academics

AUIS Professor Publishes Paper on the Effects of Air Quality on Human Health

AUIS’ newly appointed professor, Dr. Rimantas Kodzius, in collaboration with several colleagues recently published a paper on air quality and its effect on human health. The paper, “Air Quality Effects on Human Health and Approaches for its Assessment through Microfluidic Chips,” was published in the latest issue of Genes in September 2017. The paper emphasizes that air quality depends on the various gases and particles present in it, which is affected by both natural phenomena and human activities. Natural phenomena like dust storms, and man-made factors such as the unprecedented industrial growth in recent years, have contributed immensely to changing air quality values, and correspondingly affected life quality. The research, led by Dr. Kodzius, explains that the values of the so-called particular matter 2.5 (PM2.5) is of high importance, as such small particles can penetrate the human lung barrier and enter the blood system. It stresses that there are cancer cases related to many air pollutants, and especially to PM2.5, contributing to exploding costs within the healthcare system. After identifying the major factors impacting the cleanliness of air, the paper focuses on current and potential future air pollutants and proposes solutions on how to protect human health against such dangerous substances. It recommends that recent developments in the Organ-on-Chip (OoC) technology can play a major role in studying and monitoring air pollution, and can speed up the development of novel pharmaceutical drugs to fight the effects of such pollutants. Dr. Rimantas Kodzius is a guest reviewer for the special issue of Genes journal. In a published editorial with the title “Organ-on-Chip Technology: Current State and Future Developments,” he, with the other editors, gives an overview of the current situation on OoC developments. The editorial also invites other researchers to publish in the special issue of Genes about the OoC research or reviews in this promising field. Commenting on his recent research, Dr. Kodzius says, “We all want to live in a clean environment, lead healthy lives. There are many known and novel, potential pollutants that we encounter in our lives. The research helps to classify and identify the pollutants. For example, asbestos, DDT, lead in gasoline – that all was recognized as highly toxic chemicals, now banned from countries worldwide. As for the minimizing the pollution, the first step would be to identify the sources, identify the pollutants and minimize the exposure to our nature and our bodies.” Dr. Kodzius joined AUIS in Fall 2017 as an associate professor at the Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, he enjoys living in mountainous places such as Sulaimani where he currently resides, he adds “I wish we all live like in a tourist destination, resort-like cities. I like living in the mountains, where the air contains less of the particles. For me living in Sulaimani, Kurdistan is similar like living in Davos, Switzerland where I did my Ph.D.” He is an editor for several scientific journals, including the Genes & Genetic Systems, Archives of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, and a guest editor to Genes, and serves as a reviewer for more than fifteen scientific journals. His research interests include molecular medicine, microfluidic-based sensors, and bioprospecting. According to Google Scholar, Dr. Rimantas H-factor is 20, with resulting 5000 citations to his publications. article.

Creative Coding and Computing: A Course that Surprises Students and Teachers

On October 4, 2017, Dr. Hemin Latif, assistant professor and chair of the Information Technology Department at AUIS gave a guest lecture on Creative Coding and Computing to the participants of an Android bootcamp organized by Re: coded, a non-governmental organization in Erbil. The purpose of the lecture was to show how the Creative Coding and Computing course offered at AUIS differs from traditional programming courses in its design, delivery, and impact. During his speech, Dr. Latif shared the reasons why introductory programming courses fail to give a strong education in coding and computing to a generic audience. He mentioned how this course resolves major problems of traditional programming courses He mentioned how this course resolves those major problems of traditional programming courses; and the problems that cause most students to drop out from these courses. He also discussed creativity as a concept that is required for everyone, and especially for programmers. At the end of the lecture, many participants were inspired by the benefits that the course could bring. Mr. Allan Saleh, a participant, said “Dr. Hemin's speech reminded me of how creativity has a huge impact on what I want to achieve. Definitely a wake-up call to innovation.” Mr. Mustafa Alfaisal, another attendant, commented, “I hope every college includes this creative course in their curriculum.” Currently, AUIS is the only university in the region that offers this course and there is a great student demand for it. Hopefully, more unique courses like Creative Coding and Computing will be offered in AUIS that could become supportive for learning and developing the ideas about, and beyond, the main regular courses and curriculum. Article by IT Department Communications Intern, Mr. Aran Kamaran

Admissions Open for the 2017-18 MBA Program

The AUIS Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is designed for professionals and recent graduates looking to strengthen their business skill sets and improve their careers. AUIS offers flexible evening classes so that students with demanding professional careers can still learn the advanced business management and leadership skills they need to earn a Masters in Business Administration. Our new MBA program allows students to customize their MBA experience. The program offers rigor and flexibility, with a foundation of broad management skills in the core and an array of electives and specializations to help develop one or more areas of expertise. AUIS students build a strong foundation in every key business discipline as well as deeper expertise in areas critical to their success. In addition to the general MBA, students can now pursue an MBA with specializations in Leadership, Project Management and Finance.  Find out more here. 

Spring 2017 Awards Ceremony

March 29, 2017 - AUIS held a ceremony at the conference hall to honor all its hard working and talented students. Students were presented awards for the sixth annual Essay Games, President's Award, Dean's List, Most Improved GPA, and the Service Learning Program.  For all the photos from the event, visit the AUIS Flickr page. 

PDI Offers Project Management Professional (PMP) Training Course

PDI was the first Registered Education Provider (R.E.P) for the Project Management Institute (PMI) in Iraq and has offered this course to hundreds of professionals from a dozen of different multinational companies and organizations in the past 6 years.  This latest public training course in PMP was conducted over a period of 6 days, from 18 to 23 February, 2016 at the AUIS campus. The course provided a review of the study of project management in companies and it was formulated in the context of Project Management Body of Knowledge i.e. PMBOK, an international standard for project management. The course was taught by a PMI-certified professional, Mr. Ahmed Al-Alou. “In collaboration with the university staff, we strive to make the PMP exam preparation course more than a training experience” said Mr. Ahmed; “the course is rather a platform for professionals from different industries to share their experiences, improve their understanding of real world project management tools and skills in friendly, professional and enjoyable sessions Around 20 professionals from different companies and organizations participated in this course. “[The] PMP course was very important, useful and compatible with my practical work experience. Personally I found it interesting and powerful to improve my managerial skills in project management.” Commented a participant; Mr. Mahmood AlGburi, SCADA/HMI Applications Manager at Korek Engineering Systems in Sulaimani. “I'm really glad that I took this course which added to me an international standard of knowledge, and I highly recommend this course to be taken at AUIS to all my friends and collogues who are interested in getting the PMP certificate.” Ms. Lizan Ali, who is an Internal Auditor at Asiacell, commented that “The course was well organized and structured toward achieving PMP Certification, it was very informative as it filtered out the most important information for the (PMBOK) Guide , which helped me to better understand Project Management and improved my ability to study for the PM Exam.” She continued by saying that “[the instructor’s] grasp of the material was superb and combined with an ability to apply real-world examples to the concepts was particularly helpful in translating the information into retainable scenarios. I would strongly recommend this course to other people who would like to get the PMP Certification.” PDI will continue this pilot course in the future as well. The next (Project Management Professional) training course is scheduled to start on September 2, 2017. The Professional Development Institute complements the educational objectives of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani by providing opportunities for life-long learning through programs and services that enable participants to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve personal and professional goals, improve the productivity of organizations, and provide leadership and service to their communities. Working collaboratively with individuals, businesses and both government and non-governmental organizations, PDI seeks to identify and develop value-adding programs and services, and it firmly believes that by providing consistent, ethical and quality programs and services, it can play an important role in human capacity development for the community. Click here to find out how PDI can support you or your organization in achieving your professional goals. 

Engineering Center Now Open for Student Support

The Engineering Department has established an Engineering Center aimed at supporting undergraduate students in fundamental engineering courses. The Engineering Center (EC) promotes the development and enhancement of fundamental engineering concepts and skills that are essential for an understanding of higher level engineering courses. The center will provide peer tutoring for 200 and 300 level courses each semester as well as review sessions. This semester, the tutors have all volunteered their time to provide tutoring for their fellow classmates. They also completed a two day training session last week. On the first day, the students were introduced to the learning process and how to become effective tutors. The second day was focused on dealing with different tutor-tutee scenarios. Pairs of students role-played possible interactions that may occur during the tutoring session. "The training sessions were very helpful, informative, and fun.", said Abdalla Mohammed, a tutor, "I learned multiple different ways and more effective strategies that will definitely serve me when I help my friends. I am looking forward to using what I was exposed to in these two sessions at the center." After each demonstration, students discussed the scenarios and provided feedback on how to improve. I hope this center will provide a healthy environment where students can seek the support and encouragement they need to succeed in their courses.   - Raguez Taha The Engineering Center started accepting students from Sunday, February 12, 2017. Find out more about the center, guidelines, and tutor availabilities here.

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