IT | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

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IT

IT Students Show Off Robotics Skills in Annual Competition

  On May 17, 2023, the academic IT Department held a Robotic Competition for the spring semester Physical Computing and Robotics class. Students had the opportunity not only to showcase the robots they had built but also to race them and compete for a trophy. An audience quickly gathered in the cafeteria to watch the robots race through a course designed to test their maneuverability. 

IT Department Offers Computer Forensics Course

    As part of its effort to introduce students to exciting and new subjects, AUIS’s Information Technology department offered a new special topic as an introductory course to computer forensics during the Spring 2019 academic semester. The primary goal of the course was to enable students to gain an understanding of computer forensics, how it is carried out, and what different technologies are used in the field. Taught by senior lecturer, Mr. Katongo Lukwesa, students were guided through different scenarios and taught skills that will help them use various tools, along with foundational knowledge on legal considerations of forensics.    Computer forensics expert, Dr. Amelia Phillips’s book Guide to Computer Forensics and Investigation was used to teach the new course. Dr. Phillips received her bachelors and masters degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and her Ph.D. from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She is currently a tenured professor at Highline College in Washington, USA covering Computer Information Systems/Computer Science. As part of the course material and coverage, students had a unique opportunity to interact with Dr. Phillips via Skype during a special classroom session, hearing firsthand from the author of their textbook.   Dr. Hemin Latif, Assistant Professor and Chair of the IT Department, said of the new course: “One of the beauties of our education system at AUIS is the room for students and faculty to experience new materials, to introduce new topics, and to explore new knowledge areas in addition to their required courses. The introduction of this course has been a very rewarding experience for the professor and the department. I am sure the students appreciate and enjoy the covered material as well as the opportunity.”   On the same topic, student Yad Luqman said he enjoyed the class and found the subject matter relevant to IT. “The class was fun and very interesting, and my favorite moments were those that Mr. Katongo related the class topics to real life situations. I wish more classes in this field could be offered so that students can understand the gravity of the subject and then dive deep into it.”   “It’s amazing to see how wide the field of IT is,” said student Rand Salahudin. “Forensics was a totally new term to me in the beginning, and I’m really satisfied with everything I have learned in this class and all my other IT classes.”    

The IT minor at AUIS has a new design!

  Digital skills have been in high demand by employers for a long time by now. Computers are used in almost every workplace for various purposes, regardless of your profession or degree. However, digital skills are not limited to complex technical capabilities, such as programming and networking that students majoring in IT usually learn. That's why the IT Department at AUIS has updated the IT minor to fulfill the ever-growing demand of IT skills all around the world, and to make the minor really fun!   With the new minor in IT, students will acquire various skills through interesting and hands-on courses. For example, students will learn not only how to code in the Creative Coding course, but also how to achieve visually appealing artistic projects. A Rapid Online Presence course will teach students how to create professional websites without getting into the many technical details of HTML, CSS, or JavaScript.   The updated IT minor removes difficult technical requirements and replaces them with a an enjoyable and hands-on experience. This will help students minoring in IT to gain a level of IT knowledge crucial for all workplaces in today’s job market regardless of their major. These new courses are also valuable as electives for students majoring in IT. Learn and explore the new IT minor and see how you can gain the latest knowledge to enrich your valuable skills. IT has never been this fun!  

IT Department hosts blockchain technology seminar and workshop

  As part of its Fall 2018 calendar of events, the AUIS IT Department, in cooperation with the non-profit organization Re:Coded, hosted a seminar and a workshop on blockchain technology on October 30 and November 10, 2018, respectively. Ehsan Ibrahim, a blockchain specialist and trainer from Re:Coded led both the seminar and the workshop. Ehsan provided an introduction to blockchain technology during the seminar, explaining key terms about the topic, and how it is used in the IT industry from a non-technical perspective. The workshop followed the seminar, in which Ibrahim delivered a more technical presentation on blockchain, with examples, hands-on practice, and coding. During the second part of the workshop, AUIS students in attendance were guided through a practical session with a virtual network called Ethereum using Ganache, then students uploaded their own code to the virtual blockchain. Dr. Hemin Latif, Assistant Professor and Chair of the IT Department at AUIS stated, “Creating and maintaining an intellectual link between the IT faculty and the IT practitioners from the industry is vital to the success of education.” “In a field such as IT, neither industry nor university alone can give the full breadth of the knowledge to the students,” Latif continue. After the workshop, student participant, Kamaran Ashraf said he anticipates this new technology will change the way people look at connections on the Internet. “The concern lies in saving milliseconds on transaction times and having reliable point-to-point security, essentially eliminating mediators,” he said. The blockchain events were just one of several seminars and workshops arranged by the AUIS IT Department this semester as part of an effort to introduce students to trending topics in the tech world.

Android Bootcamp: A 6 Days Course

The IT Department is offering a 6-days Android Bootcamp course to our IT students. The course starts on April 8th and ends on April 19th. The course will be taught by an AUIS IT alumnus, Mr. Botan Burhan, whom recently finished an extensive 6 months course on the subject. He would like to share his knowledge with 20 students. he course will be on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the IT Research Lab, A-B1-03.

Hawari Shar Street View: A Prototype With Many Possibilities

The Center for Informatics and Data Analytics (CIDA), a research, consultancy and training center at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), finalized its prototype of the very first 360 street view project of Hawary Shar, the second largest park in the Middle East that is located in Sulaimani, Iraq. In 2007, Google launched a new feature to their Google Maps and Google Earth services called Google Street View. Google Street View enables users to wander around cities and towns on their PCs and smartphones as if they are in the town itself. Over the last decade, Google expanded the platform covering more areas of the world, making this feature the norm to check city sites and scenes of interest while planning for a vacation, a business trip, or just a visit. Yet, this service has not been created for Iraq. With 200 individual photos, 100 hours of work, and a distance of nearly a 1000 meters, CIDA volunteers hope to end the shade over Sulaimani’s streets and eventually the whole country of Iraq. The purpose of the project is to cover major cities in Iraq, starting from Sulaimani, to show the true nature of Iraq and put a stop to the stereotypical “war zone” and “unsafe” claims to attract tourists and exchange of cultures. Dr. Hemin Latif, Founding Director of CIDA states “Hawari Shar Street View is the beginning of a long, creative, and ambitious journey of using the latest in technology advancement to build the foundations of a smart city”. The team thought of Hawary Shar as its target for the project implementation due to flora of the landmark and its controlled environment. The idea of the project, initially, was to cover the whole city using an automotive method, similar to Google’s approach. However, with limited resources and tools, CIDA members took the conventional way of using a 360 degree camera and a tripod to cover the whole distance and create the prototype. Google allows users with a Gmail account to post 360 degree photos on Google Maps. However, viewers cannot move from one spot to another. Stitching individual photos with specialized software is required to enable the same feature Google intended to do with Street View. Therefore, there is a difference between static 360 panoramic images and a Street View feature. The team behind Hawari Shar Street View is composed of three volunteer members who are Ms. Sheneh Muheddin, Mr. Berzy Bahzad, and Dr. Hemin Latif. Users can now visit Hawary Shar, virtually, with this link: https://goo.gl/zCJHMi Article by IT Lab Assistant Berzy Bahzad.

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. 

Mary E. Geyer Foundation Offers Scholarship for High Performing Female Students

The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) is pleased to announce a new scholarship for AUIS undergraduate students, offered by the Mary E. Geyer Foundation, Inc. The  scholarship will be awarded to two high performing female students who are already majoring in Information Technology (IT) and Engineering at AUIS. A scholarship of $1,500 will be awarded in each department in Fall 2016. The Mary E. Geyer Foundation is a non-profit corporation designed to financially support young undergraduate women who choose a technical career path. The Foundation’s chief mission is to identify meritorious female undergraduates who major in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) fields via their declared major.  “It is our belief that women who are successful in these fields will gain influence politically, socially and culturally, and ultimately increase their number in important leadership roles which shape the communities in which they live,” says Professor Roger W. Geyer, president of the Foundation, and former professor of computer systems and IT at AUIS. “I hope to grow these scholarships in both number and amount at AUIS. Plans are underway to make this funding self-sustaining into the foreseeable future.” AUIS students, Zainab Hamid (IT), Snur Hamid (IT) and Zanwer Hassan (Engineering) at AUIS, have previously been awarded scholarships from the Foundation. Overall eighty percent of enrolled undergraduates at AUIS receive some form of institutional or outside aid. The university's merit-based tuition scale aims to give Iraq’s best students access to the university’s top-ranked, American-style education, regardless of their family income. Applicants can find out more about the requirements and application process here. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is September 11, 2016. Learn more about the Mary E. Geyer Foundation here.

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