Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar held its second annual Undergraduate Conference in Information Systems (UCIS) on March 12, at the university’s campus in Education City. The conference, hosted by the Association for Information Systems (AIS) Student Chapter at Carnegie Mellon, is a platform for aspiring information systems students to present their work and engage in relevant discussions with peers, faculty members and experts in the field from around the region.
The forum provided students with a unique opportunity to foster their knowledge in the information systems field, and widen their scope of knowledge in general.
“The importance of this event is that it acts as a unique chance for students to discuss and present their work to a larger number of students and audience, also this conference is a great way to involve students more, in academics, research-based and innovative activities,” said Daniel C. Phelps, MLIS, Ph.D., assistant teaching professor of information systems at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and program chair of the conference.
According to Phelps, this conference is consistent with Carnegie Mellon’s mission to produce new knowledge through research, refine the desire among students to produce high quality work that is reflective of their critical thinking, and to foster the exchange of ideas. It is designed to encourage students to engage in appropriate and relevant knowledge creation, either through research or other academic activity. The integration of information systems professional presentations both inform the students and create opportunities for collaboration among students and universities.
“This conference is a great opportunity for the students to live the mission of the university. The keynote speaker, Professor Detmar Straub (Ph.D., DBA, Regents' Professor of the University System of Georgia and J. Mack Robinson Distinguished Professor of Information Systems), is a leader in the information systems research community and provides an academic view of IS, while the local professionals, who participate in the conference provide the view of IS as it’s practiced locally. Attendees, regardless of their background or major, will benefit from the conference and come out with a better understanding and appreciation for the role that information and information systems play in organizations and society today,” Phelps said.
This year’s conference was held under the theme "Promises and Pitfalls of Information Communication Technology” and addressed the continuous changes in the field of information communication technology, with the broadness of the topic helping to generate different research topics related to information systems that will engage a large number of students.
Topics covered at the conference included web security and privacy issues, human generated content, mobile and web-based applications, usability and user interfaces of applications, ICT in business, governance, commerce and social networking global IT projects and outsourcing, and sustainable information systems.
The conference program was a collaborative effort with input from faculty and staff at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, Qatar University and the American University of Sharjah. Undergraduate students from different universities from Qatar and the region, including the American University of Sharjah and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, presented different short and research-based topics that they have worked on during the course of the academic year.
The conference’s interactive program included workshops, presentations and poster sessions, attracting a large number of attendees, including students from the American University of Sharjah, American University of Beirut, and Qatar University who came specifically to deepen their knowledge about the impact information systems has on society today, and to learn about the new trends in the field.
“I believe that this conference is a great opportunity for information systems students to widen their scope of knowledge in the field. For me personally, I believe that it has given me a life-time opportunity to present my topic, which is “tele-presents” (a form of technology to enhance communication between different campuses, i.e, between Doha-Pittsburgh campuses) in front of a big and well-informed audience,” said Reham Al Tamime, from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.
Al Tamime continued: “Students and speakers from different backgrounds were all here today to share, exchange and learn new ideas. I have definitely learned a lot, especially from the renowned keynote speaker, who has shared a lot of updated information on the subject and has enlightened us in many ways. In general, his presence has in many ways made this experience a unique and comprehensive one.”
The Information Systems program at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar is an internationally-recognized Bachelor of Science degree for students who want to understand and solve information problems for organizations. For more information about the program, please visit http://www.qatar.cmu.edu/88/is .