Carnegie Mellon University

Meeting of the Minds in Qatar

04-28-2010

Meeting of the Minds in Qatar

QatarMindsTeamMore than 60 students showcased their research and course projects through posters, videos, presentations and demonstrations at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar’s fourth annual “Meeting of the Minds” undergraduate research and project symposium.

“I like the name ‘Meeting of the Minds’”, said Charles Thorpe, dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar. “This is the minds of the students, showing off their research projects, meeting the minds of our external judges and visiting colleagues, with their real-world wisdom. We need to put our best minds together, inside and outside the university, to address the real problems of Qatar and the world.”

Meeting of the Minds is part of Carnegie Mellon’s Undergraduate Research Initiative, a program that supports and encourages undergraduate and postgraduate students to participate in innovative research. Some projects grow out of coursework, while others typify Carnegie Mellon’s emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration to solve real-world problems.

Twenty-seven undergraduate and twelve postgraduate research posters were featured in the categories of Business Administration, Computer Science, Information Systems, and Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students demonstrated a wide range of projects including Arabic lip-syncing for 3D face animation applications and how information technology can raise awareness about diabetes. There were also some literacy projects that were showcased including mobile phone-based educational games to improve English literacy and curriculum development, and reflections on teaching English to migrant workers. Several students from the School of Architecture on the Pittsburgh campus also displayed their projects.

QatarMindsJudgesA review committee consisting of experts from Qatar’s academic institutions and industry sector reviewed the presentations and selected the best projects and posters. Representatives from TAMUQ, WCMCQ, Qatar University, VCU Qatar, QP, ExxonMobil, Qatar Shell Research & Tech Park, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service Qatar, Doha Bank, iHorizons, Total Qatar, Aspire, Qatar Airways, QSTP, Vodafone and Fuego served on the review committee, which presented awards and certificates for the best poster design and best project. 

The Best Computer Science Poster, Best Poster Design and Best Overall Project were all awarded to “Dynamic Path Planning and Traffic Light Coordination for Emergency Vehicle Routing.” Team members Yi Luen Tessa and Hend Geddawi were thrilled with their win.
 
“The main motivation for our project was the observation that the heavy traffic in Qatar impedes the routing of emergency vehicles, which could make a critical difference between life and death,” Hend said. “This project focuses on the premise that mere seconds can save a life.” Yi Luen added, “We are grateful for the help we received from Carnegie Mellon to develop our project.  The research environment was perfect — both the lab and the professors, and the assistance Carnegie Mellon offered in getting the license for the traffic simulator was critical to our project.”
      
Meeting of the Minds benefits members of the Qatar community by helping them to understand the importance of conducting research, and to see the numerous ways that research can benefit society.

Meeting of the Minds will be held on the Pittsburgh campus Wednesday, May 5 in the University Center. Nearly 500 students are expected to participate.

In the top photo, John Robertson, assistant dean for Academic Affairs at the Qatar campus, poses with winning team members Yi Luen Tessa and Hend Geddawi. Their project was titled “Dynamic Path Planning and Traffic Light Coordination for Emergency Vehicle Routing.”

In the bottom photo, a review committee judges one of the student projects.

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