GUtech’s Beta Team Wins Microsoft’s Regional Imagine Cup in Beirut

HALBAN GUtech’s Beta Team has won Microsoft’s Regional Imagine Cup Competition held in Beirut recently. The team competed against 47 students in 17 teams from the Middle East and Africa. One month ago, the ‘Beta Team’ won the first prize in the Oman competition. The student team will compete in the global final competition in Seattle (USA) in July, where more than 50 teams from around the world will participate. “Our project ‘Bee’ is an app that is connected with Beacons technology for retail shops. It aims to provide customers with a unique, smart shopping experience while improving the understanding and the context of the world around the app users. Bee aims to enhance the customer experience of shoppers and to empower retailers,” said Alya Al Shanfari from the Beta Team who participated along with the team members Hana Rasheed and Sultan Mohsin Mohammed Al Subhi (pictured).

The Regional Imagine Cup Competition in Beirut was held in partnership with the President of the Council of Ministers, His Excellency Saad Hariri, the GIST initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s and the American University of Beirut. Elizabeth Richard, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon attended the closing ceremony. The Imagine Cup is supported by Microsoft Oman and Omantel.

 

 

Boot Camp about the “Internet of Things”

The Computer Science Club of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) in cooperation with Google Development Group Muscat, has organized for the first time a public workshop, a so-called ‘Boot camp’ about the ‘Internet of Things’ last week. Around 30 high school students and university students from around the Sultanate attended the one-day event that was held at GUtech.

The speakers were mainly students who are studying Computer Sciences at GUtech or they were part of the ‘Engineering Village’ organization that creates awareness about engineering issues or the Google Internet group based in Muscat. During the event GUtech students explained the Arduino Smart Technology on various examples, such as a light sensor for automatic street lights and humidity and temperature sensors. Therefore giving participants the opportunity to create their own projects and get hands-on experiences with the Arduino Smart Technology.

text: GUtech/Manuela Gutberlet

Visit GUtech during Ghedex – “Computer scientists provide smart solutions for our everyday lives”

GUtech participates in the annual Global Higher Education Exhibition Ghedex 2017. The exhibition is held between 18-20 April at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center in Muscat. During Ghedex a number of GUtech academic and administrative staff of different departments will respond to enquiries. Visit the GUtech stand.

Representatives of the Computer Science (CS) Department will be at the GUtech stand during the whole exhibition. Computer experts are high in demand. They design and manage communication infrastructures that generates content and services to a large number of people. “Computer sciences is a global field with many local and international job perspectives. “Our world is full of devices on which a myriad of computer programmes are being used to capture, store, process, and exchange data through highly evolving networking infrastructures. Recent trends use this ecosystem to generate and provide people with smart solutions for their everyday lives,” said Prof. Dr. Nafaa Jabeur, Head of the Department of Computer Sciences at GUtech. The CS department is currently working on a number of projects related to the topics such as smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT), where sensors and hardware equipment are endowed with artificial intelligent capabilities to provide customized services for various needs.

In order to provide students with better insights on the techniques used in these smart projects, Prof. Nafaa is travelling from April 25 to May 5 with a group of 3rd and 4th year CS students to Germany. The excursion is sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The group will attend a workshop about the Internet of Things at the renowned German Research Center, the Fraunhofer Institute in Bonn. The group will also travel to GUtech’s partner-university in Germany, RWTH Aachen University and the University of Bremen. At both universities they will meet with professors and students and visit research laboratories.

The CS curricula at GUtech covers many important topics, including networking, database, mobile applications, security, and programming. “These topics are of high in demand in Oman and worldwide,” said Prof Nafaa. “Ensuring the security of our data, our computing platforms, and our communication infrastructures from growing numbers of cyber threats will be increasing the demands for computer scientists”, he said.

GUtech graduates in Computer Sciences are employed in the private and public sectors in Oman and abroad. Some of them have continued their graduate studies abroad, for example in Germany, UK, Australia and other countries.

In addition to the BSc Computer Science programme, GUtech offers the following Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering programmes: BSc in Urban Planning and Architectural Design, BSc in Applied Geosciences, BSc in Logistics, BSc in International Business and Service Management, BEng in Mechanical Engineering, BEng in Process Engineering, and BEng in Environmental Engineering. All GUtech study-programmes are internationally accredited by the German accreditation institute ACQUIN.  In the near future GUtech is expected to open new Master programmes in Geosciences, Industrial Engineering, and in Computer Science.

Photo & Text by GUtech/ Manuela Gutberlet

 

A Young Innovator talk for Generation Z held at the British School Muscat

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.