Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar co-hosted the fourth annual Undergraduate Conference in Information Systems alongside Carnegie Mellon University and the Qatar Association for Information Systems (AIS) chapter.
Attracting nearly 50 of the world’s brightest students as well as internationally renowned experts, the conference highlighted how technology can be used to improve an organization’s business models.
Commenced by Ilker Baybars, Dean and CEO of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, the conference was established at Carnegie Mellon Qatar in 2011 and was held on the Pittsburgh campus for the first time this year.
During his opening remarks, he recognized that the conference program was a collaborative effort with input from faculty and staff at Carnegie Mellon in both Pittsburgh and Qatar. Baybars also expressed his excitement to see so many undergraduate students from different universities present their research at the conference.
The conference was co-chaired by Selma Limam Mansar, director of the Qatar Information Systems program, and Divakaran Liginlal, associate teaching professor of information systems at Carnegie Mellon Qatar; and Jeria Quesenberry, associate teaching professor of information systems in Carnegie Mellon’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences in Pittsburgh.
According to Limam Mansar, the conference creates a venue for students interested in research to convene, discover and augment their knowledge about information systems.
“The first conference was organized and run by the Information Systems program in Qatar together with the Qatar Association of Information Systems students’ chapter. We started with a local conference, reached out to regional universities for the following two years, and expanded this year to the United States.”
By organizing the conference in Pittsburgh we intend to nurture the exchange between the main campus and the Qatar campus, to enhance the visibility of the Qatar campus internationally, and to expose our students to another level of competition,” Limam Mansar added.
Daniel Cheweiky, an information systems student from Carnegie Mellon Qatar was awarded for the best paper, “Evaluating the Use of Emerging Technologies in Education.”
Cheweiky’s paper examined the use of Augmented Reality as an effective means of instruction in education. Instead of relying on traditional teaching methods such as lectures and textbooks, this emerging technology allows children to explore concepts like geometry by interacting with 3-D models on a computer or tablet.
Cheweiky elaborated on how advances in information communication technologies have not only changed the way companies and employees do business in the Middle East but also impacted the education sector in Qatar.
“Educational tools are changing rapidly, and this could be another step that will help take education to a different level that is fun and engaging for students. Further research could involve how can we localize Augmented Reality educational materials to suite a specific culture or region, such as Qatar and the Middle East,” Cheweiky said.
Carnegie Mellon Qatar has long been an advocate for the local education system, hoping to use technology to improve teaching methods.
Carnegie Mellon Qatar and Qatar Academy partnered in 2013 to pilot a program aimed at enhancing the way Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is taught in primary schools through interactive technology. The project was funded by a Qatar National Research Fund grant in 2009 and aims to improve the way that MSA is taught in local schools.
The following students from Carnegie Mellon Qatar were selected to showcase their work at the conference:
Daniel Cheweiky, Evaluating the use of Emerging Technologies in Education; Sarah Mustafa, Accessible Website is Usable: Framework for Usability Assessment; Maahd Shahzad, Identification of Biomarkers for Diabetes in NMR data; Haya Thowfeek, Flipped Learning for educational content delivery: application to programming with Python; Muhammad Jaasim Polin, On the relevance of Cultural Intelligence for Technology Acceptance; Afrah Hassan: Studying the sociotechnical barriers to AR; and Haris Aghadi, Pinpoint: An Efficient and Effective Way to Manage Events.