MUSCAT During an inspiring, motivational talk held at the British School Muscat yesterday Assoc. Professor Basel Dayyani, Department of Computer Science at the Germany University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) encouraged the young school students to think as inventors, creating ideas from an early age onwards, while helping to solve everyday problems. Computer Science is not only about programming but about “how to think” about problems our world is facing, said Prof. Basel Dayyani, during an afternoon talk entitled “The Young Innovator”.
Inventions could be “anything that makes you more comfortable in everyday life. Anything that brings comfort and is easy to use,” he said. “Once you like doing something it becomes fun and you can achieve many things. For example, I love to code with artificial intelligence,” he said. Currently Prof. Basel is involved in many projects such as programming software for Machine Learning as well as for the financial and health sector, e.g. for cancer detection. Professor Basel stressed that technology has become the second nature of the Generation Z, those born after 1997. At the same time it is important to play games, to do sports and to read in order to enhance the production of neurones in our brains and therefore to enhance imagination. “When children play with toys it is not a waste of time.”
Prof Basel Dayyani graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder from the Center of Astrodynamics Research. He is a former NASA scientist. He has worked on mapping the gravity field of Earth at NASA. He also worked in Silicon Valley/ California (USA) and he has over 30 years of experience in the software industry in different engineering fields, working for IBM, Microsoft, Parametric Technology, Synopsys and Unisys. During the talk Prof. Basel showed a short video about the NASA Mars exploration that started in the 1980s; Prof. Basel was part of the initial team that started its research about Mars already around 30 years back.
Looking back on his own work and career path, he had some strong and clear messages for the young innovators in the classroom. To achieve certain goals, patience, hard work and failures are essential. “To train for the World Cup you have to train hard,” he said while adding that failures are important for the entire learning process. “You will fail many times, but the tenth time you will succeed – do not give up. You learn from your failures. Keep on going until you find the solution,” he said, encouraging the students to pursue their ideas.
Prof. Basel Dayyani is teaching Software Engineering and programming at GUtech. The BSc in Computer Sciences at GUtech is a four year programme with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Information Systems.