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Excellence. At Carnegie Mellon.

For more than a century, Carnegie Mellon University has been inspiring innovations that change the world. Consistently top ranked, Carnegie Mellon has more than 11,000 students, 90,000 alumni and 5,000 faculty and staff globally. In 2004, Qatar Foundation invited Carnegie Mellon to join Education City, a groundbreaking center for scholarship and research. Students from Qatar and over 40 different countries enroll at our world-class facilities in Education City. Carnegie Mellon Qatar offers undergraduate programs in biological sciences, business administration, computer science and information systems. Carnegie Mellon is firmly committed to Qatar’s National Vision 2030 by developing people, society, the economy and the environment. Learn more at www.qatar.cmu.edu


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F e at u r e s

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Baybars Named Dean

Ilker Baybars talks about his childhood, his career and his new role at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.

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New CMU Degree Program in Biological Sciences

In collaboration with Weill Cornell Medical College.

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Class Act

Carnegie Mellon Qatar Class of 2011 celebrates graduation.

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The Writer’s Craft

Book edited by Carnegie Mellon Qatar professor showcases students’ creative writing.

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Teaching to InSPIRE

Carnegie Mellon Qatar students introduce robotics to children.

D e pa r t m e n t s

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From the Dean

Reflections from interim dean G. Richard Tucker.

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Campus Connection

Read about what’s been happening on campus.

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Spotlight on Business Administration

Two Carnegie Mellon students win first place at the Al Fikra business plan competition.

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Spotlight on Computer Science

Expert explains the importance of thinking like a computer scientist.

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Spotlight on Information Systems

I.S. students host second annual conference.

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Focus on Research

Meetings of the Minds.

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Pittsburgh Connection

Carnegie Mellon’s Doha and Pittsburgh campuses get connected.

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In Touch with Alumni

Meet Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s new alumni officers.

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In the Fold

A Night at the Museum brings students and alumni together.

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akhbar‫أخبار‬ A publication of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar

J

A member of Qatar Foundation P.O. Box 24866 | Doha, Qatar www.qatar.cmu.edu

ust like the saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” Perhaps that’s why my year at Carnegie

Dean

İlker Baybars, Ph.D.

Mellon Qatar seems to be drawing

to a close so quickly.

Marketing & Public Relations Department Director D. Murry Evans

My wife, Rae, and I lived in the Middle East in the 1970s, and we have been blessed

Assistant Director (Special Events) Kara Nesimiuk

to spend this year in Doha, reimmersing ourselves in the rich culture of the Arab

Departmental Coordinator Marissa Edulan

world.

Manager of External Relations Feras Villanueva

It’s a different world now, of course. You only have to look around you to witness the

Graphic Designer Sam Abraham

progress in Qatar. And that’s true of Carnegie Mellon too; this has been a year of many notable successes.

Web Manager Stephen MacNeil

We’ve strengthened our research activities, recently receiving 12 grants from

Publications Manager Sarah Nightingale

the National Priorities Research Funding Program, which is administered through

Editorial Board Chairperson Dudley Reynolds, Ph.D.

in Liberal Arts and Science will all benefit Qatar, but they are diverse, representing

the Qatar National Research Fund. The five projects in Computer Science and seven the scope of Carnegie Mellon’s contribution here.

Members Jill Duffy; Tom Emerson, Ph.D.; Khaled Harras, Ph.D.; Selma Limam Mansar, Ph.D.; Robert Mendelson

This year, we’ve aligned our research, teaching and community outreach to support Qatar’s National Vision 2030. At Meeting of the Minds, our largest research event of the year, we invited Dr. Barak Saeed Yehya, from the General Secretariat for Development Planning, to recognize research that complements the QNV2030.

Writer Sarah Nightingale

Carnegie Mellon Qatar continues to grow, with a record 670 applications received this spring. The prospective students were from 64 nations and included 230 Qatari nationals – the highest number in university history. That’s in part due

Editor Sarah Nightingale

to our creative outreach programs. Our staff don’t just visit Qatar’s high schools; they also invite students and their counselors to Education City, where they can see

Photographs Shauki Alazzam, Khalid Ismail, Stephen MacNeil, Sam Abraham

our building, meet our people and most importantly spend time with our students. On a personal note, I’m pleased to have initiated the TaQdeer Awards, which

Layout and Design Sam Abraham

recognize staff for their hard work, dedication and service. I’ve also started a Dean’s Student Advisory Council, allowing student representatives from all programs and classes to bring forward their ideas and areas of concern.

Mission

Akhbar is the official publication of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. The mission of the magazine is to share the interesting and innovative stories that highlight the university and its role in the Gulf Region and the world.

By the time you read this, I will have left the campus in the capable hands of Ilker Baybars. Twenty years ago, when I first joined Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, Ilker was one of the first faculty members I met outside my home department of Modern Languages. I’ve enjoyed a tremendous working relationship with him since, and I anticipate people here will develop the same professional rapport.

For editorial inquires or reprints, contact the Marketing & Public Relations Department at +974 4454 8503.

Ilker becomes Dean of the same smooth-running campus I inherited from our founding Dean, Chuck Thorpe. It’s a place that’s filled with talented and dedicated faculty, staff and students. I will be watching you all eagerly as you enter the next

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.

chapter.

My best wishes to you all,

G. Richard Tucker Interim Dean 2010-11

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Connecting people with nature

students, who provided them with advice and feedback,” said

A team of students from Doha College won first place in the

Carnegie Mellon Qatar faculty members judged the

3rd annual Ibtikar Qatar competition, held at Carnegie Mellon

teams based on the originality of their idea, whether it

in January. The winning team designed an iPhone application

used information systems effectively, its impact on raising

called Biotrack, which uses social networks like Facebook and

awareness, their poster design and how well it was presented.

Twitter to connect Qatar residents with the natural world.

Limam Mansar. The final projects were presented during the competition.

The second place winner was ‘Underground Technology

“The winning team, NEXT from Doha College, designed a

Movement’ from Global Academy International. Third place

sophisticated iPhone application. The application creatively

went to ‘EcoBiotechs,’ also from Global Academy International.

combines the features of iPhones to access a wealth of information on Qatar’s rich biodiversity (plants and animals) in an entertaining way,” said Selma Limam Mansar, Ph.D., information systems coordinator at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.

Schools that presented posters were: Al Wakrah Secondary Independent School, Doha College, Doha Independent Secondary School, Global Academy International, Ideal Indian School, MES Indian School, Omar Bin Al-Khattab

Ibtikar is an information systems innovation competition for

Secondary Independent School, Raba’a A-Adwyria Secondary

high school seniors and juniors. The competition encourages

Independent School and The International School of Choueifat.

students to use an information systems-based approach to design solutions to some of society’s most important challenges. This year, students designed an iPhone application to help promote the United Nations’ goals for the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity. The two-part program began with a November workshop during which 91 students from 17 schools were organized into teams and briefed about the competition. “Ibtikar is a journey; the participants spent two months intensively collaborating in teams on their ideas, coming up with technology innovation and using their critical thinking

Students from Doha College won first place at the Ibtikar challenge.

skills. The students were mentored by Carnegie Mellon’s

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University and Founder of TechBridgeWorld; Rachel Morris,

Students bring TEDx to Qatar Carnegie

Mellon

Qatar’s

Development

the first female Managing Director of a newspaper in Qatar; and Ranwa Yehia, co-founder and director at the Arab Digital Expression Foundation.

Solutions

Organization (DSO) organized the first TEDx event in Qatar

The next Generation

this spring.

More than 120 high school students from 30 secondary

TEDx events are designed to give communities the

schools delved into the world of computer science at the

opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like

fifth annual CS4Qatar workshop, which took place in

experiences. “TED” stands for Technology, Entertainment,

February and was organized by the School of

Design — three broad subject areas that are collectively

Computer Science.

shaping our future. While official TED conferences take place in California and Edinburgh each year, the “x” in TEDx refers to events that are independently organized. Choosing the theme “No Boundaries,” TEDxCMUQatar asked inspiring speakers to share their thoughts about developments that could change attitudes, lives and ultimately the world. The event hoped to increase awareness of the problems that lie in developing countries, and what people are doing about it. The speakers included Bernardine Dias, Ph.D., assistant research professor at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon

More than 120 high school students came to Carnegie Mellon Qatar to learn about computer science.

The two-day workshop aimed to teach high school students about computer science and how it is applied to both academic and professional life. “We teach students computer science and technological basics and through this we hope that the younger generation’s interest and motivation in these crucial areas of knowledge continues to grow” said Khaled Harras, Ph.D., a computer science professor. The workshop consisted of three sessions: The first focused on computer science-related puzzles; the second on programming; and the final session focused on artificial intelligence and robotics. “This is the second time I have attended the CS4Qatar workshop. It is really exciting and I find it fascinating to find out how robots work,” said Shoug Shaheen, a student at Al

Under the theme, “No Boundaries,” students addressed how to solve problems in developing countries.

Wakra Independent Secondary School.

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CS4Qatar is a series of computer science workshops designed C a m p u s C o n n e ct i o n

by Carnegie Mellon Qatar for both computer science educators and high school students in Qatar. Carnegie Mellon structures these programs based on current global themes and issues, helping students and educators to apply skills learned to real-world problems.

Saudi Arabia: Past, Present and Future Dr. Khaled Almaeena, Editor-in-Chief of Saudi Arabia’s first English language newspaper, gave an insightful lecture at Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s LAS Speaker Series. In a lecture titled “Saudi Arabia: Past, Present and Future,”

Dr. Khaled Almaeena talked about problems and positive changes in Saudi Arabia.

Almaeena acknowledged Saudi Arabia’s problems, including the lack of job opportunities for the youth, the absence of

Seventy percent of Almaeena’s Saudi staff are women,

transparency in governance, and restrictions on women.

including the managing editor, the senior correspondent from the Eastern Province and the manager in charge of the

But positive changes are occurring in Saudi Arabia, said

Life & Style section.

Almaeena, who is optimistic that a different Saudi Arabia A well known businessman and media personality in Saudi

will emerge in the future.

Arabia, Dr. Khaled Almaeena has held a broad range of “It is stereotypical to think that women only work as

positions in Saudi media for over 30 years, including CEO

school teachers…women are now working as doctors and

of the Saudi Public Relations Company, Saudi television

engineers. Women need to play a pivotal role in the change

news anchor, talk show host, radio announcer, lecturer and

of the country. No reform will happen in Saudi Arabia unless

journalist. He became Editor-in-Chief of Arab News in 1982.

women are given full rights,” he said. Almaeena is hopeful the youth in Saudi Arabia will be given the chance to make a difference, he said.

Thinking Out Loud Winning Brain Bowl for the third time isn’t easy, but four

“The Saudi Arabian youth are seeking change − they are not

friends have done just that.

looking to follow the west, they want to make their own reform, but within the perimeters of Islam. People want reform. This is why so many protests are taking place.” Amal Mohammed Al-Malki, Ph.D., an assistant teaching professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, said Almaeena is a great inspiration to Carnegie Mellon students. “Carnegie Mellon University understands the importance of using English to reach out to a bigger audience, especially as all of our students are either bilingual or multilingual. Further, Dr. Almaeena is known to be a great advocate of Saudi women and a great believer in their capabilities,” AlMalki said.

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The long and Winding Road It’s hard to remember life before music videos and YouTube. At that time, your entertainment was local and the radio played regional hits. The Beatles sparked the globalization of pop music, said Peter Brown, president of the international public relations and consultancy firm Brown Lloyd James. Brown, who began his career on The Beatles’ management team, spoke at the Distinguished Lecture Series. His talk was titled “The Long and Winding Road: How Technology Carnegie Mellon Qatar students competed in front of a lively audience at this semester’s Brain Bowl quiz.

Brought Together Cultures Around the World.”

The team − called Hey Buddies − won the biannual quiz for

The series, which began in 2007, invites

the third time in four years. The quiz took place March 17

inspirational speakers to share their

on the Carnegie Mellon Qatar campus.

experiences on important issues. All of the lectures are free and open to the public.

Four teams − Hey Buddies, MARS, Beecees and Jazba − competed in front of an audience of about 90 students,

Brown shared how The Beatles went

friends, family, and faculty members.

from four struggling musicians to a

Brain Bowl was launched in 2008 by Ben Reilly, Ph.D.,

global phenomenon. He spoke to about

professor of liberal arts and sciences. The two-hour

100 faculty, staff and community guests,

nights include questions on liberal arts, general trivia and

and took time out to meet with students

academic teasers.

and alumni.

According to Reilly, the questions require intelligence more

The Beatles couldn’t play concerts everywhere, so they began

than studying, as some answers can be gleaned from hints

making music videos instead. As fans in Europe, Asia and

in the questions themselves.

America united in ‘Beatlemania,’ Brown witnessed the world

Peter Brown, president and cofounder of Brown Lloyd James, began his career on The Beatles’ management team.

getting smaller, he said. “Hey Buddies” comprised Ousama Obeid, Mohammed Behih, Yazan Abou Hijleh and Mohammed Tayyab. The

Brown is passionate about the role of music, sport and

foursome won Carnegie Mellon items.

technology in bringing diverse people together, he said. The veteran communicator has worked with Andrew Lloyd

“We have definitely learned a lot from the previous

Webber and helped Qatar with its successful bid for the

competitions and if there’s one thing that we have learned

2022 FIFA World Cup.

the most, it’s when in doubt leave it out. That is, if you don’t know the answer, just leave it out so you won’t lose points”,

Talking with Carnegie Mellon students, Brown said the

Obeid said.

tech-savvy group should use their networking skills to forge relationships that were once out of reach.

Brain Bowl is co-sponsored every semester by the Liberal “Technology and entertainment are an entity of their

Arts and Sciences Department and Student Affairs.

own. They are the means for change, inventions and unity, which are the factors that form better societies and deeper understanding within these societies,” he said. 6 C

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Making The Connection Professional Day

High school students demonstrate robotics skills

Students seeking jobs and internships met dozens of potential employers this spring without setting foot off campus. The fifth annual Professional Day was held March 23 at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. Representatives from fifty organizations set up stands, distributed brochures and provided information about their companies. The annual career fair provides a unique opportunity for students to meet face-to-face with employers and explore potential jobs and internships. “We are enormously grateful to those companies who have been with us for a number of years and we are delighted to welcome 16 for the first time,” said G. Richard Tucker,

School children competed using robots they designed, built and programmed.

For the third year running, Carnegie Mellon Qatar hosted one of the coolest science projects in town.

dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar. “Many of these companies have international reach − something we pride ourselves on

More than 180 students from 24 schools participated in the

preparing our students for.”

Regional Botball Robotics Challenge, which was held at Carnegie Mellon University this spring.

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Botball is a robotics challenge for middle- and high-

region in 2005, when just four teams competed. The 2011

school students that develops excitement, knowledge, and

program was sponsored by Qatar Shell.

practical understanding through hands-on experience with technology.

Programming Puzzles

Students from schools in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar competed, each bringing

DPS Modern Indian School in Doha was awarded first place

robots they had been building and programming for the last

at Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s fourth annual High School

two months.

Programming Competition.

The students learned to program their robots using C,

Qatar Academy and the American School of Doha earned

the most widely used computer-programming language in

second and third place, respectively. The talent contest took

industry and academia.

place in March at the university’s campus.

The theme of this year’s challenge was ‘Botville Airport Renovation,’ in which students scored points for completing

Teams

of

tasks around green energy and sustainability initiatives

students were given

implemented at an international airport.

a

total

three

of

computer

eight

problems

Robotics is a great tool to teach students about science,

to

solve

technology, engineering, and mathematics along with

a

four-hour

program management skills, said Brett Browning, Ph.D.,

frame. The top three

Senior Systems Scientist at Carnegie Mellon University.

teams were awarded

within time

a trophy along with

Many of these students will enroll in Carnegie Mellon or

certificates.

Education City universities, he added.

Sixteen high school

American School of Doha was named overall champion of

students

the 7th challenge. The team will receive a trip to Anaheim,

from

regional

California in July to attend the 2011 Global Conference on

six

schools

participated in this year’s competition, which is organized

Educational Robotics. Al Mawakeb School from UAE and

by the Computer Science Department and the Pre-College

Doha College were the 2nd and 3rd place winners.

Program office of Carnegie Mellon Qatar. Regional participation in the tournament has increased “We know that there is a group of students out there who

significantly since Carnegie Mellon brought Botball to the

love to solve problems through programming and who enjoy working in a team structure,” said Bruce Volstad, manager of the Pre-College Program. “Not all the teams that are attending this competition are expert programmers, but this competition gives them an opportunity to develop and experiment with their skills. Through this kind of competition, Carnegie Mellon Qatar encourages students to further pursue a career in programming that will allow them to use these skills.” Team Analog from DPS Modern Indian School answered six out of eight problems, finishing with the highest score in the competition. 8 C

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“The problems were really challenging and thought-

Workshops addressed current and ongoing challenges facing

provoking, so it was a big deal to us to win this contest,”

translators, and the importance of making Arabic texts more

said Siddarth Malhotra, team leader of Analog.

accessible in other languages.

Schools participating in this year’s competition were the

“Language is a powerful tool in bringing people together. This

American Community School (UAE), the American School

year we explored translation from and into more languages,

of Doha, Doha Modern Indian School, DPS-Modern Indian

giving us insights into new cultures. Our workshops dealt

School, M.E.S Indian School, and Qatar Academy.

with different topics in translation, providing in-depth knowledge and instant training in a friendly and interactive

The Traveling Text

format, said Amal Mohammed Al-Malki, Ph.D., assistant

The sixth time is the charm.

in Qatar and one of the conference organizers.

teaching professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University

At least that’s how many drafts it takes Arch Tait to translate a book from Russian into English. While technology has trimmed the time needed to complete some of those steps, translators should never cut corners or rush a job, said Tait, who earned a Ph.D. in Russian literature from Cambridge University in the U.K. Tait spoke at a two-day translation conference held on the Carnegie Mellon Qatar campus. Titled The Traveling Text, the second annual meeting was co-organized by Carnegie Mellon Qatar and Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP). Tait began his work as a literary translator in Russia using an old German typewriter, he said. He now uses a state-ofthe-art computer, online translation tools, and a dictation program that types as he speaks. Translators from around

Workshop leaders:

the globe shared their resources at one of two plenary

Sameh F. Hanna, Lecturer in Translation Studies and Arabic at the University of Salford;

sessions moderated by the Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Souief.

Samia Mehrez, Director of Center for Translation Studies at American University in Cairo; Dr. Nabila Zouaoui, Expert to the Qatari Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Dr. Hamad Al Kuwari; and Dr. Afnan Fatani, Associate professor of linguistics in the department of European Languages and Literature at King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia.

Plenary session speakers: Arch Tait, Translator and editor who received a Ph.D. in Russian literature from Cambridge University; Amanda Hopkinson, Professor of Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia; Daniel Hahn, Writer, editor and translator, and Jason Grunebaum, Writer, editor and translator.

Translators shared tips and resources at the conference.

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Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar received a record number of applicants for the 2011-2012 incoming class. The number of applicants reached 670, an increase of 26 percent over last year. This year’s diverse applicant pool included prospective students from 64 nations as well as 230 Qatari nationals - the highest number in university history. “Throughout the past year we have spent a lot of time and energy encouraging the top students in the region to apply to Carnegie Mellon Qatar,” said Jarrod Mock, director of admission. “Through the greater use of social media and electronic communication we have provided students with accurate information about our programs and applications procedure.” Each of the academic programs experienced an increase in applications and the number of international applicants grew 71 percent. “Our highly selective undergraduate programs are known throughout the world for their academic excellence, a top priority among parents and students,” Mock said.

d

Music and laughter filled Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s building on International Day − an annual event where students showcase their diverse heritages through performances, entertainment and culinary delights. Faculty, staff, students and families enjoyed poetry, musical performances, flamenco, Bollywood-style dancing, and Dabke, a traditional Arab dance. These are just some of the traditions students and staff have brought to Qatar from their home countries.

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Record Numbers

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Advisor to the Emir speaks about Qatar’s future

education – many of these developments having global

His Excellency Dr. Ibrahim Ibrahim addressed students,

Qatar’s National Vision 2030 can be called upon,” he said.

impact. By winning the bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, the doors have opened wide to many more opportunities for our country’s development and the impact we can have on the world. And here is where the role of

faculty and staff from Education City about the Qatar The Qatar National Vision 2030 was formulated in 2008 to

National Vision 2030 and the implementation of the

sets the foundation for sustainable development. To achieve

National Development Strategy. Dr Ibrahim is the former

the objectives, the GSDP with 13 ministers and more than

Secretary General of the General Secretariat for Development

200 Qatari officials worked together with international

Planning and an economic advisor to His Highness the Emir

experts to lead the development of the first National

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Carnegie Mellon Qatar

Development Strategy 2011-2016.

organized the lecture in support of the country’s national vision.

“The National Development Strategy will define the priorities, directions, and processes to reach the ambitious development outcomes highlighted in the QNV 2030,” Dr. Ibrahim said. “Education will be a big focus of the National Development Strategy,” he added. Carnegie

Mellon

University

has

made

significant

achievements since its establishment at Education City in 2004, said Mark Kamlet, Ph.D., executive vice president and provost of the university “We have been a great source of excellence in education, innovation and research, and our contributions to the country’s development in educating the country’s youth have been impactful,” he said. H.E. Dr. Ibrahim Ibrahim

“Carnegie Mellon University is fully committed to the country’s vision and mission,” said G. Richard Tucker, interim dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar. “Through the programs offered, our objectives are to respond to the country’s demands and growth, positioning ourselves to contribute maximally to the implementation of QNV 2030.” In his presentation, Dr. Ibrahim discussed the implementation of the plans and their contributions to the human, economic, social and environmental development of the country. “Qatar is in the spotlight now more than ever,” said Dr. Ibrahim. “Our small yet progressive nation has made significant developments in so many fields both locally and regionally – medicine, business, sports, research and 12 C

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Talking Computer Science

Carnegie Mellon Qatar computer science faculty also

Thirty-six speakers from Qatar and across the world

so we decided to feature that as well. With each local speaker,

presented their own research during the series. “We have some great research that happens in this building,

participated in this year’s Computer Science Seminar series. The series, which is open to the local community, showcases Carnegie Mellon Qatar and invites students to look beyond their textbooks and learn what’s going on in the field of computer science. “Creating a vibrant scholarship atmosphere is invaluable for a successful university.

Especially for students, this

atmosphere imparts a sense of what it means to be a computer scientist, and excites with examples of deep problems and clever impactful solutions to complement the basics they learn in class, and that they can get involved in.,” said Nael Abu-Ghazaleh, Ph.D., computer science professor who coordinated the series. This year’s speakers included Kareem Darwish, from Microsoft Research Creative Labs in Cairo; Mohammad Hammoud, from American University of Science and Technology in Lebanon; Peter Paniflov, from the Moscow

students learn about some exciting opportunities available to them, and faculty and staff learn more about each other’s work,” Abu-Ghazaleh said.

Institute of Mathematics and Electronics and Joseph Dichy, from Lyon University in France.

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writing course and he has been a mentor since. Only one

Conference Empowers Youth

team per institution can enter the competition, Karatsolis said, so the class and several outside judges helped choose who would enter the challenge.

The motto “Lead. Serve. Advocate for Change” captured the spirit of Reach Out To Asia’s third annual Empower Youth

In fall, the students made it to the next round, and in

Conference. The April event attracted 400 students ages 14-

March, they qualified as semifinalists – each time adding and

24 to Education City’s new Student Center.

refining their proposed device, which is called a SmartBox. Their success earned them a trip to Hong Kong, where they

The Empower Conference is one of four youth development

presented their proposal, met business professionals, and

initiatives organized by ROTA that aim to energize, mobilize

took in the sights. The trip took place June 11-16.

and inspire civic responsibility among Qatar’s youth.

Being one of 30 schools worldwide to make the semi-

The three-day conference involved a youth panel discussion, keynote

presentations, workshops, performances

final, Carnegie Mellon Qatar competed against other top

and

institutions like Princeton and Johns Hopkins University

exhibitions. Amal Al-Malki, Ph.D., assistant teaching

– two of just five U.S. institutions to qualify. It was a

professor at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, spoke to students about

great opportunity for Carnegie Mellon students to get

developing their communication and leadership skills.

constructive feedback and learn from experts and their peers, Karatsolis said.

Conference attendees also participated in one of nine community service activities across Doha.

“This competition brings together the academic world and the real world. The students will learn so much from going

Next Stop Hong Kong How many times have you headed to a meeting and left your office lights on? Or felt overheated in a crowded conference room, but haven’t been able to adjust the temperature? Three Carnegie Mellon Qatar students have been developing a plan to reduce that kind of energy waste. The device would use sensors and patterns to track human activity and adjust the heat and lighting accordingly. The idea earned the trio an all-expenses trip to Hong Kong. Shaza Daifalla Ibrahim, an information systems student, Yara Saeed, a business administration student, and Jummana Khalout, also in business administration, recently battled 30 other teams from around the world at the PolyU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Student Challenge. Organized by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the global competition invites students to create a business plan based on subthemes like health and wellness, corporate social responsibility and sustainability. The team faced stiff competition, with more than 300 teams entering the challenge last spring, said Andreas Karatsolis,

through this process, presenting their work and interacting

Ph.D., assistant teaching professor of English. The students

with other students,” he said.

developed their proposal as part of Karatsolis’ professional 14 C

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C a m p u s C o n n e ct i o n

Recognizing outstanding staff Five staff members whose work has impacted on the university were recognized in April for their outstanding performance and commitment to excellence. The taQdeer awards, meaning “appreciation� in Arabic, are a tribute to the spirit of teamwork and dedication embodied by the staff at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. Awards are given in five categories: Dedication, Service to Students, Innovation, Commitment to the Community and Outstanding Newcomer. The 2011 winners are: Outstanding Innovation Award: Stephen MacNeil, web manager, Marketing and Public Relations. Outstanding Newcomer Award: Madhav Lakshminarayanan, help center team lead, Information Technology. Outstanding Service to Students Award: Melissa Deschamps, director of international education, Student Affairs. Outstanding Dedication to CMU Award: Faizan Nihal, user support specialist, Information Technology. Outstanding Commitment to the Community Award: Fadhel Annan, director of government initiatives and employment services, Human Resources.

q

From top: G. Richard Tucker, interim dean for the 2010-11 academic year, presents awards to Stephen MacNeil; Madhav Lakshminarayanan; Melissa Deschamps; Faizan Nihal; and Fadhel Annan.

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Carnegie Mellon qatar welcomes new Dean Baybars has worked at CMU for more than three decades

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Dr. ilker Baybars and his wife Çiğdem

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İ

lker Baybars hugged his parents goodbye, boarded a

In 1970, Baybars branched out again, this time travelling

clunky, old-fashioned train, and settled down for the 26-

to the United States. He attended Carnegie Mellon in

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hour journey to Ankara.

Pittsburgh, where he earned a master’s degree in 1972 and a Ph.D. in 1979.

He was just ten-and-a-half years old when he left his hometown of Gordes, in Western Turkey, for the nation’s

America was very different from Turkey, Baybars remembers.

capital.

The wide-eyed student noticed how large the houses were, with basketball hoops in the front yard and barbeques on

Each year, the government awarded 40 students from small

the patios. Most people didn’t brush elbows with their

towns a scholarship to attend middle and high school in

neighbors, and you had to make an effort to meet the people

Ankara. That year, Baybars, a boy who had never seen a car

who lived next door.

or a television, was one of them.

He grew to appreciate the difference between American

That was five decades ago, but it’s still the most dramatic

culture and his own, but he still planned on going home,

change Baybars ever experienced. His education opened

where he had a university job lined up in Ankara.

doors that would never have existed had he stayed in Gordes, a sleepy town of 5,000, which had no electricity at that time.

EXTENDED STAY

Education is only second on

Political troubles and violence in Turkey prompted Baybars

the list when Baybars ranks

to stay in Pittsburgh for a year, and he began a one-year

his top priorities, though.

faculty appointment in 1978.

“Family comes first. Always,”

That year turned into another, and then another. Baybars

said

will

met his wife Çiğdem (pronounced Chi-Dem), a pediatric

become dean of Carnegie

ophthalmologist who he admits courting for three years

Mellon Qatar in August.

before she agreed to marry him. The couple had a daughter,

Baybars is deputy dean,

and Baybars found himself with a new family to put first. He

the George Leland Bach

settled into Carnegie Mellon and bought the large American

Chair and a professor of

house that had once seemed so ostentatious.

Baybars,

who

operations management at Dr. Ilker Baybars

During his 32-year tenure at Carnegie Mellon, Baybars has

the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

served as acting president of the Carnegie Bosch Institute

“My advice to students is that they should never forget their

for Applied International Studies and as head of the business

families and their roots,” he said.

school’s undergraduate program. In 1981, he became the first recipient of the Emil Limbach Teaching Award for Excellence

The young Baybars was eventually reunited with his parents

in the Classroom. The award, from what is now the Heinz

when they moved to Ankara. By then, he was studying at the

College, is one of Baybars’ biggest personal achievements,

Middle East Technical University (METU), where he received

he said.

his bachelor’s in 1969. Baybars moved into the family home, and for the first time in years, he’d have to explain to his

Baybars became associate dean of the Tepper School in

mother when he came in late in the evenings.

1985 and deputy dean in 1992. In 1997, he received the Outstanding Achievement Award for Leadership from the

“I would tell her I was playing Bridge,” he said, quickly adding,

business school. Baybars also founded the business school’s

“which was the truth.”

part-time and distance learning MBA programs and served

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as head of MBA programs from 1984 to 1997.

1962 to 1972.

job, he said. The first is interacting with students, who keep

“I used to go for a walk with him every time I faced a challenge

him feeling young. The second is working with faculty, who

and I didn’t know how to handle it,” Baybars said. “He would

keep him on his toes.

always give advice. I did not necessarily do everything he

He paid attention again when Carnegie Mellon’s current

said, but I always listened.”

As deputy dean of Tepper, Baybars enjoys two aspects of his

from 1972 to 1990 and dean of the business school from

S

Middle East. Baybars has been involved since the beginning, serving on Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s Joint Advisory Board since 2004, and has visited Doha many times. “I think the notion of Education City is very creative and visionary,” Baybars said. “In the middle of the desert, Qatar Foundation has essentially created an oasis of knowledge with students and faculty from all over the world.” One of the biggest challenges for Carnegie Mellon Qatar, Baybars acknowledged, is recruiting more Qatari students – a top priority for Qatar Foundation. It’s something Baybars “Faculty at Carnegie Mellon are very bright and sophisticated and well trained. Managing people like that is always a challenge,” Baybars said. “When you stand up in a faculty

promises to make steady progress on over the coming years. Beyond that, Baybars isn’t revealing a master plan.

meeting you have zero room for making mistakes, because

“First, I want to find out what’s going on. I’m going to learn

someone will catch you! If there are questions, you’d better

about the programs, the campus and the world we interact

be able to answer them.”

with over here,” he said. “I know a lot about this place, but I

Baybars owes some of his leadership skills to his mentor

don’t know everything.”

Richard M. Cyert, who was president of Carnegie Mellon

5

Birthplace:

minutes with

Dean İlker Baybars Gordes, Manisa, Turkey.

Education: Bachelor’s in Management from Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey; MBA and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University. Experience: More than 32 years teaching and leadership experience at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. Family: Wife, Çiğdem (pronounced Chi-Dem; means “crocus” in Turkish) and a 21-yearold daughter who is a senior at Harvard University in Boston, MA. Favorite sport:

Soccer (he used to be a striker).

What he’ll miss about Pittsburgh: The hilly terrain. What he’ll like about Doha:

The people and the atmosphere.

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president, Jared Cohon, was launching a campus in the


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of Science for the biological sciences degrees, and the Lane Center for Computational Biology in the School of Computer Science for the computational S

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biology degree.

The B.A. degree offers a solid foundation in biological sciences integrated into a flexible, broad-based curriculum. Students pursuing the B.S. degree in

students for biological sciences graduate programs, medical school or careers in government, industry and academic research laboratories.

biological sciences will undertake a rigorous, quantitative course of study that requires substantial laboratory experience. These programs will equip

Students completing the B.S. degree in computational biology will be highly trained in one of the most rapidly growing areas in modern biology.

Computational biologists, who apply computer science techniques to complex biological problems, will be prepared for work in biomedical imaging,

genomics and population genetics, among other important areas.

The new programs draw on the unparalleled expertise of two world-class institutions. Carnegie Mellon, known internationally for its researchers who solve

New CMU Degree Program in Biological Sciences

real-world problems, was the first university in the United States to offer an undergraduate degree in computational biology. Founded in 1898, Weill Cornell Medical College in New York is among the top ranked medical research centers in the United States.

“WCMC-Q is delighted to join CMU-Q in offering a B.A./B.S. in biological sciences, which would be an important contribution to the vision of Qatar becoming

a knowledge-based society by 2030. This joint program is a shining example of increasing collaborations among Qatar Foundation’s institutions to reflect

COLLABORATION WEILL CORNELL MEDICAL Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser’s vision,”IN said Javaid I. Sheikh, dean of WITH Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar.

COLLEGE

Students who are enrolled in Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s three existing undergraduate programs — business administration (BA), computer science (CS) and information systems (IS) — will be able to participate in the new programs by taking courses in biological sciences or computational biology. This interdisciplinary opportunity will enable them to develop an understanding of key issues in biological sciences that directly impact their disciplines.

Once fully established, between 30 and 35 students are expected to enroll in the programs annually. The core curriculum will include mathematics,

the physical and life sciences, computational biology and laboratory courses. According to their degree path, students may take advanced electives in neuroscience, immunology, and computational biology, as well as liberal arts classes. Students from other universities at Qatar Foundation will also be able to cross-register for various courses in the biological sciences.

Continuing Carnegie Mellon’s longstanding tradition of undergraduate research, degree-seeking students will have the opportunity to engage in a 10-week discovery-based research program at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, WCMC-Q, Sidra Medical Research Center or other Qatar research institutions.

“Undergraduate research is at the heart of Carnegie Mellon’s biological sciences program. Our students learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills that they are able to apply to any career that they may choose,” said Fred Gilman, dean of the Mellon College of Science. “Our students and alumni cite w w . as qatar . cmu d ueducation. undergraduatewresearch one of the best parts .ofetheir

21 We are excited to bring these opportunities to Carnegie Mellon’s Qatar campus.”


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his fall Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar is

Students pursuing the B.S. degree in biological sciences

launching a new undergraduate degree program

will undertake a rigorous, quantitative course of study that

in biological sciences. The program will be a collaborative

requires substantial laboratory experience. The program will

effort with Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q),

equip students for biological sciences graduate programs,

with students receiving their degrees from Carnegie Mellon.

medical school or careers in government, industry and academic research laboratories.

“Carnegie Mellon Qatar is excited to partner with Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar to offer a new program in

The new program draws on the unparalleled expertise

biological sciences. Graduates will be uniquely qualified to

of two world-class institutions. Carnegie Mellon, known

solve problems and contribute to cutting-edge research in

internationally for its researchers who solve real-world

fields such as biomedicine, health care, and global health,�

problems, was the first university in the United States to

said Ilker Baybars, dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar.

offer an undergraduate degree in computational biology. Founded in 1898, Weill Cornell Medical College in New York

The program will be offered in collaboration with associated

is among the top ranked medical research centers in the

departments at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh: the

United States.

Department of Biological Sciences in the Mellon College of Science and the Lane Center for Computational Biology in

“WCMC-Q is delighted to join Carnegie Mellon in offering

the School of Computer Science.

a B.S. in biological sciences, which would be an important contribution to the vision of Qatar becoming a knowledge-

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of

increasing

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among

Qatar

example

based society by 2030. This joint program is a shining

Foundation’s institutions to reflect Her Highness Sheikha

Moza Bint Nasser’s vision,” said Javaid I. Sheikh, dean of Weill

Cornell Medical College in Qatar.

Students who are enrolled in Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s three existing undergraduate programs - business administration

will also be able to enroll in biological sciences courses. This

(BA), computer science (CS) and information systems (IS) research program at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, WCMC-Q, Sidra Medical Research Center or other Qatar research institutions. “Undergraduate research is at the heart of Carnegie Mellon’s biological sciences program. Our students learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills that they are able to apply to any career that they may choose,” said Fred Gilman, dean of the Mellon College of Science. “Our students and alumni cite undergraduate research as one of the best parts of their education. We are excited to bring these opportunities to Carnegie Mellon’s Qatar campus.”

interdisciplinary opportunity will enable them to develop an understanding of key issues in biological sciences that directly impact their disciplines. The core curriculum will include mathematics, the physical and life sciences and laboratory courses. Students may take advanced electives in neuroscience, immunology, computational biology, as well as liberal arts classes. Students from other universities at Qatar Foundation will also be able to cross-register for various courses in the biological sciences. Continuing Carnegie Mellon’s longstanding tradition of

the opportunity to engage in a 10-week discovery-based

Dd

undergraduate research, degree-seeking students will have

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Celebrating Graduation 4 8 students graduat e in Doha

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W

hen Nofe Al-Suwaidi (TPR’11) was a child, she

The ceremony’s keynote speaker, Her Excellency Sheikha Al

dreamed that Qatari men and women would one

Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, encouraged the

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day have equal rights and responsibilities.

graduates to be passionate about their vocation, her speech echoing Andrew Carnegie’s motto, “My heart is in the work.”

Her dream is already coming true, said Al-Suwaidi, who was chosen to speak at this year’s graduation ceremony. “In my lifetime, Qatar and the women who guide her have undergone long-awaited changes. Women have emerged as leaders and role models. H.H. Sheikha Moza bint Nasser championed Education City — without her vision, we would not be here this evening. H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa, our keynote speaker, drives the philanthropic and arts initiatives in Qatar. Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber leads one of the most prominent organizations in Doha. They, along with other Qatari women, have begun to change our path,” Al-Suwaidi said. More than 1,000 guests attended the May 2 ceremony, which took place at Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s building. Forty-eight students graduated: 36 in Business Administration; three in

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani

Computer Science; and nine in Information Systems.

“All dreams are realizable. The question is how committed are

The ceremony was a blend of cultures, including American,

you to that dream?” Her Excellency Sheikha Al-Mayssa said.

Arabic and Scottish – the latter reflecting the heritage of Andrew Carnegie, the university’s founder. Bagpiper John

In his charge to the graduates, Jared Cohon, Ph.D, president of

Gasper led the formal procession, which was followed by a

Carnegie Mellon University, emphasized the graduates’ role in shaping the future of the region. “No group of graduates is more important than you. Never has the hopes of a nation and a region rested so heavily on a group of young people. Never has there been so much opportunity for change and progress,” Cohon said. The celebrations began May 1 with Senior Celebration – an evening of awards, accolades and remembrances. On May 3, Carnegie Mellon faculty and students joined other Education City universities for Senior Convocation. The open-air event took place at Education City’s Ceremonial Court and included music by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, and Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser attended, with Her

declaration by faculty marshal, Selma Limam Mansar, who

Highness delivering the charge to the class.

carried the ceremonial Arabic sword. A string quartet played the Qatari and United States National Anthems.

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F e at u r e

First person, second language Book showcases creative writing by non-native English speakers.

Imagine writing an essay about one of the hardest or most

With the help of project manager Nada Al-Mahmeed, who

personal parts of your life, and then sharing it with your

graduated this summer, Al-Malki selected and obtained

classmates.

permission to use 24 pieces for the publication. Students Buthayna Al-Madhadi and Aisha Al-Sada translated the

Now imagine doing it in a foreign language.

papers into Arabic, and Mohammed Al-Hamadi, who is cross-

That’s exactly what students do in “The Writer’s Craft,” a

registered at Virginia Commonwealth in Qatar, provided

course taught by Amal Mohammed Al-Malki, Ph.D., assistant

artwork for the book.

teaching professor at Carnegie Mellon Qatar. Al-Malki

“Being the project manager was very significant to me

adopted the class from David Kaufer’s graduate course in

because it gave me the chance to apply the skills I acquired

Pittsburgh. Kaufer is a professor of English and has been a

from CMU-Q,” Al-Mahmeed said. “While most of the projects I

mentor to Al-Malki since 2005.

worked on within classes were either virtual or imaginary, that

Al-Malki’s students, who are all non-native English speakers,

was not the case with the book. I had the chance to exploit the

learn both creative and technical writing during the semester,

techniques I learned from classes like finance, marketing and

but her focus is ensuring students can express themselves in a

professional communication.”

second language.

The hardcover book, titled “The Writer’s Craft: Teaching Creative

“I try to highlight how a person can represent himself, his

Writing in Qatar,” contains four sections: self portraiture,

identity, and his native themes in a different language,” Al-

observer portraiture, scenic writing and narrative history.

Malki said. “By mastering a language I show students they can

While some essays explore students’ relationships or cultural

bend it to suit their own needs.”

heritage, others capture the struggles and triumphs of their grandparents’ generation.

The course not only guides Carnegie Mellon students as they become effective communicators, but also helps them

A March event at Carnegie Mellon celebrated the book’s

negotiate between their English identities and those they’ve

completion. The launch was attended by H.E. Hamad Al-Kuwari,

already forged in their mother tongues.

His Excellency Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of Qatari Businessmen Association and Her Excellency Noor

Last summer, after teaching the course for six years, Al-Malki

Abdullah Al Malki, Secretary General of the Supreme Council

decided to showcase her students’ work in a book. When she

for Family Affairs.

mentioned the idea to His Excellency Dr. Hamad Al-Kuwari, Qatar’s Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, he offered to

The book cannot be purchased, but is given as a Ministry gift,

publish it to commemorate Doha as the 2010 Arab Capital City

both within and outside Qatar. Al-Malki hopes it will be the first

of Culture.

in a series showcasing Qatar and the experiences of Carnegie Mellon students living in Doha.

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Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, His Excellency Dr. Hamad Al-Kuwari, with students and officials at the launch of The Writer’s Craft

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Teaching to InSPIRE Carnegie Mellon students introduce robotics to kids

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Computer science doesn’t sound like kids’ stuff, but giving

For three freshmen, designing a complete curriculum was no

children a head start can prevent them from falling behind later.

small task. Instead of relaxing over winter break, the friends found themselves meeting over Skype, reading research

F e at u r e

Three Carnegie Mellon Qatar students have been working to

papers and penning lesson plans. The trio developed the

ensure minority children get introduced to technology-rich

program independently, but sought advice from Bernardine

subjects. Kenrick Fernandes, Zuhair Syed and Haya Thowfeek

Dias, research scientist

taught robotics this spring to students at the Stafford

in the Department of

International School − a Sri Lankan school in Doha.

Computer Science, and

Their work was funded by the Doha Community Engagement

Daniel Phelps, assistant

Program (DCEP). The Office of Personal Development initiative

teaching

invites students to design a project that will improve the local

Information Systems.

community. Each semester, one of the proposals is chosen for

One

funding.

professor

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the

challenging

of

most

tasks,

the

Fernandes, a computer science major and the project leader,

group said, was coming up with a name. They settled on

already volunteers at Qatar Academy, where he teaches

InSPIRE, which stands for Inspiring Students Positively through

robotics to fourth and fifth graders. He realized a similar

Innovative Robotics Education.

program might benefit other local schools, many of which don’t

In January, the trio was awarded $1,000 to implement their 8-week program. They asked Ayesha Rahuman, principal of the Stafford International School, if they could debut InSPIRE at her school. Rahuman was excited about the program. “This was very good for us because our children don’t usually get this kind of opportunity,” she said. The twelve participants delved into the technology-rich world of robotics. Beginning in spring, the afterschool class met about once each week. The children first learned concepts of computational thinking − like abstraction and problem solving - and then put their knowledge into action by building robots that could navigate an obstacle course. The trio were impressed by the children’s progress.

Kenrick Fernandes, a computer science major, helped introduce children to robotics at the Stafford International School.

“We purposely gave the students things that stretched their

have the resources for extracurricular activities. He asked Syed,

minds and they made it work,” Fernandes said. “Some of it was

a business administration student, to pitch in, and together

university level stuff.”

they recruited Thowfeek, an Information Systems student with The team members recorded their experiences in journals and

an interest in using technology in education.

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a photo diary. They plan to publish their work and make the

“The program was appropriately named because our children

program available to other teachers. Programs like InSPIRE, they hope, will encourage minority children to take an interest in computer science, possibly highlighting it as an area to study at university. The program could also be expanded to other technology-rich subjects, they said. Cindy Dickman, student development coordinator, said the group’s achievements exemplify the ingenuity and vision seen in Carnegie Mellon Qatar students. “Team InSPIRE not only saw a need in the elementary education here in Qatar, but also around the world. Future plans include furthering the research in this area and publishing their findings, while hopefully expanding their education to other schools in Doha and the Gulf region,” Dickman said. Rahuman would welcome a continuing relationship with

were really inspired. They developed skills and knowledge, but they are also more assertive and they have new aspirations about going to university,” she said.

Carnegie Mellon, she said.

Haya Thowfeek, an information systems major, was one of three students who volunteered this spring as part of the Doha Community Engagement Program.

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Akhbar Magazine

A winning

proposal Students win national business plan competition The top spot in the Al Fikra National Business Plan

The winners were announced at the Doha InterContinental

Competition went to two Carnegie Mellon Qatar students

in a ceremony attended by His Excellency Sheikh Jassim bin

for a proposal to build a website connecting students with

Abdul Aziz Al Thani, Minister of Business and Trade.

local companies.

In the professional category, Khalid Al Mohannadi, Abdulla

Arash Enayati Khorzoghi and Ahmad Mohamed Al-Salama,

Rashid Al-Obaidan and Chris Bulman won first place and

both computer science majors, were awarded first place in

QR 50,000 for ‘Dinosawus,” a social network for kids that

the student category, winning QR 50,000 and a chance to

promotes Arab games and stories. In second place was

develop their idea with the Supreme Council of Information

‘Pregnant & Pretty,’ an educational center for pregnant

and Communication Technology (ictQatar).

women, and in third place was ‘Entalek,’ an outdoor

The students impressed the judges with ‘ConnectME,’ a web

adventure company.

portal bringing together internship-seeking students with

In the student category, the second place was awarded to

Qatar business organizations.

‘Radical Sports, Qatar,’ which would offer extreme sports

“The experience has been phenomenal. Not only have we won the first prize and the incubation from ictQatar, but we

like bungee jumping. ‘Al Dallah,’ a vending machine dispensing authentic Qatari coffee took third place.

also had the chance to network with relevant business people

Al Fikra was supported by Qatar Development Bank, the

and to interact with the entrepreneurship culture in Qatar,

Qatar Business Association, ictQatar, College of the North

Al-Salama said. “We showed Qatar the innovation, talent

Atlantic- Qatar (CNA-Q), Qatar University (QU), Stenden

and hard work Carnegie Mellon students are capable of.”

University Qatar (SUQ) and Virginia Commonwealth

Al Fikra, Qatar’s first national business plan competition, was

University in Qatar (VCUQ).

organized by Enterprise Qatar, Carnegie Mellon Qatar and

The competition is an

a consortium of higher education institutions and business

outgrowth of a program

development agencies. These organizations joined forces

launched

to nurture entrepreneurial talent and increase awareness

Mellon

of entrepreneurship through business plan competitions,

Qatar in cooperation with

networking events and incubation.

the Qatari Businessmen

About 250 proposals were submitted for the competition, which began in March. The applicants went through a series of elimination rounds, and eight were presented to jury members and honorary guests during the May 23 final.

by

University

Association ago

as

Carnegie

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an

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academic-

business collaboration to enhance

entrepreneurial

spirit and develop a new generation

of

business

Left to right: Ahmad Mohamed Al-Salama, H.E. Sheikh Jassim bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani, Arash Enayati Khorzoghi, and Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani.

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S p o t l i g h t o n C o m p u t e r Sc i e n c e

Computational Thinking The benefits of nuturing your inner computer scientist Reading, writing and arithmetic have always been the

For example, biologists teamed up with computer scientists

foundation of a child’s education.

to sequence the human genome. Viewed by some as the largest scientific endeavor in history, sequencing the three

Jeannette M. Wing, Ph.D., wants to add another subject to

billion chemical units would have been impossible without

that list: computational thinking.

computer science techniques.

Wing is the President’s Professor of Computer Science and

Computational thinkers also have helped biologists design

Head of the Computer Science Department at Carnegie

better drugs, learn how our cells work and predict how a

Mellon University. In a visit to the Qatar campus she shared

protein changes from a linear strand of amino acids to its

her vision for the future: By the middle of the century,

functional, 3-D structure.

computational thinking will be a fundamental skill used by

Computational thinkers have left their mark on other fields

everyone in the world.

too. A tool called Machine Learning can predict patterns

Computational thinkers do more than use a word processor

based on past data, Wing said. The tool has been used to

or the Internet, Wing explained.

forecast tornados, solve credit card fraud and generate coupons based on a person’s shopping history. “Teaching computational thinking can not only inspire future generations to enter the field of computer science because of its intellectual adventure, but will benefit people in all fields,” Wing said. Wing has received numerous awards and recognition for her work on computational thinking and education. She was assistant director of the National Science Foundation’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering directorate, and was recently elected as a member of the Computer Research Association’s (CRA’s) board of directors. Her 2006 viewpoint paper in the Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery, titled “Computational Thinking” sparked a discussion on how computer science should be viewed, said Kemal Oflazer,

Jeannette M. Wing, President’s Professor of Computer Science and Head of the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, spoke at the C.S. Distinguished Lecture Series.

Computational

thinking

involves

solving

Ph.D., professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.

problems,

“Jeannette convincingly argued that the broad skills of

designing systems and understanding human behavior by

computer scientists represent a universally applicable attitude

drawing on concepts from computer science.

and skill set everyone, including students and scientists from almost every other discipline, should have”, he said.

Speaking at the Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series, Wing said computational thinking is a tool people can use to tackle problems they wouldn’t otherwise be able to solve. 36 C

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Coming Together Student-run conference draws attendees from across the region The second Undergraduate Conference in Information

“Professor Straub provided an academic view of information

Systems (UCIS) attracted students from across the region to

systems, while the local professionals who participated in

Carnegie Mellon’s campus in Education City.

the conference provided the view of information systems

The March conference, hosted by the Association for Information Systems (AIS) Student Chapter at Carnegie Mellon, was a platform for students to present their work and engage in discussions with peers, faculty members and experts from around the Middle East. “This event acts as a unique chance for students to discuss and

present

their

work to a larger audience.

as it’s practiced locally. Attendees, regardless of their background or major, benefited from the conference and came out with an appreciation for the role that information and information systems play in organizations and society today,” Phelps said. The conference program was a collaborative effort between faculty and staff at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, Qatar University and the American University of Sharjah. Undergraduate students presented research-based topics that they have worked on during the academic year.

Also,

Reham Al Tamime, a Carnegie Mellon student, appreciated

conference

the opportunity to exchange ideas with others. “I have

is a great way to

definitely learned a lot, especially from the renowned keynote

involve

speaker, who has shared a lot of updated information on the

this

students

more in academics

subject and has enlightened us in many ways,” she said.

and research-based activities,”

said

Daniel C. Phelps, Ph.D., assistant teaching professor of information systems and conference program chair. This year’s conference was called “Promises and Pitfalls of Information Communication Technology,” and addressed the continuous changes in the field of information communication

technology.

Topics

covered

included

web security and privacy issues, mobile and web-based applications, usability and user interfaces of applications, global IT projects and outsourcing, and sustainable information systems. The keynote speaker was Professor Detmar Straub, Ph.D., DBA, Regents’ Professor of the University System of Georgia and J. Mack Robinson Distinguished Professor of Information Systems. Straub is a leader in the information systems research community.

Waleed Khan, a Carnegie Mellon Qatar student, spoke at the second annual conference.

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Winners U nd e r g r aduat e Po st er First place: “ECShelf” by Rashid Alkaabi, Olympia Datta, Asma Hamid and Abdulmunim Kelzieh. Second place: “Place Recognition for Indoor Blind Navigation” by Samreen Anjum. Third place: “Assignment Deadline Tracker” by Amal Al-Amri, Ghada Al-Sooj, Aamir Masood and Allan Reeves.

Po stg r aduat e Po st er First place: “Locality-Aware Reduce Task Scheduling for MapReduce in Cloud Computing” by Mohammad Hammoud.

General Secretariat for Development Planning Undergraduate: “The Organ Donor Hub” by Mohamed Al Haddad, Ghanim Al Sulati, Fatima Muja and Rana Khalil. Postgraduate: “Advanced Water Treatment Method for Brackish Water Desalination” by Lichen Han.

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Awarding Innovative thinkers Students showcase research at Meeting of the Minds

Matching kidney disease patients with organ donors and

for the blind, wireless technology to inform drivers of parking

creating pure water from salty sources were two of the

spaces in crowded cities, and a budget-tracking device for

posters that stood out at the fifth annual Meeting of the

student organizations. Several students from the Pittsburgh

Minds research symposium.

Architecture department also displayed their projects.

Dr. Barak Saeed Yehya, from the General Secretariat for

The best undergraduate project prize was awarded to Rashid

Development Planning, selected the projects for their

Alkaabi, Olympia Datta, Asma Hamid and Abdulmunim

contribution to the Qatar National Vision 2030. The newly

Kelzieh for their project titled “ECShelf,” a service designed

added category recognized two researchers who are helping

to help charity organizations track book donations.

Qatar build on its environment, its economy and its society.

“Our project is a virtual network which connects charity

“The projects were all very good; these students have been

organizations to those people who want to donate books,”

taught to a level where they can think in an organized way,

Alkaabi said.

come up with research and defend it,” Yehya said. “The organ donation project and the water treatment project were both innovative and both supported Qatar’s National Vision.” Meeting of the Minds is a unique Carnegie Mellon tradition, both on the main campus in Pittsburgh and in Qatar. The April event on Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s campus included 27 undergraduate and 18 postgraduate posters in the categories of Computer Science, Information Systems and Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Meeting of the Minds is an opportunity for us to highlight some of the research that is taking place by students at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and this year we are proud to see many new and exciting projects,” said John Robertson, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. “Engaging students in research projects is of particular importance in Qatar as we are working hard to help develop a culture of innovation as well as expand the research capacity in Qatar.”

The postgraduate prize was awarded to Mohammad Hammoud, who presented a tool that would help solve an ongoing problem within the field of computer science. “I am very proud that we, here at Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s cloud computing lab, were able to devise a tool that can help solve an issue within Google’s model. It is a major achievement for me and I think my idea stood out because it is very neat, simple and can be easily integrated,” Hammoud said. A review committee consisting of experts from Qatar’s academic institutions and industry sectors reviewed the presentations and selected the best projects and posters. The review committee included representatives from Texas A&M University at Qatar, Weill-Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar University, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, General Secretariat for Development Planning, Qatar Petroleum, Supreme Education Council of Qatar, ExxonMobil, Qatar Shell Research & Tech Park, Doha Bank, Aspire, Williams F1, Qatar Science and Technology

Students used posters, videos and other visual aids to

Park, Fuego, ictQatar, Total Qatar and Qatari Diar.

showcase an array of projects, including indoor navigation

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Focus on Research

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P i tt s b u r g h C o n n e ct i o n

G. Richard Tucker, interim dean for the 2010-11 academic year, and Amy Burkert, vice president for education, gathered with students in Doha’s “Pittsburgh Room.” The group used videoconferencing to chat with students and faculty in the U.S.

Dr. Ilker Baybars spoke from the “Doha Room” in Pittsburgh. Kim Abel, director of housing and dining services, and students joined Baybars in greeting the Doha campus.

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Virtually Connected

Kim Abel, director of Housing and Dining Services

Mellon Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon Qatar, but

in Pittsburgh, came up with the initiative, which she

that won’t stop them from keeping in touch.

believes will promote cross-campus awareness.

The two campuses recently celebrated the opening of

“I hope members of our community will stumble

the “Doha Room” in Pittsburgh and the “Pittsburgh

across this room and learn more about the community

Room” in Doha. The ceremony was attended by

we are part of,” Abel said.

students, faculty and university leadership from both campuses, and the two places were connected by video conferencing.

• •

There are 7,000 miles between students from Carnegie

Carnegie Mellon connects campuses and cultures

The “Doha Room” features a majlis, a stained glass feature representing the one in Qatar’s library, and the quote by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al

The meeting began at 6 p.m. in Doha (11 a.m. in Pittsburgh) on April 12, which coincided with Carnegie Mellon’s International Day celebrations.

Thani. G. Richard Tucker, dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar, said the video conferencing unites the two campuses. “The two rooms will help our students exchange cultural experiences with students from the Pittsburgh campus and vice versa, which is key to building an increased understanding and awareness between the two campuses. This will be done virtually and in real time, using technologies at Carnegie Mellon for which we are so preeminent,” Tucker said. Amy Burkert, vice provost for education at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, attended the event while she was visiting the Doha campus.

“Hello Doha!” chorused a crowd of students in Pittsburgh. Joining the students were Carnegie Mellon

“I am honored to be halfway around the world to

Qatar’s founding dean, Chuck Thorpe, and Ilker

unveil a room showing the civic and cultural heritage

Baybars, who will become dean in September.

of my hometown,” Burkert said.

“Hello Pittsburgh!” replied an excited group of

The rooms will promote everything from casual

Carnegie Mellon Qatar students. Dozens crowded into

interactions to academic discussions, she added.

the “Pittsburgh Room” to greet their U.S. counterparts. The room is filled with souvenirs from student visits, a map of the main campus, and Carnegie Mellon pennants.

“This technology will enable students to share more broadly what they have done, what they are doing and what they aspire to do,” she said.

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M e e t C a r n e g i e M e l lo n Qata r ’s n e w a lu m n i o f f i c e r s

In Touch with Alumni Mohammed Abu Zeinab (TPR ‘09)

Maha Mahmoud (TPR‘09)

Mohammed Abu Zeinab (TPR ‘09) is the public relations,

Maha Mahmoud (TPR‘09) is the communications officer for

events and marketing manager for the Aspire Zone

Silatech, a not-for-profit initiative founded by Her Highness

Foundation. The organization has a dual mission of training

Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. Silatech promotes job creation,

Qatar’s athletes to a global standard and promoting a

entrepreneurship and access to capital for young people

sporting lifestyle in the community.

across the Middle East and North Africa.

As part of his duties, Mohammed coordinated Manchester

Maha is passionate about humanitarian efforts, and is active

United’s First Team during their four-day training camp, and

with Habitat for Humanity and Reach Out To Asia. She is

has hosted top athletes such as Tennis star John McEnroe.

fluent in English, Arabic and Spanish, and conversational in

Mohammed helped promote the world’s largest humanitarian

French and German. Those skills helped her as she served

football talent search, which spanned three continents, 16

communities in Ghana, Jordan, Cambodia and Qatar.

countries, 832 stadiums and 620,000 children.

While At Carnegie Mellon, Maha was captain of the

Mohammed has always been involved in sports. He has

basketball team, and participated in student government and

practiced Martial Arts since the age of four, and currently

the Senior Committee. In 2008, she travelled to Pittsburgh

competes as part of Qatar’s sole Muay Thai team.

as an exchange student and served as a guest speaker for the Middle Peace organization. In February, she was elected vice

While at Carnegie Mellon, Mohammed founded the

president for the Qatar Alumni Association.

first Health & Fitness Club, and was involved in student government and community outreach programs.

In the future, Maha plans to do graduate study in not-forprofit management and public policy. She hopes to research

As president of the Qatar Alumni Association, Mohammed

unemployment and underemployment in her home country

hopes to give back to Carnegie Mellon and build a fully-

of Egypt, and help develop strategies to reduce these

fledged chapter in Doha. He sees his future role as an

problems.

ambassador for sport in the region.

Contact Maha at: maha.mahmoud.talaat@gmail.com.

Contact Mohammed at: mabuzeinab@alumni.cmu.edu.

Left to right: Aamir Anwar, Mohammed Abu Zeinab, Maha Mahmoud, Reem Al-Muftah, Feras Villanueva, and Mustafa Hasnain. Anwar is head of international alumni relations at Carnegie Mellon. Villanueva is manager of external relations at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.

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Mustafa Hasnain (TPR’08) Mustafa Hasnain (TPR’08) is the assistant director of

admission at Carnegie Mellon Qatar. Mustafa was born and

Class notes

brought up in Doha, but moved with his parents to New

Zealand when he was 10 years old. He spent six years in New Zealand before returning to Qatar and graduating

from Qatar Academy.

Noor Al-Maadeed (TPR) is a strategy analyst for Qtel.

2009

campus. He was a founding member of Carnegie Mellon’s

Omar Alouba (TPR) is a sales assistant for

During his time at Carnegie Mellon, Mustafa was elected

Business Association and also Pizza & Politics, one of the

Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing.

as the Student Government’s Treasurer in his freshman year and helped to develop other clubs and organizations on

campus’s most popular forums.

Basit Iqbal (TPR) is a business analyst for Amana

After graduation, Mustafa worked for a year as the assistant director of admission at CMU’s Pittsburgh campus and is now continuing in that role on the Doha campus.

Steel Building. Anas Abu Qamar (TPR) is a distribution and Logistics specialist for Vodafone Qatar.

In February, Mustafa was elected as the finance director of Qatar’s Alumni Association. He felt that this would be an excellent way to give back to Carnegie Mellon and also allow him to get back in touch with former alumni. Contact Mustafa at: shasnain@qatar.cmu.edu.

Lina Tarek Agha (CS) is a systems automation analyst for Qatar Petroleum’s Health Safety and Environment section. Qabas Al-Ward (CS) is a software developer for QU Wireless Innovations Center.

Reem Al-Muftah (TPR’09) Reem Al-Muftah (TPR’09) was the first Carnegie Mellon Qatar student to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in three years. After graduating, Reem was hired as a job analyst in the largest corporation in the country – Qatar Petroleum. Her work is comprised of structural reorganizations, job standardization and job evaluation.

2010 Rishav Bhowmick (CS) is a software engineer at General Electric. Kaleem Rahman (CS) is a research assistant at Microsoft Research India.

During her time as an undergraduate, Reem was very active in athletics and she was one of the co-founders of the women’s basketball team. She also represented Carnegie

Shahriar Haque (CS) is a software engineer for General Electric.

Mellon Qatar on one of the various Education City women’s

Eman Tag (TPR) is an award administration officer

football teams.

for the Qatar National Research Fund at the Qatar

In her spare time, Reem enjoys going to the beach, working out and chilling with friends.

Foundation. Nasreen Zahan (TPR/HS) is a web content associate

Reem chose to be a part of the Qatar Alumni Association

for the Doha Film Institute.

because she wants to ensure that the Carnegie Mellon spirit stays alive and active as the university and its community continue to grow. Reem was elected as communications director, and looks forward to keeping everyone up to date. Contact Reem at: ralmuftah@gmail.com. 43 w

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Night at the Museum

brings students and alumni together at MATHAF

Attendees enjoy the Arab Museum of Modern Art

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‫صفحات الخريجني‬

‫لــــــيــــــلـــــــة بــــــاملـــــــتــــحـــف‬ ‫جتــــمـــع بـــيــــن الـــطـــالب و اخلـــريـــجـــيـــن بـــمـــتـــحـــف‬

‫يستمتع‬ ‫الحارضون‬ ‫باملتحف العريب‬ ‫للفن الحديث‬

‫‪44‬‬

Profile for Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar

Akhbar Summer/Fall 2011  

Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar's magazine

Akhbar Summer/Fall 2011  

Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar's magazine

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