information technology | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

information technology

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!  

AUIS Professor Wins DAAD Research Fellowship

Sulaimani (KRG), Iraq - June 8, 2016 - Dr. Atheer Matroud, chair of the Department of Information Technology at AUIS, will visit Professor Stoye Research Group at the University of Bielefeld in Germany, as part of a three month research grant beginning this June. During this time, he will work on a research project that focuses on building phylogenetic trees* for closely related species using DNA sequences that contain repetitive elements. This project is a continuing work on the analysis of tandem repeats. His research visit is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Dr. Matroud worked on a similar study several years ago with a group of researchers at the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution and at Massey University where they observed a complex repetitive structure in the ribosomal DNA of Colocasia esculenta (tropical plant also known as taro). The nested tandem repeat can be used as a phylogenetic marker for studying populations genetics. A preliminary analysis suggests that changes in the ancestor tandem repeats (NTR) in taro have been occurring on a 1000 year time scale, so a greater understanding of this NTR offers the potential to date the early agriculture of this ancient staple food crop. Dr. Matroud's thesis on nested tandem repeat computation and analysis at Massey University can be found here. He also co-authored a paper on detecting the repeat structure in DNA sequences with a software tool, NTRFinder. “I am aiming to publish a software tool that can be helpful to analyse DNA sequences.” said Dr Matroud about his plans after completing the fellowship. “This software may be used to study population genetics in the Kurdistan region by using repeated elements as markers.” ----------------------------- *A phylogenetic tree or evolutionary tree is a branching diagram or "tree" showing the inferred evolutionary relationships among various biological species or other entities—their phylogeny—based upon similarities and differences in their physical or genetic characteristics. (Wikipedia)

I.T. Day

IT Day
An event organized by the IT department to show the interesting and fun side of the IT world to AUIS students. There will be games, snacks, beverages, and exciting student projects. Stop by & see how "IT is FUN"! Open to AUIS community only.  

The Role of IEEE in Enhancing Scientific Activities in Iraq - Guest Lecture by Dr. Sadkhan

On April 8, 2015, the AUIS Department of Information Technology invited Dr. Sattar B. Sadkhan, chair of IEEE Iraq Section, to deliver a presentation about The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and its role in enhancing scientific activities in Iraq. Dr. Sadkhan talked about the benefits of scientific cooperation with the Institute through their representatives in Iraq like the IEEE Iraq Section, IEEE Iraq CIS Chapter and IEEE WIE Iraq Affinity Group etc. He also discussed the scientific activities undertaken and sponsored by these organizations within and outside Iraq since 2009. Dr. Sadkhan is Professor of Wireless Digital Communication and Information Security at the University of Babylon, Iraq. In addition to IEEE Iraq Section, he is also the chairman of IEEE ComSoc Iraq Chapter, IEEE Computational Intelligence Iraq Chapter and URSI (International Union of Radio Science) Iraq Committee. Dr. Sadkhan has published over 200 papers in international journals and conferences. Last year he co-authored and published a book: Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Cryptology and Information Security (IGI-Global). He received his Ph.D in Detection of Digital Modulation Signals from the Czech Republic in 1984.   The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) was formed in 1963 from the amalgamation of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers. Today it is the world's largest association of technical professionals with more than 400,000 members in chapters around the world. Its objectives are the educational and technical advancement of electrical and electronic engineering, telecommunications, computer engineering and allied disciplines. Listen to the podcast of the lecture below. You can also listen to the Q&A and discussion with the audience. 

First Seminar on E-Government, its Theories and Practices

Students and instructors from AUIS and Sulaimani University crowded the lecture hall to listen to Dr. Farzad Sanati and Ala Barzinji speak on the theories and practices of E-Government. Dr. Sanati, who has published widely on the subject, is an assistant professor at AUIS, at the Department of Information Technology, with many years of experience working on E-Government projects in Australia. Ala Barzinji is a doctoral candidate researching E-Government at Stockholm University with a focus on cyber crime and social network analysis of terrorist groups. She is currently teaching Information Security at the University of Sulaimani. The two hour seminar introduced the audience to the concept of E-Government and the prerequisites for its implementation before enumerating the obstacles facing such a project in the KRG. Dr. Sanati began the seminar by defining E-Government, that it is not simply the digitization of the government’s processes but rather the government’s use of information technology to deliver services to its citizens. He stressed the need for research and planning before undertaking such large projects, saying “The more we research, the more we practice, the more we plan, the better we are prepared and the better we implement our goals.” He highlighted the many dimensions of the governance of a project like E-Government, all of which begins not with computerization but in the halls of parliament where the leadership must provide a legal framework to regulate and standardize the process; or else, he warned, the government will face the very chaos it intended to counter. For any E-Government project to succeed, he went on, the government must undergo organizational change and reinvent itself, it must socially engineer digital literacy among its citizens, and finally it must have the people with the technological knowhow to put the network in place and maintain it. He emphasized that success is dependent upon a government’s institutional capacity, its geographical reach, the digital literacy of its citizens, and the ability to train resources; without any of which an E-Government project is doomed to failure. Ala Barzinji tackled the issue of E-Government’s implementation in the KRG and why the time has come for replacing the traditional paper system with a new E-Government system. Security, she pointed out, is the first and foremost problem needing to be solved. Furthermore, she covered the serious challenges facing the KRG, from corruption to a lack of technocrat employees, to masked unemployment and bureaucracy.There are simply too many employees in the government sector, she said, and this leads to corruption as people try to avoid bureaucracy through recourse to nepotism and bribery. It is no surprise, she continued, that in these conditions Iraq was listed as one of the most corrupt countries in the world in 2010-2011. She emphasized the need for the government to provide a private and secure way to access E-Services and its need to ensure “authentication, authorization, confidentiality, integrity and availability.” The seminar struck a chord with the audience, many of whom expressed a profound interest in realising the implementation of E-Government in Kurdistan and wished to discuss in detail the ways a society can move towards an E-Government. Most attendees questioned the panelist about the ways E-Government can be applied to the KRG and the consequences this may have on society, such as mass unemployment. To this, Dr. Sanati responded that the creation of new technology, while leading to unemployment compels the workforce to upgrade their skills. The discussion that followed expounded not only on the difficulties of planning and implementing E-Government, but also the positive aspects concerning its design and creation in a place like the KRG.

AUIS Takes First, Second and Third Places at the 2012 Microsoft Imagine Cup

Sulaimani, Iraq – May 17, 2012 – As testament to the stellar Information Technology program offered at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), the top three spots at the 2012 Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition, the world's premier student technology competition, were awarded to AUIS teams. The winning team, Mirage Tech, will go on to Sydney, Australia in July to compete at the Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals. This is the second consecutive year that AUIS has performed extremely well in the competition. In 2011, the top two spots were awarded to AUIS teams, which allowed one group of students to travel to New York City for the Worldwide Finals. This year, of the 41 teams present, six were from AUIS. Further, when top ten teams were announced, five were from AUIS. “Winning the top three this year and the top two last year of the Imagine Cup Kurdistan competition is evidence of the quality of the IT program at AUIS,” said Dr. Hemin Latif, Assistant Professor and Convener of the IT Program at AUIS.  “AUIS is clearly becoming a unique educator in the field of IT, and more is yet to come from our students.” The Imagine Cup is a competition that brings students together to create innovative solutions to the world’s toughest problems through the power of IT. Since 2003, over 1.4 million students have participated in the Imagine Cup with 358,000 students representing 183 countries and regions registering for the Imagine Cup 2011 competition. This year, students created projects inspired by the Imagine Cup 2012 theme: Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems. The winning team, which consisted of AUIS students Soma Faraj, Heja Mohammed, and Yad Faeq, created a Windows phone application that would allow drivers in developing countries to report accidents and traffic jams to a central database.  The application then tags the driver’s location using a Global Positioning System and can warn users to avoid the area. Other outstanding projects developed by AUIS students included a home automation system, a health program that connects doctors to expecting mothers, a game based on Angry Birds that promotes environmental responsibility, and an application that allows individuals to photograph local issues, such as garbage or a fire, and post them to a central database accessed by NGOs. All presentations at the Imagine Cup were given in English, which Latif believes gave AUIS students a leg-up on the competition. "Our students were at an advantage because they are fluent in English and frequently give presentations in their classes," he said. "Other universities just don't offer that." The event was organized by the KRG Department of IT and Microsoft. Sponsors included: Zain, The Gloden Screen Film and Media Company, Nokia, Senk Group, Mass Group Holding, Marathon Oil, The Chwarchra Hotel, CIS Erbil, LLS Group and PowerCAMPUS. To learn more about the Imagine Cup, click here. To see photos of the Imagine Cup on our Facebook page, click here.

AUIS Team Wins Region-Wide Software Competition, Qualifies for New York Event

Sulaimani, Iraq - Apr. 18, 2011 – In an impressive display of IT skills, creativity and implementation, two out of the four teams from the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani participating in the 2011 Imagine Cup Kurdistan took the top two spots in the competition, with the first-place team earning a chance to compete in the Worldwide Finals taking place in New York City this summer. 24 teams from universities across the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, four of which were composed of AUIS Information Systems and Technology students, had to develop software addressing one of the UN Millennium Development Goals. The first-place team, named Team Hawk, designed an application for smartphones that helps NGOs and governments register and store data about refugees. Kosar Osman Mohamed, from Sulaimani, Enji Issa Zain-Alabdeen, from Kirkuk, and Choman Jalal Mustafa, from Sulaimani, will now represent the Kurdistan Region of Iraq at the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in New York July 8-13, 2011. "I’m very excited to represent the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and to show the whole world that there are many talented programmers here,” said Mr. Osman Mohamed, a 23-year old IST major. “We hope that our application, which makes it faster and easier to collect refugee data, will help refugees all around the world, and initially in Namibia, where one of our professors has been doing some work already.” “This competition was a great chance for students from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to show their abilities in software development,” said Ms. Issa, also a 23-year old IST major. “There are a lot of skilled developers around here, we just need someone to come and discover us.”   Team Wireless Minds, also from AUIS, finished second in Erbil for its photo dictionary application aimed at helping children learn English. Yad Faiq, Petra Bahaddin Omer and Razhan Dara, all from Sulaimani, made up this team. “Taking first and second place in a competition of more than 20 teams speaks so highly for the students and for the University,” said Dr. Roger Geyer, assistant professor of computer science at AUIS and one of the mentors who accompanied the student teams to Erbil. “It validates all of the students’ hard work over the last three years and what we are doing at AUIS.” Imagine Cup Kurdistan was organized jointly by the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Department of IT and Microsoft, the sponsor of the worldwide competition. Imagine Cup hopes to bring together IT students from around the world to help resolve some of the planet’s toughest challenges through the use of innovative technological applications. “All the professors are extremely proud of the student teams for the effort they put into the competition,” said Dr. David Cook, professor of information technology and another faculty mentor. “With limited lead time, the preparation was hectic, but the students managed to pull things together in time.” Iraqi media covered the competition and the AUIS team’s victory extensively, with numerous print and TV reports about Team Hawks representing the region in New York. Members of the AUIS teams were interviewed for a regional TV technology show, and the English-language Kurdish Globe ran a front-page article about the competition. Looking to the Worldwide Finals in New York, the students and faculty are both excited and optimistic. “We stand a good chance in New York,” explained Mr. Osman, who will be visiting the United States for the first time. “We plan to develop this application further in time for the summer competition. We will test the usability of the application soon by going to a refugee camp near Sulaimani.” “I can’t wait to see what happens in New York,” admitted Dr. Geyer. “I think we have a real chance at winning the whole thing.” Microsoft created the Imagine Cup nine years ago with the idea that “students can and will change the world,” according to the competition’s official Web site. This year’s was the first Imagine Cup held anywhere in Iraq, and the AUIS teams’ impressive performance points to the students’ talent and the benefits of a liberal arts education. “AUIS can point proudly to our student finalists and say, there is the justification for our unique approach to higher education,” commented Dr. Cook, who will head to New York with the three students in July. “This was as much an ideas competition as it was a software design competition, and I think the outcome speaks very highly of our strong English language program, our broad-based curriculum and our IT program,” concluded Dr. Geyer. After having completed the common two-year Core Program, AUIS undergraduate students can choose between five majors currently offered: Business Administration, International Studies, Engineering, Environmental Science and Information Systems and Technologies.

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