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A SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION Computational Biology major will prepare the next generation of researchers PAGE 16

ARABIC MADE EASY

Araboh.com gets entertaining books in Arabic to children

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CAMPUS CONVERSATION

Students discuss the impact of climate change on food security

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Don’t just study science. Create new knowledge.

Carnegie Mellon University is now offering its top-ranked undergraduate degrees in biological sciences and computational biology in Qatar. Our students tackle some of the most important scientific problems from fresh angles using innovative, interdisciplinary approaches. Choosing Carnegie Mellon for science means more than studying science – it means breaking the boundaries through hands-on research experiences that advance what we know. These programs are offered in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. Learn more and apply at www.qatar.cmu.edu

Biological Sciences | Business Administration | Computational Biology | Computer Science | Information Systems


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A Scientific Revolution

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generation of researchers. 22

Arabic Made Easy

Araboh.com aims to get “entertaining, engaging, and practical” books in Arabic to children.

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A Campus Conversation

Carnegie Mellon organizes dialogue on the impact of climate change on food security.

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He said, she said, the PC said

Computer science researchers focus on human language technologies.

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Growing Movember

Carnegie Mellon event raises money for cancer research and education.

D E PA RT M E N T S

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From the Dean

Reflections from dean Ilker Baybars.

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Campus Connection

Read about what’s been happening on campus.

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Spotlight on on Biological Sciences

Students simulate disease outbreak in biological sciences outreach program.

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Spotlight on Business Administration

Learn about Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s management game.

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Spotlight on Computer Science

Students explore computer science at CS4Qatar for Women event.

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Spotlight on Information Systems

Ibtikar challenges students to use future technologies to share Qatar’s history and heritage.

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Focus on Research

Computer Science students win Annual Research Forum award.

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Pittsburgh Connection

Qatar students celebrate Carnegie Mellon’s past and future.

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In Touch with Alumni

Class Notes

Stay connected with our community.

C O N T E N T S

 Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s undergraduate major in Computational Biology will prepare the next

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akhbar‫أخبار‬ A publication of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar

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

S

Since

becoming

dean

in

August, I have enjoyed meeting

Dean

İlker Baybars, Ph.D.

our community, reviewing our

Marketing & Public Relations Department Director D. Murry Evans

programs, and familiarizing myself with our research and outreach activities.

Assistant Director (Special Events) Kara Nesimiuk

I’ve learned that Carnegie Mellon Qatar is

Departmental Coordinator Marissa Edulan

a unique and dynamic place.

Manager of External Relations Feras Villanueva

Our admissions team did a wonderful job

Graphic Designer Sam Abraham

in recruiting this year’s class, which comprises more than 100 students and 41

Web Manager Stephen MacNeil

Qatari Nationals. This brings the number of full-time undergraduates to 335,

Publications Manager Sarah Nightingale

including six in our new biological sciences program. Carnegie Mellon Qatar students are hardworking, ambitious, and the best

Editorial Board Chairperson Dudley Reynolds, Ph.D.

ambassadors for our university. They’ve represented us on the Pittsburgh

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

campus; through overseas service learning trips; and as mentors in local outreach programs. Two of our students’ research projects earned them recognition and funding at Qatar Foundation’s Annual Research Forum.

Writer Sarah Nightingale

Our students are also building traditions. As a former soccer player, I was

Editor Sarah Nightingale

especially proud of our football team when they took first place in the Education City Football Tournament. As someone who spent many years on

Photographs Khalid Ismail, Adrian Haddad, Stephen MacNeil

the Pittsburgh campus, I was also pleased to see Carnival - a main campus tradition - come to Qatar. Our students have committed to growing this event

Layout and Design Sam Abraham

and creating a homecoming for our alumni. I have no doubt they’ll succeed.

Mission

Our faculty and staff are excellent. With the support of her Highness Sheikha

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.

Moza Bint Nasser and Qatar Foundation, they are constantly striving to find new and innovative ways to contribute to education, research and community development in Qatar.

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

I am proud to be part of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and excited about our future.

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.

My best wishes to you all,

Ilker Baybars Dean

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A team of local high school students put the spotlight on Doha when they finished second in the 2011 International

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The group qualified by winning the regional competition held at Carnegie Mellon last spring. This is the fourth year Carnegie Mellon Qatar has sent the regional winners to the international competition, which takes place during the annual Global Conference on Educational Robotics. Botball is a team-oriented robotics competition for middle and high school students. The program gives students the skills

Botball Tournament. The eight-person team, from the American School of Doha (ASD), competed against 63 teams from the U.S., Austria and Poland. The competition took place July 9-13 in Orange

they need to design, build and program autonomous robots while encouraging teamwork, innovation and creativity. “Not only did we compete using the robots we had put together, but we also learned a lot about the growing use of

County, California. “The dedication that I saw in the students around me was

robots,” Nassor said.

spectacular. It made me realize how far we had truly gotten,” said Maytha Nassor, who was part of the ASD team.

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ASD PLACES SECOND IN INTERNATIONAL ROBOTICS CHAMPIONSHIP

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STUDENTS WORK ON TECH PROJECTS IN URUGUAY

WELCOMING THE CLASS OF 2015

Internships are often about earning some cash or getting

More than 100 students joined Carnegie Mellon Qatar last

your foot on the corporate ladder. Last summer, though, two

fall, including 41 Qatari nationals – the highest number in

Carnegie Mellon Qatar students used their internships as a

university history.

way to help teachers and students in Uruguay.

“The momentum continues to build for Carnegie Mellon

Asma Hamid, an information systems major, and Afnan

Qatar and Education City,” said Jarrod Mock, director of

Fahim, a computer science major, teamed up with five

admission. “We were fortunate to receive a record number of

Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh students to participate in

applicants, including prospective students from 65 nations.”

the Innovative Student Technology ExPerience (iSTEP)

Fall 2011 enrollment brought the total number of full-time

internship program.

undergraduates to 335, comprising 52 percent women and

The group worked with the Administración Nacional

48 percent men from 39 countries. Of those, 181 students are

de Educación Pública (ANEP; National Administration of

majoring in business administration, 69 in computer science

Public Education) in Montevideo, Uruguay, developing

and 79 in information systems. Six transfer students have also

three English literacy technology tools for use by Uruguayan

started in the new biological sciences program. In addition

students and their teachers.

to full-time students, 63 students from other Education City institutions cross-registered for classes at Carnegie Mellon in the fall, for a total of 398 students. Cross registration enriches students’ academic experiences and reflects the ongoing collaboration between Education City universities. Speaking at a Sept. 4 Convocation, Dean Ilker Baybars advised the new students to get to know faculty and staff. “We are all here to help you succeed,” he said.

Based in Doha, Asma provided support across all three projects. Afnan, who was based in Montevideo, was the technical lead for one of the projects. “My time in Uruguay proved to be an excellent experience, professionally and more importantly, culturally. The internship provided me with a great experience in understanding how material we learn in the classroom can be directly applied to improve literacy in any other part of the world,” Afnan said. Organized by the TechBridgeWorld research group at Carnegie Mellon, iSTEP allows students to apply their knowledge to real world challenges in developing communities. This year, iSTEP participants will travel to Ghana.

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‫‪TESOL CONFERENCE IS‬‬ ‫‪NATIONAL CONVENTION‬‬ ‫‪CENTER’S FIRST EVENT‬‬ ‫‪Encouraging people to learn English is a strategic goal for‬‬ ‫‪Qatar and many countries, but learning a second language‬‬ ‫‪shouldn’t mean losing Arabic.‬‬ ‫‪Implementing such a strategy was discussed at the TESOL‬‬ ‫”‪International Association’s “Putting Research into Practice‬‬ ‫‪conference. The three-day conference was organized by‬‬ ‫‪Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.‬‬ ‫‪(TESOL), and drew experts from around the region and‬‬ ‫‪across the world.‬‬ ‫‪“At Carnegie Mellon we feel it is extremely important to the‬‬ ‫‪success of our university and Education City that our teachers‬‬

‫الترحيب بدفعة سنة ‪2015‬‬ ‫انضم ما يزيد عن ‪ 100‬طالب خالل موسم الخريف املايض إىل أرسة كارنيجي‬ ‫ميلون يف قطر‪ ,‬كام ت َضُ ُّم هذه الدفعة ‪ 41‬طالباً قطرياً و هو أكرب عدد من‬ ‫القطريِّني يف تاريخ الجامعة‪.‬‬ ‫بهذه املناسبة رصح جارود موك‪ ,‬مدير قسم القبول بالجامعة‪« :‬مازالت تَتَع َّزز‬ ‫ق َّوة كارنيجي ميلون يف قطر و املدينة التعليميّة‪ .‬حيث أنّنا محظوظون لِتَلَقِّينا‬ ‫عددا ً قياس ّيا من املتقدّمني بالطلبات مبا يف ذلك طَلَ َب ٍ‬ ‫ات من ‪ 65‬دولة»‬ ‫أصبح عدد الطالب اآلن ‪ 335‬طالباً بعد انضامم الدفعة الجديدة خالل فصل‬ ‫الخريف‪ ,‬كام أ ّن نسبة الطالبات هي ‪ %52‬و نسبة الطالب هي ‪ %48‬من ‪39‬‬ ‫للتخصصات‪ ,‬فنجد أ ّن ‪ 181‬طالباً منهم يتابعون‬ ‫دولة مختلفة‪ .‬أ َّما بالنسبة‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫دراستهم بتخصص إدارة األعامل‪ 69 ,‬بتخصص علوم الحاسوب و ‪ 79‬بتخصص‬ ‫أنظمة املعلومات‪ .‬كام أ َّن ستّة طالب انتقلوا مؤخرا ً إىل كارنيجي ميلون و‬ ‫ِتخصص العلوم البيولوجيّة الجديد‪ .‬باإلضافة إىل الطالب‬ ‫يتابعون دراستهم ب ُّ‬ ‫ذوي الدّوام الكامل‪ ,‬فقد انخرط ‪ 63‬طالباً من جامعات أخرى باملدينة‬ ‫التعليمية بدروس تُقدّمها كارنيجي ميلون يف قطر خالل موسم الخريف‪ ,‬مماَّ‬ ‫يرفع مجموع عدد الطالب إىل ‪ 398‬طالباً‪ .‬من املمكن للطالب بجامعات املدينة‬ ‫التعليمية التسجيل و متابعة الدروس يف أية جامعة باملدينة التعليميّة‪ ,‬و هذا‬ ‫ضمن برنامج يسعى إىل إثراء التجربة األكادميية للطالب و يعكس التعاون‬ ‫الدائم بني هذه الجامعات‪.‬‬ ‫خالل حفل الرتحيب بالطالب الجدد الذي متت إقامته يف الرابع من سبتمرب‪,‬‬ ‫نصح عميد الجامعة إلكر بايربز الطالب بالتع ّرف عىل األساتذة و املوظفني‪ ,‬و‬ ‫أضاف قائالً ‪« :‬نحن هنا من أجل مساعدتكم عىل النجاح‪».‬‬

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and sang “Wild World” by Cat Stevens. Another freshman, CAMPUS CONNECTION

Francine Dinglasan, sang Adele’s hit “Someone Like You,” and new international students Noor-ul-Huda Admaney, Tanzeel Huda,Zeeshan Hanif,and Hayyan Rizvi danced to their favorite Desi songs. Not to be outdone, returning students, faculty and staff joined in – proving they’re also worthy of the spotlight.

understand why certain teaching practices work in some situations and different practices work in others,” said Dudley Reynolds, professor of English at Carnegie Mellon Qatar and the conference chair. Reynolds was one of four Carnegie Mellon Qatar professors who presented at the conference, which was the inaugural event at Qatar Foundation’s state-of-the-art National Convention Centre.

TARTANS SHOW OFF THEIR TALENTS Carnegie Mellon students don’t just shine in the classroom; they also light up on stage. Students showcased their singing, dancing and choreography skills during October’s “Tartans Got Talent” event, which was organized by the Division of Student Affairs to welcome new faces to campus. MCs Zaid Haque and Syed Zuhair got the crowd warmed up and introduced the evening’s 10 performances. Carnegie Mellon discovered its newest community members — the first year students — have a lot to offer. Ryn Phelps recited an entire monologue from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” while Sakib Mahmoud played his guitar

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MAKING THE CONNECTION When Farah Foustok applied for the MBA program at Imperial College, London, the university told her the course was already full. She took that as a challenge. “I just kept calling and calling, until finally they said ‘you can come if you stop calling us’,” said Foustok, who is CEO of ING Investment Management in the Middle East. At a Nov. 15 “Making the Connection” lecture, Foustok encouraged students to be persistent, as well as team players

The fall series kicked off with a presentation by

and good listeners. Students asked Foustok what she looks

Nasser Marafih, CEO of Qtel Group, who talked about Qtel’s

for in her employees, how she juggles her career and family

growth and development. In his Oct. 18 talk, Marafih advised

life, and about internship opportunities at ING.

students to follow their dreams and choose careers in which

Foustok’s talk exemplifies the information on tap to students

they could make a difference. In other lectures, Yacine

attending the Making the Connection series. Organized by

Messaoui, manager of IT and Digital Media at Al Jazeera,

the Office of Professional Development, the program brings

talked about technology that enabled the network’s coverage

to campus a diverse range of industry leaders to speak with

of the Arab Spring, and Vicki Horton, a recruiter for Citi Bank

students about their organizations, their careers, and to share

Group, highlighted internship and career opportunities in

their insights into business.

Western Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

“It is important for Carnegie Mellon University to ensure

Carnegie Mellon’s“Making the Connection Lecture Series”

our students are exposed to a realistic picture of professional

was launched in 2005 and has hosted renowned experts

life after college,” said Khadra Dualeh, director of the

in various fields and industries, including banking and

Office of Professional Development. “We invite corporate

finance, information technology, and oil and gas. The series

leaders to educate and enlighten our students by helping

is focused on helping Qatar realize its National Vision 2030,

them understand the decisions they make about courses

by developing students to contribute to a knowledge-based

and internships and the impact it will have on their career

economy.

development.”

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Qatar students competing in the Tepper Undergraduate Business Case Competition in Pittsburgh. The students had

Carnegie Mellon Qatar students aren’t just smart – they’re

about 24 hours to identify challenges faced by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and recommend a business plan that

also modest! After beating out the competition at Brain Bowl, the winning team gave props to the faculty member in their group. “I think our team won because professor (Ian) Lacey performed exceptionally well,” joked business administration student

could help it get out of debt and stay in the black. Eight competing teams, three of which included a Qatar student, were given the case at noon; charged with bringing back their ideas the next morning. Also forfeiting a night’s sleep were Edmond Abi Saleh and Houssain El Marabti,

Narcis Jafarian.

who were selected with Steinhagen to represent the Qatar campus. Asked “Will the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Survive – and How?,” the students used news articles, tax returns and their own research to identify current challenges faced by the orchestra, as well as future threats. The next day, Steinhagen and his teammates pitched their ideas to a panel of judges – a presentation that qualified them for the final. A few hours later, they were named the winners in front of an audience of about 70 students, parents and faculty members. “Our solution focused on the problem of an aging demographic of symphony fans and a declining interest in Launched in the summer of 2008, Brain Bowl is an academic trivia quiz that takes place in a light-hearted atmosphere. Four

classical music,” Steinhargen explained. “One of the things we suggested was the implementation of a childcare center,

teams, “Andrew Carnegie’s Beard,”“Here for the Beer,”“Meet Your Makers” and “Strange Brains,” competed against each other for Carnegie Mellon prizes. For the first year, students had to include a member of the faculty or staff on their team. Congratulations to members of “Here for the Beer,” who took first place (but didn’t find any beer, of course!). The team members were Narcis; information systems student Abhay Joseph Valiyaveettil; computer science student Rami Ghassan Al Rihawi; and Ian Lacey, an information systems professor.

ON THE CASE Patrick Steinhagen didn’t sleep much that night. His brain was in gear as he contemplated the public’s dwindling interest in classical music. “How can orchestras and other organizations weather their financial troubles?” he pondered late into the night. This wasn’t something Steinhagen worried about often. He was tackling the problem as one of three Carnegie Mellon 9 W

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BRAIN BOWL


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allowing children to discover instruments and classical

Brunstein and her colleagues have been investigating how

music at a young age, as well as allowing parents to visit the

the simulation technology can be used to educate medical

symphony.”

students as they learn the tricky operation. The study is

The group also suggested collaborations with artists from

supported by an Undergraduate Research Experience

other genres – including Hip Hop – and a legacy-gifting

Program (UREP) grant from the Qatar National Research

program to boost financial contributions.

Fund (QNRF), which was awarded to Brunstein and Bakr

Case competitions helps students hone their problem-

Noor, vice chair of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College

solving, teamwork and presentation skills, said Patrick

in Qatar. Anam Waheed, a Texas A&M University at Qatar

McGinnis, teaching professor of business.

student who took Brunstein’s psychology course, is also

“The richness of detail enables students to begin making

working on the project, which uses simulators at the Qatar

real business decisions within the classroom,” he said.

Robotic Surgery Center.

Based on their performances, Steinhagen and Abi Saleh

By dividing research subjects into two groups, the team

were chosen to join a four-person team representing Carnegie

explored whether medical students would benefit from

Mellon at the McDonaugh-Hilltop Business Strategy Challenge,

mentoring beyond the simulator’s simple instructions. While

which took place in February at Georgetown University in

simulators provide safe, convenient and animal-free training,

Washington, DC.

there is little data on when and how supplemental instructions should be provided.

SIMULATING SURGERY

The results suggest a combination of the simulator and a teacher work best.

With a few last snips, Angela Brunstein peels the diseased

“While the control group were able to complete a

gall bladder from her patient, removing it through a small

simulated procedure more quickly, they had mixed outcomes

incision in the abdomen.

– they might receive full score for one case and kill the next

Brunstein has never been to medical school, nor was she

patient,” Brunstein said. “The mentored group performed

working on a real person.

slower, but demonstrated better routines.”

The Carnegie Mellon Qatar assistant professor of

The researchers plan to develop tutoring software that

psychology was demonstrating a surgical simulator for

mimics a human mentor.

minimally invasive – or laparoscopic – surgery. Using wandlike sticks that represent surgical tools, her actions are translated to a computer screen displaying an image of her

CARNIVAL TIME

patient’s body.

Ever wished you could see one of your professors dropped like a hot rock into a tank of water? The faculty dunk tank was just one of the highlights of the first annual Tartan Carnival, which took place at Nov. 16 outside the Carnegie Mellon building.

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Organized by Student Majlis, Qatar’s debut carnival — dubbed the Tarnival — was inspired by the Pittsburgh campus’s Spring Carnival – the biggest event of the year for students and a reunion opportunity for alumni. Enjoying the cool weather, students, faculty, staff and alumni gathered in the green spine for games organized by students clubs, live entertainment, and party food like shawerma, popcorn and cotton candy. Also popular was a team-oriented water balloon fight and a photo booth stocked with hats and other props. Students collected tokens for participating in the festivities, which they cashed in for Carnegie Mellon prizes. “I love how interactive the carnival was and how creative the clubs were, and I exceptionally enjoyed the dunk tank,” said Firas Bata, a junior in business administration.

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Dubbed by some as “the Bible of the oil industry,” Daniel

GSDP AND CMU TO COLLABORATE THROUGH RESEARCH AND EDUCATION

Yergin’s The Prize is one of 40 new books Carnegie Mellon

The General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP) and

Qatar students can stick their noses into, thanks to a

Carnegie Mellon Qatar are teaming up to enhance future their

donation from Shell in Qatar.

efforts in scientific research, capacity building and information systems. The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement in December at the GSDP premises in Doha. The ceremony was attended by high-ranking officials, department heads and staff from the two organizations. His Excellency Saleh bin Mohammed Al Nabit, GSDP Secretary General, and Ilker Baybars, dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar, signed the MoU, which aims to develop a framework of cooperation and facilitate the exchange of information, consultancy projects, research and regulatory efforts. The two organizations will explore the possibility of collaboration to offer joint solutions in the areas of computing, advanced information system services, and education and training. The organizations will share intellectual capital and

The oil and gas industry collection was presented to the library by Saad Al Matawi, a Carnegie Mellon Qatar alumnus and Shell employee.

expertise towards accelerating growth. Al Nabit highlighted the cooperation as a progressive milestone for GSDP and CMU in improving and advancing

Al Matawi is part of Shell’s Campus Ambassador program — an initiative that aims to develop partnerships with local

knowledge in strategic studies and education and training, as well as in achieving the two organizations’ mutual goals. Baybars praised the vision of His Highness the Emir, Sheikh

universities. “We hope that this initial donation of books will help raise

Hamad bin KhalifaAlThani,and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint

the students’ awareness on Qatar’s key industry; the energy

Nasser, chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science

sector,” said Ludolf Luehmann, information management and technology manager at Shell and the team lead of the Carnegie Mellon University Campus Ambassador program. The initiative highlights the important relationship between education and the energy sector, said Robert Monroe, associate dean at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.

and Community Development, to support education in Qatar. “Carnegie Mellon is committed to preparing future generations to participate in the implementation of Qatar National Vision 2030 through its four pillars of human development, economic development, social development and environmental development,” Baybars said.

“These books will encourage students, especially those who are interested in working at Shell, to broaden their research and improve their knowledge of the oil and gas industry,” Monroe said. Carnegie Mellon and Shell have been close partners over the years. Shell has sponsored the Botball and Ibtikar outreach programs, and participated in the Making the Connection professional development program.

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SHELL IN QATAR DONATES BOOK COLLECTION

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CAMPUS CONNECTION

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Cheered on by the crowd, the Tartans hoisted their trophy after being named champions in the Education City Football

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Andreas Karatsolis, assistant professor of English and the team’s coach. “It takes more than just individual talent for a team to be successful, and this group of students has shown that they are much more than the sum of its parts.”

Tournament. It wasn’t exactly a nail-biter, though. Weeks before their final game, the team knew they’d clinched the title. They’d won the first seven games in a 10-

The men are preparing for spring semester’s Ministry of Interior Indoor Tournament, where they’ll face teams from Education City, Qatar University, College of the North Atlantic, and Stenden University.

game league. The games are sponsored by Education City’s Sports and Recreation Department. Each institution can enter a team in the fall tournament, including the Academic Bridge Program

They’ll once again look to their fans, Hussain said. “It is the supporters that make us give our best on the field and boost our motivation. We do not play for ourselves, we play for the university.”

and the Faculty of Islamic Studies. In recent years, the men played well, but couldn’t quite beat the competition, said Mohamed Hussain, team cocaptain and the tournament’s MVP. “This year, we combined the talent with mental strength, confidence and determination, which enabled us to win the tournament by a clear margin,” said Hussain, who is majoring in business administration. The Tartans finished the league with seven wins, one loss and two ties — a result that reflects a team effort, said

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F E AT U R E Computational biologists at Carnegie Mellon created this image of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) binding to an immune cell. By understanding this interaction, scientists can look for new ways to prevent infectious diseases. From a study by Narges Sharif Razavian, Hetunandan Kamisetty, and Christopher J. Langmead.

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A SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION CARNEGIE MELLON QATAR’S UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR IN COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY WILL PREPARE THE NEXT GENERATION OF RESEARCHERS

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hen you ask kids what they want to be when they

in the dark about the purpose and function of many genes

grow up, lots say doctors, pilots or athletes.

within our DNA code. Now they’re delving deeper into our

F E AT U R E

Not too many say they want to be computational

genome to discover how genes coordinate growth, keep us

biologists.

alive, and go wrong when we get sick.

But this exciting field is redefining how scientists solve

With so many chemical units and so many patterns locked

problems in biology — and there’s no better place to learn

inside our DNA, scientists are again turning to computers.

about it than Carnegie Mellon. In 1989, Carnegie Mellon

“Computational biology tries to answer questions in

became the first American university to offer a bachelor’s

terms of the underlying biological mechanisms, rather than

• The computational biology program is an internationally-

Computational Biology

recognized major for students who want to solve biological and biomedical problems using mathematical and computational methods.

at Carnegie Mellon Qatar

• This degree is offered jointly by the School of Computer Science (Computational Biology) and the Mellon College of Science (Biological Sciences). The program is also a collaborative effort with Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. • The program is ideal for motivated students who are interested in a field that has become an essential element in modern biological and biomedical research.

in computational biology. The internationally-recognized

just keeping track of the data,” said Robert Murphy, head of

major is now offered in Qatar, making it one of only two such

Computational Biology at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. “It

programs in the Middle East.

allows you to build models that help describe a particular

Computational biology — the field that uses computers

system.”

to solve biological problems — emerged when scientists began generating enormous data sets about our genetic make-up, the way our cells work, and other important areas of biology. Take genomics — the study of our genes — for example. A decade ago, when scientists finished sequencing the human genome, they’d mapped out three billion chemical units that are the blueprint for life. (That’s enough information to fill about three gigabytes of computer data storage space.) But that was only the beginning, and scientists are still A computer-generated model of a human cell that is commonly used in cancer research. These kinds of models can be used to compare cell patterns in the presence and absence of potential drugs. The model was built by Tao Peng and Robert F. Murphy.

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While computational tools are applied to many fields —

advantages of being in a relatively small program.

including climatology, chemistry and economics — the sheer

Li enjoys the complexity of both fields, as well as the

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well suited to this kind of analysis.

“Not a lot of people who enjoy biology have a similar passion for computer science and not a lot of computer science majors enjoy taking biology courses. I personally love

as stars in the Milky Way. (And that’s just one type of cell in

both fields because I find that biology has a lot of practical importance and programming is fun and challenging,” Li

said. Murphy said seniors are highly sought-after by companies and graduate schools, and a degree in computational biology can be a good foundation for medical school. Li plans to pursue a doctorate, she said. “There are a lot of materials in computational biology that I simply don’t have time to learn during my undergraduate career, since it’s such a broad field. I’m definitely interested in learning more.”

one part of our body.) Even with all those brain cells, scientists would find it “virtually impossible” to fully understand complex systems without computational methods, Murphy said. Biological problems also present some of the most rewarding challenges, as they help us understand diseases and look for new treatments. Some computational biologists, for example, look at how proteins fold into their functional, three-dimensional structures. Alzheimer’s Disease is just one disorder thought to occur when this process goes awry. Other computational biologists are studying molecules used by our cells as markers or messengers. Amy Li, an undergraduate student on the Pittsburgh campus who is working in the research group of Christopher Langmead,

Kenneth Hovis, assistant teaching professor of biology, works with students on the Qatar campus. Students majoring in computational biology will take classes and labs in biological sciences, as well as classes in computer science and computational biology.

helped use a computational method called machine learning to study markers that might predict a person’s risk for pancreatic cancer.

Students may need to take some classes at Carnegie Mellon University’s main campus in Pittsburgh, USA to fulfill the degree requirements for the bachelor’s of science degree in Computational Biology.

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A baby’s brain, for example, contains as many neurons

complexity of biological systems make them particularly


‫التعلم اآليل لدراسة العالمات التي قد تنبئ باحتامل تعرض شخص ما لخطر اإلصابة‬ ‫برسطان البنكرياس‪.‬‬

‫صغري نسبيا‪.‬‬ ‫وقالت يل‪« :‬ال يوجد هناك الكثري من الناس ممن يحبون البيولوجيا لديهم نفس‬ ‫الشغف بعلوم الكمبيوتر‪ ،‬وال يوجد هناك الكثري من املختصني يف علوم الكمبيوتر‬ ‫يستمتعون بدروس األحياء‪ .‬أنا شخصيا أحب كال املجالني‪ ،‬ألنني أجد أن علم األحياء‬ ‫لديه أهمية عملية كبرية‪ ،‬كام أجد يف الوقت ذاته متعة وتحديا يف الربمجة‪».‬‬ ‫وأوضح موريف أن كبار الباحثني مطلوبون جدا من قبل الرشكات وكليات الدراسات‬ ‫‪Carnegie Mellon researchers are exploring how Human Growth Hormone (shown in yellow) inter‬‬‫‪acts with a cell’s receptor (purple). The hormone stimulates growth, particularly the changes in‬‬ ‫‪height that occur during childhood. From a study by Hetunandan Kamisetty, Arvind Ramanathan,‬‬ ‫‪Christopher Bailey-Kellogg, and Christopher J. Langmead.‬‬

‫العليا‪ ،‬كام أن الحصول عىل درجة يف البيولوجيا الحاسوبية ميكن أن يشكل أساسا جيدا‬ ‫لدخول كلية الطب‪.‬‬

‫تطرح املشاكل البيولوجية أيضا بعض أكرث التحديات نفعا‪ ،‬فهي تساعدنا عىل فهم‬

‫وتعتزم يل متابعة الدراسة للحصول عىل شهادة الدكتوراه‪ .‬وقالت‪« :‬هناك الكثري من‬

‫األمراض والبحث عن عالجات جديدة‪ .‬وقال موريف‪ :‬بعض علامء البيولوجيا الحاسوبية‬

‫املواد يف علم البيولوجيا الحاسوبية ال أجد وقتا ملعرفتها أثناء دراسة البكالوريوس ألنه‬

‫يدرسون كيفية تشكل الربوتينات يف هياكل وظيفية ثالثية األبعاد‪ .‬ويعتقد أن مرض‬

‫مجال شديد االتساع‪ .‬أنا راغبة بالتأكيد يف تعلم املزيد‪».‬‬

‫الزهامير أحد مناذج االضطراب الناجم عن حدوث اختالل يف هذه العملية‪.‬‬ ‫علامء آخرون يف البيولوجيا الحاسوبية يدرسون الجزيئات التي تستخدمها خاليانا‬ ‫كعالمات أو رسل‪ .‬ساهمت إميي يل – وهي طالبة يف برنامج البكالورويس يف بيتسربغ‪،‬‬

‫قد يحتاج طالب البيولوجيا الحاسوبية اخذ بعض املواد يف حرم جامعة كارنيجي ميلون الرئييس يف بتسبريغ‪،‬‬ ‫بالواليات املتحدة إلكامل متطلبات التخصص‪.‬‬

‫تعمل يف مجموعة كريستوفر النغميد البحثية – يف استخدام وسيلة حاسوبية تسمى‬

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‫وتستمتع يل بالتعقيد املوجود يف كال املجالني‪ ،‬كام تستمتع مبيزة كونها يف برنامج‬


‫‪akhbar‬‬

‫‪MAGAZINE‬‬

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‫مليارات وحدة كيميائية تشكل مخطط الحياة – وهي تتطلب حوايل ثالثة غيغابايت‬

‫•‬ ‫•‬ ‫•‬

‫سيقوم برنامج البيولوجيا‬ ‫احلاسوبية بكارنيجي ميلون‬ ‫في قطر بإعداد اجليل اجلديد‬ ‫من الباحثني‬

‫من املساحة التخزينية عىل الكمبيوتر‪.‬‬ ‫غري أن ذلك كان مجرد البداية – فال يزال العلامء يجهلون غرض ووظيفة الكثري‬ ‫من الجينات داخل شفرة الحمض النووي‪ .‬هم اآلن يدرسون الجينوم مبزيد من التعمق‬ ‫ليكتشفوا كيف تقوم الجينات بتنسيق النمو‪ ،‬وكيف تبقينا عىل قيد الحياة‪ ،‬وكيف‬

‫•‬

‫عندما تسأل أطفاال عن الوظائف التي يحبون أن يعملوا بها عندما يكربون‪ ،‬يقول‬

‫•‬

‫كثري منهم‪ :‬طبيب أو طيار أو ريايض‪.‬‬

‫مع هذا العدد الهائل من الوحدات الكيميائية واألمناط املحتبسة داخل الحمض‬ ‫النووي‪ ،‬يلجأ العلامء من جديد إىل أجهزة الكمبيوتر‪.‬‬

‫قليل منهم من يقولون إنهم يريدون أن يكونوا علامء يف البيولوجيا الحاسوبية‪.‬‬ ‫لكن هذا الحقل املثري يعيد تعريف الكيفية التي يحل بها العلامء املشاكل يف علم‬ ‫األحياء – وليس هناك مكان أفضل ملعرفة ذلك من جامعة كارنيجي ميلون‪ .‬يف عام‬ ‫‪ ،1989‬كانت كارنيجي ميلون أول جامعة أمريكية تقدم درجة البكالوريوس يف علم‬ ‫البيولوجيا الحاسوبية‪ .‬ويتم حاليا يف قطر طرح هذا التخصص املعرتف بها دوليا‪ ،‬مام‬ ‫يجعله أحد برنامجني فقط من هذا النوع يف الرشق األوسط‪.‬‬ ‫ظهر علم البيولوجيا الحاسوبية – العلم الذي يستخدم أجهزة الكمبيوتر يف حل‬ ‫املشاكل البيولوجية – عندما بدأ العلامء توليد مجموعات بيانات هائلة حول تركيبتنا‬

‫نظرة عامة على‬ ‫البيولوجيا‬ ‫الحاسوبية في‬ ‫جامعة كارنيجي‬ ‫ميلون في قطر‬

‫يكون سلوكها عندما منرض‪.‬‬

‫وقال روبرت موريف‪ ،‬رئيس البيولوجيا الحاسوبية يف جامعة كارنيجي ميلون‬ ‫يف بيتسربغ‪« :‬تحاول البيولوجيا الحاسوبية اإلجابة عىل األسئلة من حيث اآلليات‬ ‫البيولوجية الكامنة بدال من مجرد تتبع مسار البيانات» وأضاف‪« :‬إنها متكنك من بناء‬ ‫مناذج تساعد يف وصف نظام معني»‪.‬‬ ‫يف حني أن التطبيقات الحاسوبية تستخدم يف مجاالت كثرية – من بينها علم املناخ‬ ‫والكيمياء واالقتصاد – فإن التعقيد الهائل للنظم البيولوجية يجعلها مناسبة بشكل‬ ‫خاص لهذا النوع من التحليل‪.‬‬

‫•  برنامج البيولوجيا الحاسوبية هو تخصص معرتف به دوليا للطالب الراغبني‬ ‫يف حل املشاكل البيولوجية ومشاكل الطب الحيوي باستخدام طرق رياضية‬ ‫وحاسوبية‪.‬‬ ‫•  يقدم هذا الربنامج كلية علوم الحاسب (البيولوجيا الحاسوبية) باالشرتاك مع‬ ‫كلية ميلون للعلوم (العلوم البيولوجية)‪ .‬الربنامج أيضا عبارة عن جهد تعاوين مع‬ ‫كلية طب وايل كورنيل يف قطر‪.‬‬ ‫• الربنامج ميثل فرصة مثالية للطالب املتحمسني الراغبني يف دخول مجال أصبح‬ ‫عنرصا أساسيا يف األبحاث الحديثة يف البيولوجيا والطب الحيوي‪.‬‬

‫الجينية‪ ،‬والطريقة التي تعمل بها خاليانا‪ ،‬ومجاالت أخرى مهمة يف علم األحياء‪.‬‬ ‫خذ عىل سبيل املثال علم الجينوم‪ ،‬وهو العلم املختص بدراسة جيناتنا‪ :‬قبل عقد‬ ‫من الزمان‪ ،‬عندما انتهى العلامء من تحديد تسلسل الجينوم البرشي‪ ،‬حددوا ثالثة‬

‫يحتوي رأس الطفل عىل سبيل املثال عىل خاليا عصبية بعدد النجوم يف مجرة درب‬ ‫اللبانة‪( .‬وهذا مجرد نوع واحد من الخاليا يف جزء واحد من الجسم)‪ .‬قال موريف‪ :‬حتى‬ ‫مع كل هذا العدد من الخاليا الدماغية‪ ،‬يجد العلامء أنه «من املستحيل عمليا» أن‬ ‫نفهم بشكل كامل النظم املعقدة دون وسائل حاسوبية‪.‬‬

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ARABIC MADE EASY ARABOH.COM AIMS TO GET “ENTERTAINING, ENGAGING, AND PRACTICAL” BOOKS IN ARABIC TO CHILDREN

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hile growing up in Scotland, Jinanne Tabra

She spent the next six months using lessons from business

struggled to learn Arabic. The textbooks used in

classes and guidance from her professors to prepare for the

her weekly lessons couldn’t keep her attention. So years later,

live launch of the site in July 2008, a few months after she

when Tabra’s mother, a librarian at an elementary school in

graduated from Carnegie Mellon’s Qatar campus. By 2010,

Qatar, complained over dinner one night about her students’

Tabra had tripled the revenue earned from book sales on the

lack of interest in Arabic books, Tabra wasn’t surprised. She

site.

was inspired.

In its current state, Araboh.com lists thousands of books,

“I realized if it was hard to get kids to read Arabic in an

ranging from translations of popular American titles to

Arab country, kids overseas didn’t stand a chance,” Tabra

original Arab stories to textbooks and worksheets, printed

says. “There needed to be a go-to website where people

by more than 30 publishers around the world. Every book

around the world could find out about and order all the best

has been vetted and ranked by a member of the Araboh

materials for learning Arabic.”

team on how entertaining, engaging, and practical it is in

That night, Tabra bought the domain name Araboh.

teaching Arabic. Visitors can also find step-by-step learning

com. “I chose the name Araboh because the ‘oh’ is a form

guides, advice on what materials to start with, and interactive

of endearment in the Arab world,” Tabra says. “As a child,

activities to complement text lessons.

my friends often called me Jinannoh, a child named Ahmed

Pittsburgh to Doha

might be nicknamed Ahmedoh. I wanted the name to reflect

The entrepreneurship bug bit Tabra while she was a

that family-like closeness and that sense of community.”

business administration student at the Carnegie Mellon

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Qatar. She chose CMU because she wanted to stay close

to her family. The university, which provides the same curriculum and many of the same professors as the main

campus in Pittsburgh, offered full-time, English-language

undergraduate degree programs in business and computer science. “I didn’t feel like I lost anything from the Pittsburgh

experience,” Tabra says. “The cross-campus connection is

tight.” She enrolled in Dr. George White’s Intro to Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation classes her senior year and says White has become an ongoing mentor for her and the company. “He said people shouldn’t start a business for the sake of starting a business, but to do things that make meaning,” Tabra says. “We do that at Araboh.”

says every lesson learned in class has come into practice while working with her 13 employees.

Hard-to-find titles Araboh.com is a distribution site not unlike Amazon, White, not surprisingly, agrees. “(Jinanne) is setting a good example for the right reasons to go into business,” White says. “In my class, I tried to focus the lessons on why

except the team is a lot more involved with the inventory. “We’re not just a middleman,” Tabra says. She and her team work with publishers to ensure the quality of the product. A

someone should start a business. The motive is not always about making money. I used examples that involved people who stumbled upon fortunes only because they wanted to change the world. I think Jinanne really took that lesson to heart.” Another important class for Tabra was a course offered sophomore year, Business Communication, where she learned how to manage and talk with staff effectively. She

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focus solely on her duties as chief executive and managing

for teaching Arabic but not the savviest technology or

director. Now, with the help of her employees, she’s

marketing techniques. “When we started out three years

maintaining the growing business and working toward a

ago, many of our publishers had to call and fax because they

master’s degree in international education policy at Harvard

didn’t even have e-mail,” she says.

University.

But because the publishers’ products were top-notch and

Tabra says: “This degree, like my business degree, will only

underdistributed, Tabra knew stocking some of the hard-to-

make me more prepared to lead this company.”

find titles would give her site a competitive edge.

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lot of the publishers they work with have the best materials

Inventory is kept in a warehouse in Qatar, but the headquarters is now in Boston. Deliveries have been made to

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek’s

more than 50 countries around the world. Although they sell

occasional series on the world of startups. The series focuses on MBAs and undergraduate business students who developed their

to a lot of individuals interested in the language, more than

ideas or launched their businesses while still in school. Jinanne invites Carnegie Mellon students seeking advice about their own

three-quarters of revenue comes from institutions around

projects or undergraduate experiences to email her at jinanne@

the world looking to augment their libraries and classrooms

araboh.com.

with Arabic educational materials. This story was written by Sommer Saadi and used with permission of Bloomberg L.P. Copyright© 2011. All rights reserved.

Aside from her first year out of school, when Tabra worked as a staff member at Carnegie Mellon, she has been able to

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A CAMPUS CONVERSATION CARNE G IE M E LLO N O RG ANI Z E S DI ALO G UE O N T HE I M PA C T OF CLIMATE CHANG E O N FO O D SE CURI T Y

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itting majlis-style and surrounded by laptops, papers

agricultural lands and depletion of fish might be addressed.

and smart phones, Education City students spent an

Carnegie Mellon professors in philosophy and biological

evening discussing the impact of climate change on Qatar’s

sciences teamed up with the university’s Division of Students

food security.

Affairs to offer the program, which attracted students from

Organized by Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar with

five of the six Education City universities, said Jill Duffy,

support from Qatar Foundation, Education City’s first Campus

student development coordinator.

Conversation event drew more than 100 students interested

“One of the most meaningful aspects of the Campus

in how global climate change might affect future generations.

Conversation program is how it promotes engagement

In groups of about 10, students from different universities,

within one’s own community. Ultimately, we want to foster a

majors and years came together to share their knowledge

sense of agency in our students, so that they can go out into

and ideas – and learn from each other.

their respective communities and make a positive difference,”

The concept is simple, explained Robert Cavalier, co-

Duffy said.

director of the Program for Deliberative Democracy at

Following a discussion period, each group posed its

Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh: “We think better when we

questions and ideas to an expert panel, who highlighted

think together.”

local initiatives and weighed in on the students’ proposals. Moderated by Steff Gaulter, senior meteorologist at Al

than 10 conversations on important issues like academic

Jazeera English, the panel comprised Fedaa Ali, chief

integrity and the cost of health care. In its first event, the Qatar

researcher at the Qatar Environment and Energy Research

campus asked students to explore the link between climate

Institute; Patrick Linke, professor of chemical engineering at

change and food sustainability, asking how issues like loss of

Texas A&M University at Qatar; Mari Luomi, a postdoctoral

Photos by Omer Mohammad

Since 2005, Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh has hosted more

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Qatar Foundation. The Division of Student Affairs hopes to use the Campus

Qatar; and Robert Wirsing, a visiting professor at Georgetown

Conversations model in the future to address questions and

University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar.

issues that are important to students, both within Carnegie

and Regional Studies; Marouf Tirad Mahmoud, from Vodafone

fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for International

Mellon Qatar and the broader Education City community.

Making sustainability trendy, buying up foreign land and

conserving water – especially in a country that subsidizes utility bills – were among the issues raised by students. “We thought about establishing an Education City farm

“The students were excited about the program and have suggestions for future conversations, so I think we’ll be seeing more Campus Conversations in the future,” Duffy said.

to grow produce that we could give to the community,” said Layal Al-Alami, a Carnegie Mellon student majoring in business administration. According to Cavalier, Campus Conversations not only creates a more informed student body, but also yields “consulting power” for future changes. In this case, students completed a post-event survey that assessed what changes students would like to see in Education City. “We are really interested to see how students want to make an impact, as this can guide future programs,” said Christopher Silva, sustainability education coordinator for

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‫أجهزة الكمبيوتر املحمولة وهواتفهم الذكية وأوراقهم ‪ ،‬يف حلقة نقاشية مبقر املدينة‬

‫من الدكتورة فداء عيل كبرية الباحثني يف معهد قطر لبحوث البيئة والطاقة ؛ وباتريك‬

‫التعليمية حول تأثري تغيرّ املناخ عىل األمن الغذايئ يف قطر ‪ ،‬وهو أول حدث تنظمه‬ ‫الجامعة ‪ ،‬وبدعم من مؤسسة قطر‪ ،‬وقد توزع الطالب وهم من املهتمني بكيفية‬

‫لينكه ‪ ،‬أستاذ الهندسة الكيميائية يف جامعة تكساس إيه آند إم يف قطر ‪ ،‬وماري لومي‬ ‫وهي زميلة ما بعد مرحلة الدكتوراه يف جامعة جورجتاون يف مركز الدراسات الدولية‬

‫تأثري تغري املناخ العاملي عىل األجيال القادمة‪ ،‬يف مجموعات كل مجموعة مؤلفة‬

‫واإلقليمية ‪ ،‬والسيد معروف طراد محمود ‪ ،‬من رشكة فودافون قطر‪ ،‬وروبرت أستاذ‬

‫من ‪ 10‬طالب بحسب التخصصات والصفوف والسنوات االكادميية ليتبادلوا املعارف‬

‫زائر يف جامعة جورجتاون‪ -‬كلية الشؤون الدولية‪.‬‬

‫واألفكار ويتعلموا من بعضهم بعضا‪.‬‬

‫وكان من بني القضايا التي أثارها الطالب‪ :‬صنع االستدامة العرصية ‪ ،‬ورشاء األرايض‬

‫ويف محاولة لرشح املفهوم املبسط لهذه الحلقة النقاشية‪ ،‬قال روبرت كافلر املدير‬

‫الخارجية‪ ،‬والحفاظ عىل املياه – وخاصة يف البالد التي تدعم فواتري املرافق العامة‪.‬‬

‫املشارك لربنامج من أجل الدميوقراطية التداولية‪ »:‬عندما نفكر معا‪ ،‬فنحن نفكرتفكريا‬

‫وقالت ليال العلمي‪ ،‬الطالبة يف جامعة كارنيجي ميلون يف تخصص إدارة األعامل‪»:‬إننا‬

‫أفضل»‪.‬‬

‫فكرنا يف إنشاء مزرعة يف املدينة التعليمية تنمو وتنتج‪ ،‬وميكننا بذلك أن نعطي‬

‫الجدير بالذكر أن كارنيجي ميلون يف بيتسربغ استضافت منذ ‪ 2005‬أكرث من ‪10‬‬

‫انتاجاً للمجتمع» ‪.‬‬

‫حلقات نقاشية مامثلة حول القضايا املهمة مثل‪:‬النزاهة األكادميية وتكلفة الرعاية‬

‫ووفقا لروبرت كافلر الذي يرى أن املحادثات يف الحرم الجامعي ليست فقط إلعداد‬

‫الصحية لكن هذا الحدث يعد األول الذي يُطلب فيه من الطالب داخل الحرم‬

‫هيئة طالب أكرث استنارة ‪ ،‬ولكن أيضا ليصبح الطالب»قوة استشارية « إلجراء تغيريات‬

‫الجامعي يف قطر أن يستكشفوا العالقة بني تغري املناخ‪ ،‬واستدامة الغذاء‪ ،‬وإثارة نقاش‬

‫يف املستقبل‪ .‬يف هذه الحالة ‪ ،‬البد من أن تستكمل الدراسة يف مرحلة ما بعد هذا‬

‫حول كيف ميكن أن تعالج قضايا ‪ ،‬مثل فقدان األرايض الزراعية واستنزاف الرثوة‬

‫الحدث حول ماهية التغيريات املقررة التي يود الطالب أن يروها يف املدينة التعليمية ‪.‬‬

‫السمكية ؟‬

‫وقال كريستوفر سيلفا ‪ ،‬منسق استدامة التعليم يف مؤسسة قطر‪« :‬نحن مهتمون‬

‫من جانبها قالت جيل دويف منسقة تنمية الطالب‪« :‬لقد تعاون قسم شؤون الطالب‬

‫حقا أن نرى كيف يريد الطالب أن يكون لهم تأثري يف إجراء التغيري اإليجايب؟ ألن‬

‫مع أساتذة الفلسفة والعلوم البيولوجية يف جامعة كارنيجي ميلون لتقديم برنامج‬

‫ذلك ميكن أن يكون موجهاً جيدا ً للربامج املستقبلية ‪ ،‬ونأمل من قسم شؤون الطالب‬

‫هذه الجلسة التي جذبت طالب خمس من ست جامعات يف املدينة التعليمية»‪.‬‬

‫االستفادة من أسلوب الحرم الجامعي يف املحادثات مستقبال ملعالجة املسائل والقضايا‬

‫وتابعت دويف قائلة‪« :‬يعد برنامج املحادثة واحدا ً من الجوانب األكرث وضوحاً يف الحرم‬

‫التي تهم الطالب‪ ،‬سواء داخل جامعة كارنيجي ميلون يف قطر ‪ ،‬أو يف مجتمع املدينة‬

‫الجامعي ‪ ،‬وهي الطريقة التي تشجع عىل االنخراط يف املجتمع الواحد نفسه ‪ ،‬ويف‬

‫التعليمية ككل ‪.‬‬

‫نهاية املطاف نريد تعزيز الشعور بالقوة لدى طالبنا‪ ،‬حتى يتمكنوا من الخروج إىل‬

‫ويف الختام‪ ،‬قالت دويف‪« :‬كنا سعداء بهذا الربنامج‪ ،‬ولدينا اقرتاحات إلجراء جلسات‬

‫مجتمعاتهم ‪ ،‬وإحداث التغيري اإليجايب فيها «‪.‬‬

‫نقاشية يف املستقبل ‪ ،‬لذلك أعتقد أننا سوف نشهد يف الحرم الجامعي املزيد من‬

‫وبعد مدة املناقشة ‪ ،‬طرحت كل مجموعة أسئلتها وأفكارها عىل فريق الخرباء ‪،‬‬

‫املناقشات مستقبال»‪.‬‬

‫‪F E AT U R E‬‬

‫الدوحة – قطر‪ :‬شارك أكرث من ‪ 100‬طالب من جامعات املدينة التعليمية ‪ ،‬ومعهم‬

‫جوالرتستيف مذيع األرصاد الجوية يف قناة الجزيرة اإلنجليزية ‪ ،‬ضم فريق الخرباء كل‬

‫الذي سلط الضوء عىل املبادرات املحلية‪ ،‬ومث ّن مقرتحات الطالب يف جلسة أدارها‬

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‫مبشاركة أكثر من ‪ 100‬طالب من‬ ‫جامعات املدينة التعلميية‬ ‫كارنيجي ميلون تنظم حلقة نقاشية موسعة عن األمن الغذائي في قطر‬

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HE SAID, SHE SAID, THE PC SAID CARNEGIE MELLON COMPUTER SCIENCE RESEARCHERS FOCUS ON HUMAN LANGUAGE TECHNOLOGIES

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successful until about 15 years ago and it’s still far from perfect

understand and plugged it into Google Translate to

— it’s a really complicated problem,” Oflazer said.

figure out the meaning?

For years, computer scientists used rule-based approaches to machine translation — they provided computers with the

free and will transform incomprehensible text into a rough-

linguistic rules of the two languages and the dictionaries

and-ready version of something you can understand.

necessary to translate from one to the other. Over the past decade and a half, researchers shifted to an approach known as Statistical Machine Translation. They

more or less what the text is talking about, but they’re not

found that if they fed computers thousands or millions of

necessarily good at giving you the exact meaning, which might

sentences and their human-generated translations, computers

be very sensitive to one letter or one word,” said Kemal Oflazer,

could learn to make reasonably accurate translations of new

professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.

sentences.

“Those translators are good for helping you figure out

But you won’t get a finished product.

For most of us, such services are hard to beat — they’re fast,

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ave you ever received an email in a language you don’t

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Oflazer and two postdoctoral researchers are members of

In essence, it’s like teaching computers to read and

Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s Human Language Technology (HLT)

understand the languages humans speak — not just the

The Human Language Technology (HLT) Lab

Who: Kemal Oflazer, professor of computer science; Behrang Mohit, postdoctoral research associate; Emad Mohamed, postdoctoral research associate. (Two more researchers are to join the team in 2012.) Funding: Four Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) grants; one QNRF Young Scientist Research Experience Program (YSREP) grant; and one Carnegie Mellon Seed Research Grant. Collaborators: All of the current projects funded by QNRF in the context of the NPRP program are being executed in collaboration with researchers from the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh.

Lab, which conducts research on natural language processing,

words and the grammar, but the semantics, the context, and

tapping into the enormous potential of machines to bridge

important facts about the real world. While humans do this

barriers in today’s global society.

almost effortlessly in their native tongues, the ability to do it

There’s a long way to go, though.

in multiple languages is limited to a small group of trained

While the concept of machine translation — the automatic

professionals.

translation of text from one human language to another — is as old as computer science, it’s now recognized as among the most challenging problems in artificial intelligence. “As soon as they built computers, they said ‘we’d like to translate Russian physics documents into English,’ but it wasn’t

Translating Wikipedia In one of five projects being undertaken in the HTL Lab, Behrang Mohit, a postdoctoral research associate, is developing a new system to translate articles on the online encyclopedia

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Core Arabic Language Processing. There are well developed techniques

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What else is going on in the HLT lab?

for core language processing technologies for English, such as parsing sentences, and identifying names and places. Researchers at the Lab are developing or improving techniques for Arabic by adapting techniques from English using parallel data such as those found in Wikipedia entries. Dialectal Translation. Arabic language data for training statistical machine translation systems is almost always available in Modern Standard Arabic. This project aims to identify comparable texts — texts that are not necessarily translations but contain translated segments — where one side is an Arabic dialect while the other is English. Another aim is to synthetically produce dialectal text from available Modern Standard Arabic text by morphological, lexical and syntactic transformations. Advanced tools for non-native English speakers. SmartReader is a general-purpose “reading appliance” being implemented at Carnegie Mellon University (Qatar and Pittsburgh). It is an artificial intelligence system that employs advanced language processing technologies and can interact with the reader and respond to queries about the content, words and sentences in a text. We expect it to be used by students in Qatar and elsewhere to help improve their comprehension of English text. Syntax-to-morphology mapping for translation into morphologically complex languages.

The researchers are investigating techniques for

experimentation with different representational schemes for translating from a language like English into morphologically complex languages – languages whose words pack a lot of information by using many suffixes – like Arabic or Turkish by exploiting the relationship between the structure of words on one side and syntactic structure on the other side.

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Wikipedia from English to Arabic. Regionally, the rewards

and use a different vocabulary and sentence structure,” said

would be great: While more than a million English articles

Mohit, whose work is funded by a Qatar National Research

make Wikipedia the sixth most popular Internet site globally,

Fund (QNRF) Young Scientist Research Experience Program

fewer than 200,000 articles are available in Arabic — even

(YSREP) grant.

though it is among the world’s most widely spoken languages.

By comparing the quality of his automatic translations to

“When we looked at the Arabic Wikipedia, we realized it

human-translated text, Mohit is able to evaluate and refine

is not very rich in many topics, like science and technology.

his software. While he’s not planning on single-handedly

Machine translation is the ideal way improve the quality and

recreating the English Wikipedia site in Arabic, others wishing

increase the number of articles,” Mohit said.

to expand the site could use the tools he is developing.

Rather than creating a translation system from scratch,

When it comes to translating the most technical or sensitive

Mohit is customizing currently available software, which is

information, though, human translators won’t be out of a job

mostly trained to translate particular document types, such as

anytime soon, Oflazer said.

news articles or parliamentary proceedings.

“My guess is it will be at least a few decades until we have

“The challenge is adapting the current machine translation

anything that comes close to human quality.”

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GROWING MOVEMBER CARNEGIE MELLON EVENT RAISES MONEY FOR CANCER RESEARCH AND EDUCATION

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arnegie Mellon students aren’t known for slacking off.

Carnegie Mellon’s campaign — one of the first in Qatar

Last November, though, a group of men on campus

— raised money to support research, education and patient

did nothing — at least to the area above their upper lips.

services at the Qatar National Cancer Society. More importantly,

About 30 students, along with faculty and staff, participated in

it got the campus talking

Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s Movember initiative. A combination of

about

the words “mo” for moustache and November, Movember is a

subject: their health.

charity event that raises money and awareness for men’s health

an

often-taboo

“When

you

don’t

issues. Men begin the month of November clean-shaven and

usually grow a moustache

spend the next 30 days cultivating their moustaches. Much

and then people see you

like the pink ribbon campaign for breast cancer awareness, the

with one, they ask about

moustache becomes a symbol that is used as a conversation-

it — and then you can tell

starter about prostate cancer — as well as a personal reminder

them why you’re growing

to get a health check.

it,” said Kenrick Fernandes,

Carnegie Mellon’s Movember initiative was co-organized by

a sophomore in computer

the Office of Health and Wellness and the Active Women’s Club.

science.

Women help the cause by recruiting men and coordinating

At a celebration event

fundraising events.

on campus, men with the most creative moustaches won prizes, and women who had recruited the most men were recognized. Students also lit lanterns commemorating people who have survived cancer, people who are suffering, and those who have died from the disease. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, with a person’s risk increasing with age, according to the U.S.based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency recommends men talk with their doctors about their risks, and discuss the potential benefits of screening. Eight years ago, a group of Australian men started Movember as a lighthearted way to call attention to a serious disease.

“In the past, we’ve done things for breast cancer awareness,

Today, a million participants worldwide have raised more than

but this year we wanted to get everyone involved,” said Reham

$80 million USD for charities supporting prostate cancer and

Shaikh, a business administration student and member of the

others cancers that affect men.

Active Women’s Club.

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‫‪akhbar‬‬

‫‪MAGAZINE‬‬

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‫جامعة كارنيجي ميلون‬ ‫تطلق مبادرة « ‪»Movember‬‬ ‫جلمع تبرعات ألبحاث سرطان‬ ‫البروستاتا‬ ‫مبشاركة ‪ 30‬طالبا مع‬ ‫األساتذة واملوظفني في‬ ‫اجلامعة لتوعية الرجال باملرض‬ ‫اخلطير‬ ‫الدوحة – قطر‪ :‬أطلقت جامعة كارنيجي يف قطر مبادرة فريدة من نوعها‪،‬‬ ‫حيث شارك حوايل ‪ 30‬طالبا ‪ ،‬مع أعضاء هيئة التدريس واملوظفني يف الجامعة‬ ‫يف املبادرة الخريية « ‪ ، »Movember‬التي تقوم عىل جمع التربعات‪ ،‬وزيادة‬ ‫الوعي بالقضايا الصحية للرجال ‪ ،‬ففي شهر نوفمرب املايض بدأ الرجال حليقي‬ ‫الشارب إطالق شواربهم ملدة ‪ 30‬يوما ‪ ،‬مثل حملة الرشيط الوردي للتوعية‬ ‫برسطان الثدي ‪ ،‬وذلك عىل اعتبار أن الشارب ميثل رمزا للحديث عن رسطان‬ ‫الربوستاتا وبالتايل عىل التذكري بإجراء اختبار صحي‪.‬‬ ‫وأن حملة «‪ »Movember‬مبادرة مشرتكة تنظمها الجامعة ومكتب الرعاية‬ ‫الصحية ونادي األنشطة النسائية يف الجامعة ملساعدة النساء يف العمل‬ ‫التطوعي للرجال وتنسيق فعاليات لجمع التربعات ‪.‬‬ ‫وقالت ريهام الشيخ ‪ ،‬الطالبة بإدارة األعامل‪ ،‬وعضو يف نادي األنشطة‬ ‫النسائية‪« :‬يف املايض ‪ ،‬قمنا بالكثري من األمور للتوعية برسطان الثدي ‪ ،‬ولكن‬ ‫هذا العام أردنا إرشاك الجميع» ‪.‬‬

‫تعد جامعة كارنيجي ميلون األوىل يف قطر التي تجمع التربعات لدعم‬ ‫البحوث ‪،‬والتعليم‪ ،‬وخدمات العيادات الخارجية يف الجمعية الوطنية ملكافحة‬ ‫الرسطان يف قطر‪ ،‬واألهم من ذلك ‪ ،‬أنها متكنت من فتح مجاالت الحديث‬ ‫يف الحرم الجامعي عن موضوع يعترب من املحرمات يف كثري من األحيان عند‬ ‫الرجال فيام يخص صحتهم‪.‬‬ ‫أما الطالبة كرنيك فرناندز ‪ ،‬الطالبة يف السنة الثانية بعلوم الحاسوب فقد‬ ‫قالت‪« :‬عندما ال يكون لك شارب عادة ‪،‬ثم يراك الناس فيام بعد ولك شارب‪،‬‬ ‫فسوف يتساءلون عن السبب‪ ،‬ومن ثم ميكنك أن تجيبهم عن سبب ذلك‪».‬‬ ‫الجدير بالذكر أنه تم االحتفال األسبوع املايض بهذه املناسبة ‪،‬ووزعت‬ ‫الجوائزعىل الرجال ذوي الشوارب األكرث إبداعا ‪ ،‬وعىل النساء اللوايت ساهمن‬ ‫يف إقناع معظم الرجال بالتطوع لهذه القضية‪ ،‬أيضا حمل الطالب الفوانيس‬ ‫املضاءة إلحياء ذكرى األشخاص الذين نجوا من الرسطان واألشخاص الذين‬ ‫يعانون ‪ ،‬وأولئك الذين لقوا حتفهم من جراء هذا املرض‪.‬‬ ‫ويعترب رسطان الربوستاتا هو أكرث أنواع الرسطان شيوعا بني الرجال ‪ ،‬ومع‬ ‫تقدم العمر يزداد تعرض الشخص ملخاطره‪ ،‬وفقا لوكالة مركز مكافحة األمراض‬ ‫“‪ ”CDC‬والوقاية منها ومقرها الواليات املتحدة ‪ ،‬حيث تويص الوكالة الرجال‬ ‫بالتحدث مع أطبائهم حول املخاطر التي يتعرضون لها ‪ ،‬ومناقشة الفوائد‬ ‫املحتملة للفحص املبكر‪.‬‬ ‫وقبل مثاين سنوات ‪ ،‬بدأت مجموعة من الرجال األسرتاليني مببادرة‬ ‫«‪ »Movember‬كوسيلة مرح للفت األنظار إىل مرض خطري‪ ،‬واليوم استطاع‬ ‫مليون مشارك يف املبادرة من جميع أنحاء العامل‪ ،‬يف جمع أكرث من ‪ 80‬مليون‬ ‫دوالر أمرييك لدعم الجمعيات الخريية ‪،‬وغريها من الجمعيات التي تسهم يف‬ ‫مكافحة رسطان الربوستاتا‪ ،‬والرسطانات التي تصيب الرجال‪.‬‬

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SPOTLIGHT ON BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Exploring Science Students simulate disease outbreak in biological sciences outreach program We’ve all seen it in the movies: A new disease threatens to wipe out the human race, panic sets in, and a team of scientists works round-the-clock to figure out how to stop it. While they’re not always working with life-or-death situations, researchers tackle similar questions every day: what causes diseases, how does the body fight back, and how can we treat them? Twenty-five students from 14 Qatar high schools got a taste of biomedical research when they learned how to analyze a simulated disease outbreak during a new outreach program developed by Carnegie Mellon. The program aims to engage students through a laboratory

biology among the youth in the community, give students

experience, teach them lab techniques, and inform them

first-hand lab experience while using cutting-edge lab

about Carnegie Mellon’s new programs in Biological

techniques, and teach students how their bodies function at

Sciences and Computational Biology.

a biological level,” said Kenneth Hovis, assistant professor of biology at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.

“The Student Biotechnology Explorer Program is part of the university’s recently launched biological sciences

“Through this program, we hope high school students

undergraduate program. It is designed to ignite a passion for

learn more about the biological sciences undergraduate

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degree at Carnegie Mellon and meet some of our current students and faculty,” Hovis added.

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MAGAZINE

Noora Al-Muftah, a senior from Al Wakra Independent School for Girls, enjoyed working as a team to investigate

Students who participated in the program used a test

and solve a problem. “It was excellent to experience a

called an ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay)

college-level class,” said Al-Muftah, who intends to apply

to track a simulated disease outbreak as it spread through

for Carnegie Mellon’s new Computational Biology program.

the community. During the experiment, students worked in

Tracey Williams, a high school science teacher at Dukhan

groups and were able to track the outbreak, determine who

English School, said the program complemented her

was infected and identify the source of the disease.

students’ classroom studies.

Since this was a simulated disease, students expressed their excitement upon learning they were infected.

“It’s great for them to be able to put into practice what they’ve learned at school,” Williams said.

“The best part was when the solution turned (from

Carnegie Mellon’s two recently-launched undergraduate

colorless) to blue and you saw the results you’d been trying

degree programs in biological sciences and computational

to get to from the beginning,” said Aseel Ghazal, a senior

biology are a collaborative effort with Weill Cornell Medical

from International School of Choueifat. “It was really

College in Qatar, with students receiving their degrees from

captivating.”

Carnegie Mellon.

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MAGAZINE

Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s Management Game

“When I heard that Management Game might be canceled,

It all started with a load of laundry. That was in 1953, when Management Game was

I was very disappointed. Since freshman year, we’d had been

sponsored by Procter & Gamble and taught

hearing that Management Game is the ultimate test and one of the most realistic and hardest courses of all. I wanted to go

managers how to sell powdered soap. As times changed, so did the game.

through that experience,” said Samira Islam, who graduated in

Instead

2011 and works as a research analyst at KPMG Qatar.

of

laundry

detergent,

the

challenge became to sell wristwatches.

Samira and her classmates raised their concerns to faculty.

The game, once exclusive to the MBA

And, as part of his vision for Carnegie Mellon Qatar, Dean

program, was opened up as an

Ilker Baybars decided that Qatar should implement its own version of the game. Patrick Sileo, an associate professor of

undergraduate class. A Carnegie Mellon tradition was born. Management Game, a

economics who spends spring semester in Qatar, agreed to help, and Vargo was hired here.

computer-based business strategy

Qatar’s Management Game

simulation taken by graduating

Instead of selling watches, students in Qatar are charged

seniors, became known as the

with revamping a poor-performing company selling sensors

course where everything comes

— although the exact nature of the sensors is never disclosed.

together.

game’s

Teams have eight years to create faster, cheaper and smaller

“universe,” a semester spans years

products, while navigating issues like advanced marketing

Within

the

and teams compete for the biggest share of the market and the largest

and customers’ changing preferences. Like Pittsburgh’s Management Game, one of the biggest

profits.

challenges is satisfying the Board of Directors – outside

Between 2008 and 2010, business

business people who treat the students like professionals

administration students in Qatar joined in

doing a professional job.

the main campus game by video-conferencing

An advantage of the Qatar’s Management Game, Vargo

— a long distance arrangement that exemplified

said, is the dynamic environment— in which customer

Carnegie

Mellon’s

commitment

to

transcend

demands and the economic climate constantly change. There’s another plus to Qatar’s own Management Game,

traditional academic barriers. But with the course organizers in Pittsburgh, it wasn’t ideal

Sileo said.

for students in Qatar, said Steve Vargo, assistant professor of

“The students used to be competing with teams from

business administration, who coordinated the main campus

Pittsburgh, but now they’re competing with their friends.

game since 1997. In fact, by 2010, there was talk of shelving

While that’s troubling to them, I think it’s a good thing —

the Qatar course in favor of an alternative — until our students

‘welcome to business’.”

stepped in.

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Under New Management


SPOTLIGHT ON COMPUTER SCIENCE

Closing the Gender Gap More than 90 students explore computer science at the first CS4Qatar for Women event There are many reasons why young women shy away

manager at ICTQatar, highlighted some of the most rewarding

from computer science. Perhaps they think technical fields

aspects of her career.

are for men. Or they don’t see opportunities for support and

“Computer science is an exciting subject — it gives us the

mentorship.

ability to take on different jobs, from becoming a mentor or

A Carnegie Mellon Qatar outreach event held in December

an entrepreneur to working in the business field. Working at

shattered some of those myths.

ICTQatar provided me with a great opportunity to contribute

More than 90 Qatari women from eight high schools

to Qatari society and play a significant role in taking the

attended the first CS4Qatar for Women program. The

nation forward,” Al-Mansoori said.

students participated in programming and problem-solving

Through outreach programs like CS4Qatar, Carnegie

workshops, met with students and graduates, and learned

Mellon is committed to Qatar’s National Vision 2030 and

more about Carnegie Mellon’s computer science degree.

the desire to build a knowledge-based economy. Creating

Families were also invited to tour the campus and meet with

computational thinkers — the foundation of any computer

faculty, staff and alumni.

science program — is particularly important, Harras said.

The new program is part of the Department of Computer

“Advancements in most areas of sciences, engineering and

Science’s CS4Qatar community outreach series, which

medicine heavily rely on breakthroughs in computer sciences

creates awareness and excitement about computer science

and engineering. CS4Qatar’s goal is to spread this awareness

among teachers and students. The decision to target women

among the younger generations — we hope to plant a seed

was simple: while women make up half of society they are

that continues to grow the students’ interest and motivation

outnumbered by men in most technical fields.

in these crucial areas of knowledge,” Harras said.

“The focus on female students is part of an international

At the end of the event, some of those seeds had been

trend to better balance gender involvement in rigorous

planted. “The subject seems very interesting and this program

engineering and science programs,” said Khaled Harras,

has instilled an excitement in me to apply when I graduate

assistant professor of computer science. Since computer

from high school,” said Noor Al Mahmoud, a grade 12

science thrives on diverse ideas, it is important to recruit

student at Al Ieman Secondary Independent School for Girls.

Qatari women, who bring new perspectives, Harras added.

“Women are an essential part of society; they can greatly

Speaking to parents, Reem Al-Mansoori, development

contribute to its development and I intend on doing the same.”

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Ibtikar competition challenges students to use future technologies to share Qatar’s history and heritage Imagine it’s 2021.

visitors with Qatar’s past. Contributing to the World Cup

It’s less than a year until Qatar hosts the World Cup and the

experience resonated well with students, said Selma Limam

organizers need your help. Could you figure out how to use the latest technologies to help tourists experience Qatar’s rich history and cultural heritage?

Mansar, associate professor of Information Systems. “The fact that this is in the future is bringing a lot of excitement because they have to imagine what kind of tools

That’s exactly what Carnegie Mellon asked high school

will be available to them. The challenge will be designing

students to do in this year’s Ibtikar Competition. Now in its

something that is feasible — the scenario is in the future,

fourth year, Ibtikar is an Information Systems (I.S.) challenge

but only 10 years, so they’ll have to pay attention to that,”

that encourages students to explore how technology can be

Mansar said.

used to support organizations and society. Each year, students are presented with a challenge, and, with the help of undergraduate mentors, they must design

Danny Arap, a student at Global Academy International School, was excited about highlighting Qatar’s culture to people who haven’t been to the Middle East.

and present an information technology-based solution.

“Many people didn’t know much about Qatar before they

Along the way, participants learn key concepts taught in

won the 2022 World Cup bid, so it’s important to tell people

Carnegie Mellon’s I.S. program, including the application of

as much as we can while they’re here,” he said.

information technology to solve organizational problems, the importance of teamwork, and the basics of design and communication.

Students had about five weeks to submit posters outlining their ideas before a January final. (Editor’s note. We’ll update you on the most creative

At a December Ibtikar Workshop, 105 students

ideas in the next issue of Akhbar.)

heard about two technologies that will be available within the decade. The first was the next generation of smart phone, called a Nirvana phone. As well as the usual tools like the Internet and mobile applications, the Nirvana phone will boast the same power and capabilities as a personal computer. By making use of any monitor or TV screen, there will be no need to carry a laptop when you’re on-the-go. The second technology introduced was the Cloud — a remote server from which you can access files, programs and applications. Compared to a home or office computer, the Cloud is an ideal place to store and then access information through a Nirvana phone. Using these tools, teams of students were charged with developing a novel, educational way of connecting

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Connecting the Past with the Future


FOCUS ON RESEARCH

Students Put Their Best Faces Forward

Computer Science majors recognized for work on facial expressions in robots Two computer science students were recognized for

gap between parties with different backgrounds.

pioneering innovative scientific research in computing

Hala is currently undergoing major enhancements to help

at the 2011 Qatar Foundation Annual Research Forum.

improve her embodiment of Arabic culture. Amna and

Amna Al Zeyara and Nawal Behih, both sophomores,

Nawal’s project addressed existing issues with animating

received the Best Student Research Award in Computing

natural facial expressions and implementing more realistic

and a grant for their work on enhancing facial

lip-movements (“visemes”) to synchronize with

expressions in bilingual humanoid robots.

the Arabic language. Natural expressions

The testbed for the research project was

help engage users and improve their

Hala, a bilingual, multi-cultural robot

experience

platform developed by Carnegie

enhancing

non-

verbal aspects of communication.

Mellon.

“We used existing research and

“We are very proud of both Amna

by

and

significant

Nawal

observed each other to develop

for

this

visemes that accurately capture

achievement,”

said

Arabic pronunciations,” Amna

Majd Sakr, assistant dean for research

at

Carnegie

said.

Mellon

“We also authored an in-

Qatar. “They started working on

house tool that allows non-

this research project as freshmen

programmers, such as artists, to

computer

manipulate the face in real-time

science

students.

They managed to quickly learn

to create natural expressions.”

the scientific methodology of

As the result of the students’

research, how to evaluate state-

work, Hala now has 11 new facial

of-the-art techniques in robotics

expressions for a more natural

and build upon what they have

looking and behaving robot. The

learned to improve the behavior

work has also pioneered the first

of humanoid robots.” Sakr and

implemented subset of Arabic

Imran Fanaswala, a research

visemes on a robot.

programmer at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, mentored the team.

Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar encourages students

Hala is a 3-D animated female robot that interacts with

at all levels to engage in active, regionally relevant and

visitors, switching between English and Arabic languages

impactful research.

and crafting responses that are culturally sensitive to the

“Carnegie Mellon is a research university and I am

user. To do this, Hala takes linguistic cues from the user

especially proud to see our students recognized for

to determine the cultural background — ensuring effective

their contribution to innovative research. The skills and

communication and minimizing misunderstandings. In the

experience they are acquiring will not only shape their own

future, Carnegie Mellon sees robots like Hala deployed as

careers, but also the future of Qatar and the region,” said

intermediaries between cultures, closing the communication

Ilker Baybars, dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar.

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‫‪MAGAZINE‬‬

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‫الطالب يصنعون الوجه املثالي‬ ‫جائزة البحث املتميز لطالب علوم الحاسوب عن عملهم عىل تعابري الوجه للروبوتات‬ ‫فازت طالبتان من قسم علوم الحاسوب بجائزة التميز يف البحوث العلمية‬

‫وتخضع وتتلقى الروبوت (هال) حاليا لتحسينات رئيسية للمساعدة يف‬

‫املبتكرة الرائدة يف مجال الحوسبة يف منتدى مؤسسة قطر السنوي للبحوث‬

‫تحسني تجسيدها للثقافة العربية‪ .‬وقد تناول مرشوع الطالبتني آمنة ونوال‬

‫كل من آمنة الزيارة ونوال بحيح وهن من طالبات السنة‬ ‫‪ ،2011‬فقد تسلمتا ٌ‬

‫أمور الحياة اليومية التي تنسجم معها تعابري الوجه الطبيعية املوحية‪ ،‬وتنفيذ‬

‫الثانية جائزة أفضل األبحاث يف الحوسبة‪ ،‬باإلضافة اىل مبلغ ‪ 20000‬ريال قطري‬

‫أكرث واقعية لحركات الشفاه (‪ )visemes‬املتزامنة مع اللغة العربية‪ ،‬حيث أن‬

‫منحة لعملهام عىل تعزيز تعبريات الوجه يف الروبوتات الثنائية اللغة‪ .‬وكانت‬

‫التعبريات الطبيعية تساعد عىل إرشاك املستخدمني وتحسني تجربتهم من‬

‫تلك مرحلة تجريبية ملرشوع بحثي يسمى( هال )‪ ،‬وهي منصة للروبوتات‬

‫خالل تعزيز الجوانب غري اللفظية لالتصال‪.‬‬

‫الثنائية اللغة متعددة الثقافات طورتها جامعة كارنيجي ميلون‪.‬‬ ‫وتعليقاً عىل هذا اإلنجاز‪ ،‬قال مجد صقر ‪ ،‬مساعد العميد لشؤون األبحاث‬ ‫بجامعة كارنيجي ميلون‪»:‬نحن فخورون جدا بالطالبتني آمنة ونوال عىل هذا‬ ‫اإلنجاز الكبري‪ ،‬حيث رشعتا العمل عىل هذا املرشوع البحثي كطالبتني يف‬

‫ويف هذا السياق قالت الطالبة آمنة‪« :‬استخدمنا البحوث القامئة التي‬ ‫تساعدنا لتطوير يف روبوتات تلتقط بدقة النطق بالعربية» ‪.‬‬ ‫وأضافت‪ « :‬قمنا أيضا بإيجاد أداة تتيح لغري املربمجني ‪ ،‬مثل الفنانني تحوير‬ ‫مالمح الوجه إلظهار التعبريات الطبيعية»‪.‬‬

‫علوم الكمبيوتر ورسعان ما‬

‫ونتيجة لعمل الطالب‬

‫متكنتا من معرفة منهجية‬

‫‪ ،‬فإن الروبوت (هال)‬

‫وكيفية‬

‫اصبحت متتلك حالياً أكرث‬

‫تقييم الحالة الفنية من بني‬

‫من ‪ 11‬تعبريا طبيعيا ‪،‬‬

‫أحدث التقنيات يف مجال‬

‫حتى يبدو سلوكها ونظرتها‬

‫الروبوتات بناء عىل ما‬

‫و تعبريات وجهها طبيعية ‪،‬‬

‫تعلمتاه من أجل تحسني‬

‫وقد قام الفريق بدور رائد‬

‫سلوك الروبوت ‪ ،‬وكان‬

‫يف تنفيذ أول بحث باللغة‬

‫السيدان صقر وعمران‬

‫العربية عن علم الروبوت‪.‬‬

‫البحث العلمي‬

‫وتشارك جامعة كارنيجي‬

‫فاناسواال ‪ ،‬وهو مربمج‬ ‫األبحاث يف جامعة كارنيجي ميلون‪ -‬قطر قد أرشفا عىل فريق العمل املكون من‬

‫ميلون يف قطر الطالب يف جميع مستويات املشاركة البحثية ‪ ،‬واألنشطة ذات‬

‫الطالبتني من خالل تقديم الدعم الفني والتوجيه‪.‬‬

‫الصلة بالتأثري اإلقليمي‪ ،‬ومن خالل هذه العملية التبادلية ‪،‬يتعلم الطالب‬

‫و تتفاعل هال‪ ،‬الروبوت ثالثية األبعاد‪ ،‬مع الزوار مبا متتلكه من قدرة عىل‬

‫مهارات جديدة تساعد يف تشكيل مستقبلهم الوظيفي‪.‬‬

‫اإلنتقال بني اللغتني اإلنكليزية والعربية ‪ ،‬وصياغة االستجابات التي تع ّد حساسة‬

‫و يف هذا السياق‪ ,‬يشري إلكر بايربز‪ ,‬عميد كارنيجي ميلون يف قطر‪ ,‬قائالً‪« :‬إ ّن‬

‫ثقافيا للمستخدم‪ .‬وتتلقى الروبوت هال املدخالت اللغوية من املستخدم‬

‫كارنيجي ميلون عبارة عن جامعة تهتم ج ّدا ً بالبحث العلمي‪ ,‬و أنا شخصيّاً ج ُّد‬

‫لتحديد الخلفية الثقافية لضامن التواصل الفعال ‪،‬والتقليل من سوء الفهم‪ .‬وترى‬

‫فخور أنّه يتم اإلعرتاف بطالبنا ملساهمتهم يف بحوث مبتكرة و مه َّمة‪ .‬كام أ َّن‬

‫جامعة كارنيجي ميلون أن نرش روبوتات مثل هال يف املستقبل كوسطاء بني‬

‫املهارات و الخربات التي يكتسبونها لن تعود بال َّنفع عليهم فقط‪ ,‬بل هي مه ّمة‬

‫الثقافات‪ ،‬سيؤدي اىل ردم الفجوة يف التواصل بني مختلف الفئات اإلجتامعية‬

‫ملستقبل قطر و املنطقة»‬

‫ذات الخلفيات الثقافية املختلفة‪.‬‬ ‫‪49‬‬ ‫‪U‬‬

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PITTSBURGH CONNECTION

Qatar students celebrate Carnegie Mellon’s past and future Happy Birthday, Andy!

Thank you, Bill!

When he founded Carnegie Tech in 1900, Andrew

Carnegie Mellon Qatar joined the Pittsburgh campus

Carnegie probably didn’t envision a research university

in celebrating another philanthropist last fall.

offering degrees at 15 locations across the globe.

William S. Dietrich II, a businessman, scholar and

This year, though, Qatar was one of several countries

longtime Carnegie Mellon trustee, announced in

celebrating his legacy.

September his plans to bequest a $265 million fund to support Carnegie Mellon — the largest gift in CMU’s

Students, faculty and staff gathered in November to

history. Dietrich’s friends and family joined him at a

celebrate Carnegie’s 176th birthday. The Doha tribute

celebration in Pittsburgh, which was webcast across

was one of several events, with others in Pittsburgh and

the university’s branch campuses.

at alumni chapters around the world.

A month later, on Oct. 6, Dietrich died of complications from cancer. His impact on the university was extraordinary and everlasting. “Carnegie Mellon University will be forever grateful to Bill for his service and philanthropy. Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh have lost a great friend,” said Jared L. Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University. Dietrich’s gift will support interdisciplinary education and research initiatives across the university and across the globe, and names the College of Humanities and Social Sciences the Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences after Dietrich’s late mother.

A self-described “working boy” with an intense longing for books, Carnegie was born in Scotland and later immigrated with his family to the United States. Many university traditions reference Carnegie’s Scottish heritage — Tartans athletics and the Scotty dog mascot, to name a few. Carnegie was a self-educated entrepreneur whose steel company grew to be the world’s largest producer by the end of the 19th century. He founded Carnegie Tech in 1900, which later became Carnegie Mellon.

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akhbar

MAGAZINE

IN TOUCH

CLASS NOTES 2008

Yasser Masood (IS) organized Qatar’s

Hala Abbas (TPR) is completing a Master’s of Science at University College London in the U.K. Asma Al-Kuwari (TPR) is a senior analyst (Mobile Money) at Qtel. Wesam Said (TPR) is National Olympic

TEDx Youth Conference, which attracted more than 100 participants. Aysha Siddique (CS/IS) is a research assistant at Qatar Computing Research Institute.

Committees Coordinator for the Arab

2011

Games Organising Committee.

Jummana Al-Kahlout (TPR) is a website editor for Aljazeera Media Network.

2009

Nada Al Mahmeed (TPR) is a corporate

Noor Al Jassim (TPR) is a sales and operations manager for Tasweeq. Basit Iqbal (TPR) is residence hall director at Qatar Foundation. Hicham Nedjari (TPR) is a finance manager (Middle East) for General Electric.

planning officer at Qatar Development Bank. Samreen Anjum (CS) is a software engineer at Qatar Computing Research Institute. Shazia Haq (TPR) is an academic assistant at Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s Academic Resource Center. She is also studying to become a CPA.

2010

Yara Ezzeldin Saeed (TPR) is a financial

Tarek Abou Galala (TPR) is a reports officer for Qatar Islamic Bank. Nayef Mansoor Al-Kaabi (TPR) is a recruitment supervisor for Qatar Petroleum.

reporting analyst for ConocoPhillips. Omar Shaath (IS) is a project coordinator at iHorizons. He also joined Qatar’s Taekwondo National Team. Omnia Shehabaddin (TPR) is marketing

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

coordinator at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.

Shakir Hussain (IS) is a user support specialist at Northwestern University in Qatar.

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IN TOUCH

Red Cakes and Black Gold Alumni reconnect at October event

Alumni got the hottest tickets in town when they signed up for a Carnegie Mellon reunion event held in October. The group gathered at Katara’s Red Velvet Cupcakery before attending the world premiere of “Black Gold” at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival.

The Red Velvet Cupcakery was a great place for Alumni to catch up

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‫صفحات الخريجني‬

)‫ليلــــــــــة باحلـــــــــي الثقافـــــــي (كتارا‬ »‫جتمع بني اخلريجني مل�شاهدة فيلم «الذهب الأ�سود‬

Jointly shot in Qatar and Tunisia, “Black Gold” tells the tale of the discovery of oil and is set against the dramatic backdrop of the Arabian Peninsula in the 1930s. The epic film is one of the largest cinematic projects undertaken in the Arab World.

‫يستمتع‬ ‫الحارضون بوجبة‬ ‫خفيفة و الحديث‬ ‫عن فيلم «الذهب‬ »‫األسود‬

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SUMMER

COLLEGE P R E V I E W

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July 1 – 19, 2012

A three-week

pre-university program

for academically-talented high school students

currently studying in year 10 or year 11 The Summer College Preview Program is an exceptional opportunity for motivated students seeking to prepare for programs offered by top American, Canadian and British universities. The skills taught during this program will enable students to: • experience a preview of university life • improve Math and English skills • learn strategies for improving SAT and ACT scores and much more…. To apply visit : w w w . q a t a r. c m u . e d u / s c p p Or call: +974 4454 8546

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Akhbar Spring 2012