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information technology

AUIS Faculty Attends Seminar on Research Methods

On October 14, 2017, Dr. Atheer Matroud, assistant professor of Information Technology at AUIS, along with some faculty members of other Iraqi universities, conducted a seminar titled “Sober Scientific Research and Publication in International Journals” organized by The House of Wisdom, in Baghdad. The House of Wisdom is an intellectual and scientific establishment that deals with scholarly research and academic studies. The purpose of the seminar was to establish the best method for writing effective research papers. The audience was introduced to software tools for writing, referencing, and checking for plagiarism. They also addressed problems concerning academic writing in Iraq. During the seminar, Dr. Matroud prioritized the impact of plagiarism, whether done intentionally or unintentionally, citing examples. Unintentional plagiarism is when you accidentally fail to cite your sources correctly, which is still counted as plagiarism and is not acceptable. Dr. Matroud stressed that any form of plagiarism can lead to serious legal implications as well as destroyed reputation or even the loss of a career. The seminar was well attended and organized, with representation from many universities in Iraq. The audience also enjoyed listening to new methods and approaches for writing academic research papers. Some members of public universities also requested to host similar seminars at their institutions. Commenting on the seminar, Dr. Hemin Latif, chair of the IT department at AUIS, said, “Our faculty members at AUIS bring a lot of international expertise that the higher education sector in the country can, and must, benefit from. Dr. Matroud’s seminar is a very good step toward bridging the expertise gap between AUIS and other national institutions.”  Commenting on the quality of research and academic writing at AUIS, Dr. Matroud said: “I have found that at AUIS we are way ahead in training our students, especially, on the topic of writing and plagiarism.” Article by IT Department Communications Intern, Mr. Aran Kamaran.

Creative Coding and Computing: A Course that Surprises Students and Teachers

On October 4, 2017, Dr. Hemin Latif, assistant professor and chair of the Information Technology Department at AUIS, gave a workshop and guest lecture on Creative Coding and Computing to the participants of an Android bootcamp organized by Re: coded, a non-governmental organization in Erbil. The purpose of the workshop was to show how the Creative Coding and Computing course offered at AUIS differs from traditional programming courses in its design, delivery, and impact. Dr. Latif shared the reasons why introductory programming courses fail to give a strong education in coding and computing to a generic audience. He mentioned how this course resolves major problems of traditional programming courses and the problems that cause most students to drop out from these courses. He also discussed creativity as a concept that is required for everyone, and especially for programmers. At the end of the workshop, many participants were inspired by the benefits that the course could bring. Mr. Allan Saleh, a participant, said, “Dr. Hemin's speech reminded me of how creativity has a huge impact on what I want to achieve. Definitely a wake-up call to innovation.” Mr. Mustafa Alfaisal, another attendant, commented, “I hope every college includes this creative course in their curriculum.” Currently, AUIS is the only university in the region that offers this course and there is great student demand for it. Hopefully, more unique courses like Creative Coding and Computing will be offered in AUIS that could become supportive for learning and developing the ideas about, and beyond, the main regular courses and curriculum. Article by IT Department Communications Intern, Mr. Aran Kamaran

Information Technology Day

Our IT students will be presenting creative, interactive and fun projects tomorrow from 11:15 - 12:15 in A-B1-Hallway. This event is sponsored by Dario Cafe. There will be plenty of pizzas, cakes, cupcakes, beverages and much more! You can also win unique prizes we collected just for this special event. One more thing, we have lots of stickers! You should put at least one on your laptop! 

AUIS Awards Certificates of Appreciation to DITAB Members

To strengthen the ties between educational requirements and market needs, AUIS continuously invites and incorporates inputs from industry experts and the private sector. A few years ago, the Information Technology program at AUIS established the first Department of Information Technology Advisory Board (DITAB). The role of DITAB is to contribute to the development and operation of the IT program by providing feedback on current activities and inputs for future initiatives of the program. Validating current activities and establishing new ones based on teaching guidelines, academic research, and industry demands ensure that the program is more beneficial to the students and to the society at large. “University programs, especially programs of fields that change very fast such as IT, need to be tied to industry needs and demands. AUIS practices this understanding through different activities on an institutional scale, but having an advisory board focused on one program has been more relevant and valuable to the program and the university”, said Dr. Hemin Latif, assistant professor of Information Technology who initially established and oversees DITAB. Dr. Atheer Matroud, chair of Information Technology Department stated, “DITAB is an essential component of our department. Throughout the years, DITAB helped us to understand the IT market, which guided us in making changes to our curriculum accordingly.” The first DITAB was composed of five industry experts from various companies in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, with IT and business expertise. The members included Dr. Faris Al-Salihi, CEO of Com Tech Communications, Mr. Jabbar Tahir, CEO of MidyaTech, Mr. Ahmed Rasheed, CTO of Gorannet, Ms. Zino Faruk, CEO of Rasan Pharmaceutical, and Ms. Bnar Salah, office manager at Genel Energy.   Recently, the term of the first DITAB members ended and the department is in the process of establishing the second term of the board. As a gesture of appreciation for the valuable contributions of the current members, AUIS presented certificates of appreciation to the members. The members reassured AUIS that they will continue their support to help AUIS create a better future for all.

IT Department Hosts Information Technology Day

  December, 2016: Every semester, the IT Department organizes one of the most popular events on campus – the IT Day. In this event, Information Technololgy majors participate by presenting projects on which they have been working, either on their own or as enhanced and modified class projects. This event does not only target undeclared majors with a view to choosing IT as their daily dose, but also to show the importance of IT. This season’s event featured projects ranging from websites, robotics, and networking.

Who Cares About Course Evaluations?

Who cares about course evaluations?   I do. That was an easy question!   The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) has always been using end-of-semester course evaluations, where students are asked to evaluate different aspects of their learning experience throughout the semester using a questionnaire composed of 31 questions.    Until a year ago, students were handed a print version of the questionnaire and given some time during class to fill them in, usually in the last few classes of the semester. Recently, AUIS adopted a digital method and switched from print to online questionnaires, which is proven to have many advantages, such as convenience for respondents. Students can now fill the course evaluations at their convenience, any time, anywhere, using any device, and spending as much time as they would like to. The student response rates, however, have dropped dramatically since then!   Students don’t seem to believe that they should fill course evaluations if they don’t have to. They believe that no one seems to care about course evaluations. When you talk to them about course evaluations, their immediate question is “who cares about course evaluations?”. And my answer is “I do”.    I wish that every question students had for me was as easy to answer as this one.    I believe teaching can be seen, among many other things, as a reflection of how well we know something and how well we can transfer that knowledge. But it is very hard to know how good we are if no one is willing to tell us. That is why I do care about students’ evaluations of my courses. I learn from them; I learn about my skills, my methods, my knowledge, and myself.    At the end of every semester, when the evaluations arrive from the registrar’s office, I spend a significant amount of time studying them. I go through them, I analyze them, I summarize them, and now I share them publicly with everyone to show you that I do; I care about course evaluations and I know many other professors do.    Now, spend some time interacting with the following visualization and let me know what you think about the evaluations of my Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 courses. Your feedback matters, and the time you spend filling those evaluations is time well spent and well invested in improving your institution. So keep them coming, as they are valuable only when they exist. var divElement = document.getElementById('viz1480665685192'); var vizElement = divElement.getElementsByTagName('object')[0];'964px';'869px'; var scriptElement = document.createElement('script'); scriptElement.src = ''; vizElement.parentNode.insertBefore(scriptElement, vizElement);

A Focus on Information Technology Center at AUIS

The vision of the center is to contribute to the growth and development of the government, business sector, and the society through empowering data-driven decision-making. The mission of the center is to promote research, stimulate consultancy, and provide trainings by working as a hub for all likeminded people who explore, value, and use the power of informatics and data analytics.    One of the first projects of the center is Kurdistan Data; an online platform for improving data availability and literacy in Kurdistan. The initial planning and setup of the project is made possible by the generous funds of Erbil Manpower (emp) and Choman Group.   "emp's donation for the Center for Informatics and Data Analytics is a symbolic contribution to payback for AUIS and its continuous invaluable effort to enhance and strengthen the youth education in Kurdistan Region and Iraq and to prepare a generation of leaders who will make a change in their country," commented Ms. Talan Aouny, CEO and Founder of Erbil Manpower Ltd.    Ms. Aouny continued "data availability and literacy is a strong catalyst for offering quality business service which is the core of emp's mission, hence we believe in the eligibility of this center and anticipate that the center will add enormous value to the way business is done in our country."        Talan Aouny, CEO of EMP and Choman Kareem, Manger of Choman Group   In the same regard, Mr. Choman Kareem, General Manager of Choman Group said "it is clear that information technology is influencing many aspects of our life in this era. Dr. Hemin Latif's plans for improving data availability and literacy through the Center's project is right on time and well thought off. Our society is in need of such projects. Therefore we are glad that we could contribute to the projects initial planning and setup."   Dr. Hemin Latif, Founding Director of CIDA, emphasized that the success of such projects cannot be achieved without the support of various entities and the generous donations of people like Ms. Aouny and Mr. Kareem.   Find out more about CIDA here. 

AUIS Team Wins Startup Competition in Erbil

Smart Choice, an idea pitched by a group of seven IT students from AUIS, won first prize at this year’s Startup Weekend Erbil. The team, consisting of Hero Rfaat, Hevar Aziz, Brusk Awat, Snur Hamid, Mazn Adnan, Hussein Ahmed and Dashty Frya, said it was their first time presenting Smart Choice, and competing against nine other groups. Their idea was to develop a web application that can provide market information for recent high school graduates, and to help them decide their majors based on the findings. “The main idea is to collect data from companies and vendors, then bridge the skills that students have with the market demand,” said Hero, who presented their idea at the event with Snur. Startup Weekend Erbil is an entrepreneurial event that offers a chance to young entrepreneurs to present their ideas to an audience that includes potential sponsors and funders. The teams are judged on the feasibility of their ideas. During the event, teams pitch their ideas and have the weekend to work on a prototype to present to a panel of judges. The judges then decide on the winning pitch. "We definitely felt that being AUIS students gave us an advantage. An adviser from the Ministry of Finance was very impressed by what our students were capable of doing,” said Brusk, who thought that the university has a reputation of producing hard working students. “We also want to thank Professor Hemin Latif for all his help and advice. He skyped with us that weekend and guided us towards a persuasive presentation,” added Snur. The group is now looking forward to implementing their idea, and making Smart Choice a reality. They are currently getting ready to meet one of their sponsors who attended the event. And with a year long professional training as a prize, the next step for them is to successfully run and develop their project. We wish them all the best!  


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