. Sakr holds a BS, MS and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

BILL BROWN Bill Brown has been a professor of biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon University for more than 33 years. He also is currently the codirector of the Master of Science in Biotechnology and Management. Brown’s area of research involves molecular studies of occupational asthma and bioremediation using microbial biology. He holds a BA in chemistry from The College of Wooster; a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota; and has done post-doctoral training in chemistry at Yale University

40 akhbar April 2007

campus news




Marion Oliver, Ph.D. has accepted the position of freshman advisor, beginning in the 20072008 academic year. Oliver is a professor of mathematical sciences and special assistant to the dean. He will give up his role as special assistant to the dean so that he may concentrate on his advising and teaching roles. Oliver has a B.A. in mathematics and physics from Fisk University and M.S. and Ph.D. in mathematics from Carnegie Mellon. He has held faculty positions in the Heinz School at Carnegie Mellon; the Graduate School of International and Public Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh; the Department of Statistics at the University of Pennsylvania; and the School of Business & Industry at Florida A&M University. He spent a ten year sabbatical from higher education at Exxon Mobil managing a variety of programs, including training for the Middle East.

Chuck E. Thorpe, Ph.D., Dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, has been elected as a 2007 fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers. The institute represents engineers, scientists and allied professionals whose technical interests are rooted in electrical and computer sciences, engineering and related disciplines. Thorpe is being recognized for his leadership in the research and development of vision-based autonomous outdoor vehicles. “It’s great to see Chuck honored for his groundbreaking and consistently excellent work in vision and autonomous robots. From the initial platforms that required a large truck full of computing equipment that crawled along at barely 10 km per hour, we now have cars that are capable of traveling, driverless, at 100 km per hour. Chuck’s work has enabled and continues to advance this interesting area of computer science

research,” says Mark Stehlik, assistant dean for undergraduate education at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science. Before taking the helm of Carnegie Mellon’s first international, undergraduate branch campus in Doha, Thorpe was the director of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon’s home campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While at the Robotics Institute he was a principal research scientist and founding head of its robotics master’s program. He also taught robotics as a member of its faculty and served as an advisor to Ph.D. candidates. Thorpe holds a doctor’s degree from the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science and is one of the university’s first alumnus to pursue a career in robotics. Since receiving his Ph.D., Thorpe’s research has focused on the development of outdoor robotic vehicles, in particular computer vision, sensing, planning and architectures for these machines. During his tenure at the Robotics Institute, Thorpe and his Navlab research group built a series of robotic cars, trucks and busses for military and civilian research. With more than 350,000 members worldwide, the IEEE The world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology. Each year an elite 200 members become fellows after receiving a nomination. Being named a fellow is one of the organization’s most prestigious honors. Thorpe has been a senior member of the IEEE since 1993. April 2007 akhbar 41

campus news



GLORIA KHOURY & DAVE STANFIELD Gloria Khoury, assistant dean for student affairs, and Dave Stanfield, director of student activities, were selected to present at the 2007 NASPA Conference. Their presentation was entitled The Undergraduate Experience Reconsidered: An American Student Affairs Model Abroad. It addressed the successes and challenges of adapting a longitudinal and cross-functional model for student development in an Arab nation. By discussing how education crosses boundaries and how cultures merge, Khoury and Stanfield explained how educators must rise to the challenge of developing higher education to fit the characteristics and resources of new environments. Through the presentation, 42 akhbar April 2007

the audience gained an understanding of cross-cultural educational adaptation and its implications within student affairs. NASPA, or the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, is the leading voice for student affairs administration, policy and practice and affirms the commitment of student affairs to educating the whole student and integrating student life and learning. With over 11,000 members at 1,200 campuses, and representing 29 countries, NASPA is the largest professional association for student affairs administrators, faculty and graduate students. The conference was held in Orlando, Florida at the end of March.

Iliano Cervesato has organized a series of joint seminars between our CS department the Computer Science and Engineering Department of Qatar University. Each month someone from Carnegie Mellon Qatar will go to Qatar University to speak and someone from QU will come to Carnegie Mellon. Since QU is the only other university in Qatar offering CS, this joint seminar series is a great way to form collaborations.

AMAL AL-MALKI Amal Al-Malki chaired a session at the 2007 Conference on College Composition and Communication’s Annual Convention. Additionally, Al-Malki chaired and served other roles during the session “Crossing Literacy and Language Borders.” Each year the CCCC convention draws college faculty members from around the world. They gather to hear award-winning keynote speakers, attend presentations by colleagues on the latest innovations in education and network to gain knowledge of best practices in the field. The 2007 CCCC Convention was held in late March in New York City.

campus news



our Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar students have been nominated for membership into Phi Kappa Phi, which is the oldest, largest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. T o be elected to membership, a candidate must have demonstrated superior academic success and outstanding achievement. The four students who have accepted nominations are Noor Al-Athirah (Tepper, 2008), Noora Hamad Al-Saad (CS, 2008), Imran Karim (Tepper, 2008), and Jinanne Tabra (Tepper, 2008).

John Robertson, assistant dean for academic affairs at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, nominated all four students for membership in the honor society. “Carnegie Mellon requires the most rigorous coursework in business administration and computer science of any school in the Middle East. For these students to perform at a level that qualifies them for Phi Kappa Phi is a commendable achievement,” says Robertson. Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi has chapters on nearly 300 campuses in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Each year, ap-

proximately 30,000 members are initiated. Since its founding, Phi Kappa Phi has initiated more than one million members into its ranks; all of these members have received emblems and certificates of membership. However, Phi Kappa Phi is much more than an emblem and a line on a résumé. It is a global network comprised of the best and brightest from all academic disciplines—a community of scholars and professionals building an enduring legacy for future generations. Phi Kappa Phi has been an important presence at Carnegie Mellon University since 1933.

CARNEGIE MELLON WELCOMES SEVERAL NEW STAFF MEMBERS Carnegie Mellon Qatar continues to grow with the addition of many new staff members this term. Joining campus are: Tim Abraldes, teaching assistant; Rasha Al Kassem, user support specialist; Rana Al Kassem, user support specialist/executive support; Brenna Argall, teaching assistant, Nuha Issa, receptionist; Nikki Krysak, librarian; Doru Meltei, user support specialist; Ryan Menefee, community advisor; Kara Nesimiuk, events planner; Ramzi Ramsey, teaching assistant; Hanadie Yousef, teaching assistant; and Marwa Essam, academic assistant.

April 2007 akhbar 43

pittsburgh connection




How to speak


he mission of Carnegie Mellon Qatar is to bring the top-ranked education, the solid work ethic and unique ethos of the centuryold main campus to Doha. Included in this mission is importing a bit of the City of Pittsburgh: And what better way than to learn how to speak like a true Pittsburgher. While the native tongue in Pittsburgh is English, those who are born and bred in ‘da ‘burgh’ as we say, have adapted the language in a way that no other culture has. It’s called Pittsburghese and it can be heard around the world in one form or another. Has anyone asked you if you’re ‘goin aht’ this weekend? Have you been in line in the cafeteria behind someone asking for ‘jumbo?’ Have you been approached for a ‘gum band’ in the work room? If any of these things have happened to you, then you’ve been conversing with someone who speaks Pittsburghese. Here are a few common translations to aid in further English/Pittsburghese conversations.

44 akhbar April 2007

Pittsburghese PITTSBURGHESE TRANSLATIONS AHT - Some place, like a mall or corner store.

Ex, I’m going aht to Pizza Hut. Common replacement for out.

ATS - that is. Ex, Ats what I said. BLAHSE - A shirt worn by a woman. Ex, is that blahse new? CAHCH - A piece of furniture found in a living room. A synonym for sofa or davenport. Ex, dad fell asleep on the cahch again.

CHIPPED HAM - processed ham sliced paper thin. Used in sandwiches. DAHNTAHN - Below uptown. Ex, I’m going dahntahn to shop. FLAHR- a sign of spring or an ingredient in bread. Ex, put in two cups of flahr. GUM BANDS - Rubber bands. HOW’S BOUT - How about JAGGERS -thorns JEET JET -Did you eat yet. Often responded to with “no, j’ew? JUMBO -bologna LIVING DAYLIGHTS -a figurative expression often referring to something scary. Ex, he scared the living daylights out of me.

NEBBY - nosey. A person who is too nebby is often called a neb nose POP -a soft drink such as Pepsi or Coke. REDD UP - To clean up. Ex, better redd up before mom gets home SLIPPY - A combination of slick and slippery. Ex, be careful, the sidewalk is slippy STILLERS - Pittsburgh’s champion football team WORSH - To wash YUNZ - All of you. The quintessential Pittsburgh word. Ex, are yunz guys going to City Center.

the back story

continued from page 46

Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She also worked as a U.S. observer on foreign fishing vessels in the U.S. controlled waters of the Bering Sea and circled the world conducting surveys as a biologist. It was while she was on this succession of ships that Everhart developed her love of reading. “We had a TV but no reception,” she says. Plus there was nowhere to shop or sightsee. So Everhart just read. “I would get on the ship with bags of books and read two or three a week,” she says. She read everything from biographies and science to novels and history. After devouring book after book, she decided to look into a new career. Having taken extra English courses as an undergraduate she was able to quickly earn a master’s degree in English at her alma mater. After she graduated she worked as an adjunct instructor at several institutions in Erie before pursuing a Ph.D. in literary and cultural studies at Carnegie Mellon. She then began teaching in the English Department at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh in 2000.

Darlene Everhart poses with Dr. Fuji, chief scientist aboard one of the ships on which she worked. Above, the Anyo Maru 22 was one of the many ships Everhart has called home. Within a few years she was feeling a bit landlocked in Pittsburgh. So when she was asked if she wanted to come to Qatar in 2004 she said yes without even asking any questions. She knew Doha was on the water and that she could easily travel to a lot of nearby places. And that she could continue to teach and further explore her love of literature. “I planned to be at sea until

I was 80. But working on a boat is physically demanding and it gets harder as you gets older,” she says. “Coming to Doha has been great because it has allowed me to combine my two interests: water and books.” The Back Story is an Akhbar feature that chronicles the life of a Carnegie Mellon Qatar staff or faculty member before coming to Doha. April 2007 akhbar 45

the back story



Love of water and reading led Darlene Everhart to Doha


aculty member Darlene Everhart describes her life as a search for a quiet place. One place she has always been able to find that elusive serenity is near water. “Water as a medium is so beautiful,” she says. “I always have to be near water.” Her love of water first began as a child growing up along Lake Erie in Erie, Pennsylvania. Everhart was always swimming or boating, and decided to pursue a career that would allow her to remain close to her source of peace. She enrolled at Gannon University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and spent summers working as a naturalist at Presque Isle State Park. Then one day she saw a poster on a bulletin board that described a sail and study program in marine mammology and celestial navigation. She immediately signed up and set sail for the first leg of what would be a long journey at sea. For four years she alternated between winters aboard a ship in the Dominican Republic and summers at sea in Puget Sound off of the western side of North America. In the Dominican Republic she worked as an assistant scientist with the Ocean Research and Education Society. As the ship sailed 46 akhbar April 2007

Part of Darlene Everhart’s job aboard ships was to photograph and document different types of whales. along shallow coral banks north of the Dominican Republic, Everhart studied humpback whales that migrated to their breeding grounds for winter. “We were in uncharted area. At times we didn’t see land for days,” she says. “I loved it. We navigated by sight and always had someone on top of the mast. We kept traditional sea watches of four hours work, four hours off.” Summers in Puget Sound were spent aboard a ship as part of a survey team studying the Orca whale, known more commonly as killer whales. She landed this

job through a scientist she knew aboard an Ocean Research ship. It was the first of many jobs she found through her work with other scientists. She spent one summer studying Orca whales in the water southeast of Alaska and one winter working on an oyster farm in the San Juan Islands where she graded and packed oysters to ship all over the world. Everhart followed another job tip that landed her at the National Marine Fisheries Service, which is an agency of the National continued on page 45

Preparing the next generation of leaders

At Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, our mission is to provide a liberal professional education with breadth as well as depth; preparing students to be life-long learners. Our students learn problem-solving, leadership and teamwork skills as well as the value of commitment to quality, ethical behavior and society. Our renowned educational vision is why Carnegie Mellon Qatar business administration and computer science students are poised for success in a global marketplace.

For additional information call +974 492 8260 or visit



Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar A Member of Qatar Foundation P.O.Box 24866 Doha, Qatar www.qatar.cmu.edu

Profile for Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar

Akhbar, Spring 2007  

Akhbar, Spring 2007  


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