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read in this issue Faculty presentation for Education

City held by Carnegie Mellon Qatar Robotics at Carnegie Mellon Qatar New building pictorial



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Faculty presentation for Education City held by Carnegie Mellon Qatar Robotics at Carnegie Mellon Qatar US Arab encounters course Expanded library: Check it out.. at the Library! The International Communication Center in Qatar (ICC)

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12 In the Game: Our students New building pictorial Activities within campus 2005 Honda Award Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar announces faculty appointments


Greetings to all of you and welcome to Akhbar Carnegie Mellon’s first issue. For those of you who don’t know, Akhbar means “news” in Arabic - a good way to blend our cultures. We’re tying together the culture of Carnegie Mellon (hard work, excellence, innovation) and the culture of Education City (knowledge, learning, the history of the great library at Alexandria) into our own unique culture. Our programming is in full gear. Academics are in high gear—we have some exceptional faculty in Doha teaching our students accounting, programming, economics, writing, current events, robots, English, and statistics, and exceptional students learning all these subjects. Activities for students are flourishing— you’ll read about several new clubs already developed this year. The Q Crew is planning a wide range of activities for staff and faculty. In short, there are more extracurricular activities than any one person can do. Not a bad problem to have. Perhaps the most exciting thing happening this semester is the collaboration you’re starting to see among the universities here at Education City. This semester we’re offering students the opportunity to cross-register for a few courses across the Education City campus; if all goes well, that program will continue and expand. Recently we hosted faculty and student affairs staff from all the universities at an Academic Symposium, to explore ways we could work together on future offerings. We were delighted when Her Highness Sheikha Mozzah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, directly upon returning from the U.S., not only attended the conference but spoke to the plenary session and attended one of the working groups. Our vision for collaboration ranges from library services to research facilities to Starbucks. Stay with us as we continue to enhance this most extraordinary project, unique in the history of education.

My best wishes to you all for a successful Fall semester. Charles E. Thorpe Dean

followed at a close second by Dean Thorpe’s recommendation to open a coffee shop. This dialog provided the framework for the break out sessions which followed. The breakouts explored topics of particular relevance to the multiversity—Opportunities to build and foster intellectual community in Education City (led by Pablo Rodriguez del Pozo, Weill Cornell, Ruth Beals, Virginia Commonwealth and Mike Kemp, Texas A&M); Designing programs focused on local community issues to promote social responsibility and good citizenship among our students (led by Bernardine Dias, Carnegie Mellon, Dennis Busch, Texas A&M, Amy Sandridge, Weill Cornell); Assessment: A tool to assure student learning and institutional effectiveness (led by Gloria Hill, Carnegie Mellon, Terry Murphy, Weill Cornell, Michael Pungente, Weill Cornell); and Effective ways of engaging local industry and other organizations who will employ our students (led by Peter Martin, Virginia Commonwealth, Mary McLaughlin, Virginia Commonwealth, Jim Holste, Texas A&M, Khadra Dualeh, Carnegie Mellon).


ALL-EDUCATION CITY FACULTY SYMPOSIUM With Her Highness’ vision for collaboration and the innovation that brings, and Carnegie Mellon’s heritage of building bridges across the traditional barriers of knowledge, it was only a matter of time before the vast potential here at Education City was tapped. Speaking on these themes, H.H. Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned addressed a gathering of all Education City faculty at the Four Seasons hotel in September. Sheikha Mozah recalled the Emir’s speech in 1995 in which he called for a focus on education and health in Qatar. She said Qatar Foundation was established “with great support

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from His Highness...to create a strong, viable, challenging, academic and social environment.”

“That’s essentially business as usual at Carnegie Mellon.”

Carnegie Mellon took the lead in hosting faculty from Virginia Commonwealth, Weill Cornell Medical College, Texas A&M and Georgetown to come together and exchange ideas to develop ways for courses and programming to take better advantage of the ever-widening scope of academic offerings on campus.

Dr. Indira Nair, vice provost at Carnegie Mellon, gave the keynote address, giving an overview of Carnegie Mellon and opening the floor for a discussion of this concept that is Education City—the multiversity. She demonstrated how Education City shifts the concept of a university away from that of a single body of ‘universal’ knowledge to the concept of multiversity, an institution that allows multiple approaches to flourish and produce the best education for its students that only such synergy can bring.

The program began with each institution describing its heritage. For instance, Texas A&M was founded as a land grant university. Georgetown delivers an education steeped in Jesuit tradition. And Carnegie Mellon emphasizes hands-on experience with practical application. The challenge, as set by the symposium, was to understand the different missions of each university on the campus and to find the common ground. commented Dr. Charles E Thorpe, dean, Carnegie Mellon Qatar, as part of the panel.

Each institution shared how participation in Education City had enhanced and expanded the mission and characteristics of their university both in Qatar and at their home campuses. Following the presentations, a lively discussion ensued, where faculty had the opportunity to comment on their agenda items for the future of Education City. Top on the list was the need for a shared library,

Moving forward on these agenda items is in keeping with Her Highness’ vision and very much in step with that of our founder Andrew Carnegie’s original plan for Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon campus. Our shared aim at Education City is to provide Qatar with graduates who are innovators and doers and who will make a real difference to the world around them. By engaging first our microcosm within Doha, together we can search for ways to promote social responsibility and good citizenship among our students, work with local industry and other organizations to support the students through internships, explore research opportunities and permanent employment. Our stated mission includes the idea that our academic objectives can and must come to life in the real world. We help develop the emotional, physical, artistic, cultural and intellectual side of students, in order that they will go on in life with a passion for inquiry and a commitment to excellence. Carnegie’s founding words were, “My heart in the work.” There is no place better than Doha to continue this thought.


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ROBOTICS AT CARNEGIE MELLON Could you design and construct a working robot from scratch in just one day? Could you ask the right questions to enable you to develop an innovative solution? These are just some of the challenges scientists Bernardine Dias and Brett Browning are setting for their students in this semester’s autonomous robotics computing course. In addition to teaching their students the theory and practical application of robot technology, Dias and Browning will provide students with an understanding and appreciation of the research skills needed to enable creative and innovative problem solving.

This is a very hands-on course, where students link academic lessons with physical application. Together with the hands-on component, Dias and Browning are teaching research methodologies, analysis techniques and frameworks for presenting results. Isabelle Eula, Librarian, is working closely with Dias and Browning to guide students on the choice and application of various search engines. Students will be assigned practical research projects and will present their findings to the class. Teaching these fundamental research skills enables undergraduates to understand scientific and engineering issues and concepts and the application of their computing knowledge to provide a scientific solution.

The robotics industry is evolving steadily and the ability to conduct research is as vital a skill as scientific theory. Robotic science has a major, if somewhat misunderstood, impact on industry. First viewed largely as a way to save on labor costs, in terms of handling 3-D tasks – in this case Dangerous, Dirty and Dull—robotic capabilities have evolved significantly. Companies have made significant gains in employing robotic enhancements across a wide array of industries from vision-guided assembly systems to 3D modeling for underwater construction projects. Such research also has enormous potential in the energy sector, in particular in inspecting natural gas pipelines or areas where the environment or work involved could be hazardous.

The course builds on last spring’s introduction to robotics taught by David Duke and Justin Carlson, two Ph.D. students studying under Dean Charles E. “Chuck” Thorpe. Geared towards these students with intermediate programming skills, this new course is designed to consolidate their understanding of basic concepts and challenges in the design, construction and programming of robots. Presenting the students with just a box of robot parts, Dias and Browning worked alongside the class as they undertook their first assignment – to build a robot. Students who had never before even lifted a screwdriver let alone robotic anatomy showed vivid imagination in creating their own original robot. By the end of the day, each student had successfully completed the task In the classes that have followed, students have gone on to attach the brains—laptop computers—to the robot, and to program the robot for movement. Each session will continue to add complexity to the robots, drawing on the application of the principals of calculus and computer science. “So far it’s been a real treat to watch,” said Browning. “Not only did the robots become animated, but you could see it in the faces of the students, they just lit up with pride at watching their own creations begin to move.”

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Demonstration in San Diego, which showcased the technical feasibility of automated vehicles. The buses and cars drove themselves in the HOV lane of Interstate 5 at speeds between 60 and 100 mph. These automated vehicles demonstrated improved road safety, decreased traffic congestion, and decreased environmental impact. Research into robotic capability and application is ongoing and Carnegie Mellon is one of the world’s major players in the field. Currently working on a project exploring the possibility of using robots to find life on Mars, Dr. David Wettergreen, associate research professor at the Robotic Institute and leader of the Atacama project in association with NASA, visited Qatar to explore the application of robots in a desert environment. Dr. Wettergreen sees Qatar as an excellent potential site for development and testing of robotic mobility in sand. Qatar, in addition to perfect desert conditions, he says, offers the added advantage of an accessible and technical infrastructure.

Like the field itself, the class is about more than building robots. It’s about system engineering in the real world, applying computer science to real engineering problems. Robotics draws on many disciplines (electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, human-machine interaction, artificial intelligence); it’s a classic Carnegie Mellon kind of problem to teach and to study. “Robotics doesn’t just mean creating things that look like a R2D2,” said Thorpe. “Intelligent process control, computer-assisted surgery, advanced sensor processing, and factory scheduling—all of these are robotics theory at work, and probably more directly relevant to Qatar than things that look robotic.”

One key area, autonomous navigation, has been the thrust of Dean Thorpe’s robotics research, as a graduate student, faculty member, and head of Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. One of his early projects was Navlab I, a blue Chevrolet van that drove itself at a maximum speed of 1.5 mph in 1985. Its progeny has included automated HMMWVs, a Pontiac minivan, a Honda Accord, two buses belonging to the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority and three Oldsmobiles. The Oldsmobiles and buses took part in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 1997 National Automated Highway Systems Consortium

The application of robotic technology is of great relevance to Qatar. Carnegie Mellon is currently engaged in finding ways to work with Qatar in developing an intelligent diabetes monitoring system. With the extraordinary business developments rapidly outpacing human capacity, it’s clear that developing intelligent systems offers a tremendous advantage. Carnegie Mellon will continue to work closely with Qatari businesses to identify opportunities for research and development right here in Qatar.


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EDUCATE LOCALLY, TEACH GLOBALLY ‘Today’s topic is the nature of the relationship between the United States and the Arab countries of the Middle East. Discuss!’ There are not many of us who would have the benefit of looking at this issue through the two cultures at once. Unless you are a student taking the U.S.-Arab Encounter course at Carnegie Mellon. This innovative class is held simultaneously via video conference on the Pittsburgh and Qatar campuses, and also involves students at other American and Arab universities. Twice a week in class and via webcam chats at regular intervals, students explore U.S.-Arab relations.

”Last spring we went to the Pittsburgh campus and met lots of people—students, teachers, even the President, Dr. Cohon,” said Abdel-Rahman. “We opened lots of connections, but it’s hard to keep that up with the pressure of school. This seemed like a great way to put some continuity into the multicultural exchange between the two campuses.” The course has two goals--to enable the students to express their feelings on issues of personal relevance, and to inform those views by examining recent scholarship by some of the best authors working today in the field of U.S.– Arab relations. When the university’s Vice Provost for Education, Indira Nair, learned about web-based forums, she immediately saw the immense potential for students. She recognized the benefit of developing a course that would bring American and Arab students together in open dialogue about issues that matter. The course comprises two key elements. The core program consists of the traditional inclass format, but with more than a few twists. Co-instructors at each site, Dr. Ben Reilly, and Dr. Laurie Eisenberg, teach classes in realtime, though there is very little lecturing in the traditional sense. Pre-class preparation exposes the students to scholarship by some of the best thinkers in the field of U.S.-Arab relations today. In class, thanks to videoconferencing screens on both continents, students on both campuses interact and openly discuss and share opinions. The topics for discussion consider both historical themes and contemporary questions permeating US-Arab relations. Among the latter are the impact on US-Arab relations of 9/11, cultural misperceptions held by Arabs and Americans, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and peace process, oil politics, the situation in Iraq, and the question of democracy and political change in the Arab Middle East. The interaction between students is bringing a greater insight and understanding into differing worlds. According to Reilly, the inclass discussions have evoked a mixed bag of emotions, encouraging constructive sole searching on both sides of the water.

The second element of the course is participating in a weekly on-line discussion forum with students elsewhere in the US and the Arab world. These two hour “Connect” sessions will be facilitated by faculty from Soliya, an on-line non-profit organization dedicated to improving U.S.-Arab relations [Please see http://www.soliya.net/]. The Soliya curriculum will focus on the media and U.S.-Arab relations. Dedicated computers in the campus have been equipped with webcams and microphones. Students from universities across the U.S., Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan will be participating in this innovative program.

The interaction between students is bringing a greater insight and understanding into differing worlds.

“When we sit with the students around Soliya, it gives us more time to really talk,” said AbdelRahman. “I told my group how my family has a tradition of preparing turkey on the first night of Ramadan—not all Arabs have this tradition, by the way—and that got us talking about Thanksgiving traditions, and how Ramadan is all about being grateful for what you have.” With participating universities located across the globe, there were one or two obstacles to overcome. But there was no letting logistics get in the way of education. Together, Professors Reilly and Eisenberg have addressed issues such as time differences, and accommodating students on both sides of the continent observing Ramadan. Said Nair, “It is my hope that such experiences will build shared understanding, and shared visions for peace among young peoples of conflicted nations; that they, as future leaders, will build bridges that offer possibilities for dialogs and compassionate compromises rather than violence and blind dogma to settle differences.”


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“It is a real pleasure to see the library bustling with people,” Isabelle Eula, university librarian, said recently when we caught up with her to talk about the newly renovated library. A newly extended and relocated library opened its doors in September 2005. Under Eula’s keen direction since first opening last year, the facility has been dedicated to providing a comprehensive reference service, library instruction and interlibrary loan support to meet the diverse information, curriculum and research needs of its students and faculty. According to Eula, the new space design helps promote learning by offering a comfortable environment and easy access to resources.




The library actively supports the university’s mission to prepare students to become lifelong learners. Key to the success of this mission is guiding students in efficient and effective use of the vast library resources. The library in Qatar houses more than 1500 volumes, in addition to offering access to the university’s extensive digital resources such as encyclopedias, newspapers and journals. Making sense of it all is what’s key. Eula says that “learning how to learn” is will be one of the most important skills students can learn. Eula offers an ‘Introduction to Library Resources’ program which details the extensive resources available, instruction on accessing this information, guidelines for library usage and advice on how to maximize the facilitates available. For further information or to sign up for the course, contact Eula or her assistant, Ezzohra Moufid. Or just stop in and see everyone in the new location, A158/160 on the first floor.

The Qatar branch of the Intercultural Communication Center (ICC-Q) launched this fall, expanding on last year’s Writing Center. Its aim is to help students develop the communication skills needed to succeed in their academic program. “After our first year we found a number of ways we could connect with students,” said Bob Kail, senior associate dean of student and academic affairs. The ICC has been part of Carnegie Mellon for nearly 20 years, providing support to international students. ICC-Q reflects the mission, vision and practices of the language and cultural support services offered on the Pittsburgh campus to international students, with a focus on the needs of the Qatar campus. ICC-Q offers individual sessions writing appointments, tutoring, self-paced work and workshops for students. Many of these are led by language development specialists Christina England and Marjorie Carlson, who, along with Dr. Amal Al-Malki, visiting assistant professor of English, comprise the ICC-Q staff.

“By including all the offerings of the ICC, we’re able to address a wider variety of student needs in addition to reading, writing, speaking and listening. This covers the broader areas of academic fluency and crosscultural understanding.”

Visit ICC-Q at A159, or online at http://qatar.cmu.edu/icc, or email directly at icc-q@qatar.cmu.edu.


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THE NEW BUILDING Legorreta + Legorreta designs a whole new world for Carnegie Mellon Qatar

IN THE GAME: OUR STUDENTS Carnegie Mellon’s 05/06 academic year is in full swing in Doha, with 48 new business and science students joining the campus, bringing total enrollment to 88 students. This is the second year Carnegie Mellon

has operated in the Gulf, offering the school’s top-ranking business and computer science programs.

“The numbers tell the story—we’ve doubled the size of our student body,” said Bryan Zerbe, director of admissions. “And the application pool keeps getting stronger.” Female students continue to be in the majority, taking full advantage of the opportunity to join a fully accredited U.S. university without leaving Qatar. This year, 17 females enrolled in the business program and 13 in computer science, making total female enrollment in business 34, and 26 in computer science. Easing these new students into campus life and helping them make the transition into university is very important. Such was the challenge faced by Student Affairs director, Kristin Gilmore (MS, HZ, 04). Even if, as an

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alum Gilmore, knows how a Carnegie Mellon orientation should look like, she was thrilled to get student input this year. “Their involvement this year was key,” Gilmore said. “Who better to tell us what they need than the students themselves?” Class of 2008 students volunteered their time, energy and insight into building a week’s worth of activities for this year’s program, dubbed ‘Get in the Game 2005.’ In all, 13 students volunteered, lead by Noor, Nora and Yasmine. Extending from this experience, some of our sophomores have formed a Student Mentor System, offering ongoing guidance and a friendly contact for freshmen. They will share their experiences from their own first year and work with staff and faculty to make this coming academic year an enjoyable learning experience for all freshmen.

Plans for Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s new building on the Education City campus are in full swing. This pictorial essay gives a mere taste of what’s to come when the building opens. Taking full advantage of the latest in classroom technology, the new building will

offer two robotics laboratories; three specialized computer classrooms; three seminar rooms; five classrooms and five lecture halls. The building is expected to be under construction once ground has been broken.

“You can see from this rendering that the new building bridges the East-West


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walkway, reflecting Carnegie Mellon’s

about the architects

basic desire to be fully integrated into its surroundings-from cross-registered students to interdisciplinary classes to the open design of the facility itself.”

Ricardo Legorreta is one of Mexico’s most prolific and well-known architects. Legendary projects include the Camino Real Hotel in Mexico City, the Pershing Square redevelopment in downtown Los Angeles, the Visual Arts Center in Santa Fe, NM, the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA, the Zandra Rhodes Museum in London, and the Metropolitan Cathedral in Managua, Nicaragua. The firm has extensive experience developing projects to meet the needs of higher education institutions, including such previous projects as new dormitories for Stanford University and University of Chicago, and current designs in the works for a new campus for the American University in Cairo. His practice, which includes his son, Victor, continues to develop new projects around the world.

Watch out for an action packed term of extra curriculum activities. There are numerous student clubs or organizations to join, regular presentation, Q&A’s and debates on topical issues, for the energetic join the rugby or basketball club and remember to put the discussion on Ramadan - ‘Ready, Set... Ramadan!’ followed by a Community Iftar in October in your diary.

CAMPUS NEWS 2005 HONDA AWARD The Honda Foundation has awarded the 2005 Honda Prize to Dr. Raj Reddy, the Mozah Bint Nasser University Professor of Computer Science and Robotics. Among the 26 laureates of the Honda Prize, Dr. Reddy is the first Robotics scientist to receive the prize. Earlier this year Reddy was honored as the first recipient of Carnegie Mellon University

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Kristin Michele Gilmore emails a weekly update of Student Activities or access the information online at www.qatar. cmu.edu/news. And finally, look for a student-developed yearbook at the end of this year. With all this to enjoy, never mind the study, Carnegie Mellon students are never bored!

Qatar’s Mozah Bint Nasser Chair of Computer Science and Robotics. A gift from Qatar Foundation, the chair was awarded during the inaugural celebration at the university’s campus in Qatar.

OACAC & BRYAN ZERBE Recently elected as an Executive Board Member of the Overseas Association for College Admission Counseling (OACAC), Bryan Zerbe, Director of Admissions began his threeyear term in July 2005. He will work with the OACAC in its mission to facilitate global interaction among counselors and institutions to ease students’ transition from secondary into higher education.


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2005/06 FACULTY With nine faculty members and four teaching assistants joining CMUQ, students are in for an exhilarating academic year. These experienced professors and teaching assistants bring a wealth of knowledge and skills from international assignments in industry and academia. Their input will broaden the education experience and research contribution in Qatar.

THE UNIVERSITY WELCOMES Amel Al Malki, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor; Brett Browning, Ph.D., systems scientist; Stephen Calabrese, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of economics; Jon Caulkins, Ph.D., professor of operations research and public policy; Hasan Demirkoparan, Ph.D., assistant professor; Frank Demmler, Ph.D., adjunct business professor; M. Bernardine Dias, Ph.D., research scientist; Darlene Everhart, lecturer; Ananda Gunawardena, Ph.D., associate teaching professor of computer science. Joining the university as teaching assistants are Haijing Hao, Frank Lin, Jason Morgan, Carla Salman-Martinez and Christina Shin. They join the returning faculty comprising Justin Carlson, teaching assistant; Jacobo Carrasquel, associate professor and undergraduate advisor (CS); David Duke, teaching assistant; Isabelle Eula, librarian; Salam Mir, Ph.D., associate professor; Marion Oliver, Ph.D., associate teaching professor; Benjamin Reilly, Ph.D., assistant professor; and John Robertson, director of undergraduate programs and undergraduate advisor (BA).

cyndi mills Cynthia Mills, CISSP, was named the new CIO. In addition to shipping numerous network and intrusion prevention products, she managed the National Science Foundation’s Network Service Center, helped create the first electronic check technologies for the U.S. banking industry, and led numerous research efforts. Mills also was a senior member of the team that spun out BBN Planet, one of the first commercial Internet Service Providers.

david albanese has been brought on board as our Director of Human Resources. In more than 15 years in the field he has written numerous articles and held a variety of leadership positions in higher education and in professional organizations.

gehan samarah was appointed at Assistant Director of Admission. Samarah earned a bachelors degree in journalism and mass communication and a master’s in Business Administration from the American University in Cairo (AUC). Prior to coming to Doha, she worked in the Offices of Admission and Enrollment Services at AUC for more than six years.

khadra dualeh Khadra Dualeh joined us this summer as Director of Professional Development and International Education. She brings more than 15 years experience in international education and programming. Most recently served she directed sponsor programs for The University of Arizona. Prior to that, She has held programming positions with the Embassy of the State of Qatar, New York University and with the Bishop Desmond Tutu Scholarship Fund.

Profile for Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar

Akhbar, Fall 2005  

Akhbar, Fall 2005  


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