A Career in Computer Science: “Vital and Lucrative”
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development disclosed today details on the computing track of the Annual Research Forum, with the purpose to rouse interest in critical science and research fields among young people in Qatar.
“Computer science is a vital and lucrative industry in today’s increasingly computerized world,” said Dr. Ahmed Elmagarmid, Executive Director of the Qatar Computing Research Institute, who will be speaking and leading a session on the topic at the forum. “Today, there are over 300,000 job openings in the field of computer science, 50,000 in healthcare IT alone. Job security in computing will only get better as we rely more and more on data and technology.”
Dr. Elmagarmid further explains. “Computing plays a pervasive and persistent part in our daily lives touching nearly everything we do – from providing efficiencies in our daily routines to facilitating how we communicate with one another to helping us solve both simple and complex problems. As a society we have become accustomed to, and dependent on, the next best faster user experience. This satisfaction more often than not comes from the research and work of a computer scientist.”
The State of Qatar has launched a number of initiatives to encourage youth training and education in computing as an integral component of its national vision to cultivate a knowledge-based society. Qatar Foundation recently established the Qatar Computing Research Institute, which will focus on core computing research including developing human language technologies, Arabic language search engines, searching with images and voice, data mining and management, and computer enabled scientific discovery allowing biologists to carry out experiments inside the computer for example. The research done at QCRI will be multidisciplinary, promising to benefit many key industries in Qatar – from biomedicine to energy and environment to the arts.
“By showcasing the exciting research initiatives that are ongoing in Qatar, we intend the Annual Research Forum to ultimately drive more of the country’s young people into scientific careers and study, particularly in the field of computing,” Dr. Elmagarmid added.
Computing research will serve as one of the four main research “tracks” during the forum, which will run from December 12 to 13 in the Sheraton Hotel Doha and will be open to the public. These “tracks”—which also include biomedical, energy and environment, and humanities, arts, social sciences and Islamic studies research—compose the four core areas of research being featured at the forum through presentations, workshops and parallel sessions led by field experts.
Dr. Elmagarmid, one of Qatar’s major supporters for computing innovation and development and a leader in the efforts to reverse “brain drain” from the country, will be leading a workshop on developing robust IT infrastructure at the forum covering such areas as networking, cloud computing, visualization and storage. The workshop will feature prominent figures in Qatar’s technology sector including Meeza, QF Information Technology, Texas A&M University at Qatar and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.
One of the world’s premier institutions for computer science research and education, Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science in Qatar is another major player in Qatar’s efforts to develop the population’s computing skills.
Dr. Majd Sakr, Assistant Dean for Research at Carnegie Mellon Qatar who will also be speaking at the December forum, commented, “Since establishing our campus in Education City in 2004, Carnegie Mellon’s mission has been to educate and to nurture young minds in Qatar. We have brought our expertise in computing and computer science to help drive Qatar’s vision to become a leader in technology innovation and research.”
Computing is a vital field, one that continues to give the world benefits, says Dr. Sakr. “Computing makes lives safer - helps improve healthcare, transportation, even food security. Computer research invents the future, making discoveries in the next computing technology that impacts various fields.”
“At Carnegie Mellon Qatar, we recognize the importance of computing and research. Our educators are also researchers. With this level of experience, the depths at which we educate young minds go further than just identifying problems – the students have the capacity to understand the problem and develop solutions. Not only do we take this approach in the classroom with our student body, but we are embedded in the community with our high school computing and programming outreach programs where we implement the same learning concepts focusing on projects where the impact is relevant to Qatar. We educate students to focus on problems of regional relevance and to develop solutions with worldwide impact,” Dr. Sakr concluded.
The Annual Research Forum is dedicated to achieving higher standards of science and research, and is aimed at establishing Qatar as a research powerhouse in the Gulf and wider region. The forum will highlight leading research efforts in the country, and is Qatar Foundation’s most recent undertaking in fostering science and research innovation.
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