Women in Tech and Entrepreneurship Summit

  The scedule for the summit: Sunday, December 3: 1:30-5:30pm 1:30-3:30: Workshops: Workshop 1 - Intro to Coding: Create an Android App Workshop 2 - Launching your Startup 3:50: Panel Discussion about the digital gender gap, opportunities and challenges in the tech and startup sectors in Iraq and the importance of role models to inspire more women to enter the world of technology and entrepreneurship.  

IT Capstone Display

The IT department is holding its capstone projects demonstration on May 17th in the AUIS Conference Hall. Presentations will be held from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm. All members of the AUIS Community are welcome and encouraged to attend.

AUIS to Use Drone Technology for Archaeological Mapping in Kurdistan

April 20, 2016 - Sulaimani, KRG-Iraq - Earlier today, the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) demonstrated the first official flight of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), aka drone, over the AUIS campus for students, staff and faculty members. The flight was demonstrated by Dr. Tobin Hartnell, assistant professor and director of the Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (CACHE), and Mohammed Anwer, an IT student who will be piloting the drone for the Social Sciences department’s projects. This marks another successful milestone for AUIS in its endeavors towards using modern technology for research and academic activities. Late last year, Azzam Alwash, senior board member at AUIS and founder of Nature Iraq, donated a DJI Phantom 3 Professional, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), to the Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage at AUIS. This remote controlled multicopter (a miniature helicopter with 4 rotor blades) is coordinated from the ground using an iPhone or iPad and a controller. The helicopter can shoot high-definition photography and very-high definition video (4K) of any place from the air and has a maximum flight time of roughly 15 minutes. Dr. Hartnell has been trialing potential uses of this technology to create 3D models of the landscape at Betsansur, the oldest known village in Iraq, with the permission of Dr. Roger Matthews, head of Archaeology department at the University of Reading who is working at the archaeological site. Commenting on the trials, Dr. Matthews said, "Thank you for the amazing images and video so far. They give a totally new perspective on the site and its surroundings. We look forward to seeing more." “In the future, we will use the technology to create models of landscapes and historic buildings; with some modifications, it can see in other light spectrums such as infra-red and potentially see buried remains up close,” says Dr. Hartnell. “We want to thank the Governor of Sulaimani Province, Aso Fereydun, and the Director of the Sulaimani Airport, Tahir A. Qadir, for creating a way for us to fly the drone safely. Thank you to everyone at AUIS who helped make this possible,” he added. About the Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage: The AUIS Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (CACHE) advances a scientific understanding of the past through remote sensing, geophysics, and traditional archaeological investigations. The Center also promotes training, discussion and dissemination of knowledge about archaeology and cultural heritage in Iraq and the Kurdistan region as a safeguard against indiscriminate destruction by groups such as ISIS. CACHE was launched in 2015 as part of the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS).  The Center has a strong track-record of bringing together scholars, policy makers, and cultural professionals from all over Iraq, Kurdistan Region, Europe and the United States. The center hosts regional and international experts at AUIS for workshops on art history, archaeology, and cultural issues related to Iraq and Kurdistan region. CACHE hosts an annual cultural heritage symposium where local, regional, and international experts gather to discuss challenges and solutions to preserving and promoting the region's cultural heritage. Starting in the summer of 2015, CACHE also began archaeological investigations at ancient sites near Sulaimani, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Photos taken by Wud Salaam, student volunteer at the AUIS communications office.

“Room Sharing” with Harvard Graduate School of Design via Digital Portal

The project was led by Dr. Hemin Latif, vice president of university advancement from AUIS and Tamara Jafar and Alexander Jacobson from GSD. Dr. Hemin explained that the idea behind the event was to extend the use of the internet beyond conventional conference calling and face-to-face meeting. Using custom designed software, the event created an augmented reality experience where participants from two ends seemed to be sharing the same physical space. The event was part of Harvard Graduate School of Design’s project entitled Interlaced Space, “which is the first iteration of an ongoing experiment in empowering civilians to directly connect despite pre-conceived, spatial, national, or cultural barriers,” according to their press release about the project. Dr. Latif explained that the event came about after a visit by Harvard student  Tamara Jafar to AUIS last year who initially proposed the project. Jafar is an Iraqi-American urban planning student with a political science background in conflict areas and is a member of Brooklyn-based indie rock band, Cultfever. The digital portal intermittently connected the AUIS cafeteria with Chauhaus Cafe at Harvard Graduate School of Design for four days from April 20th to 24th. The inaugural event on the 20th included interesting discussions and musical performances from students at both ends in the informal setting of their cafeterias. Food and snacks were provided on both sides to add to the natural interaction of the participants. The Interim President of AUIS, Dr. Esther Mulnix, and Associate Dean at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Michael Hays, also spoke to the students at the event. “Only when we believe that distant communication cannot get better and our social life cannot be more controlled by Information Technology, come new ideas and tools that challenge our perception. This project for example, made us rethink how institutions and communities across the world might communicate and socialize in the near future due to continuous innovation in the use of Information Technology,” said Latif about the event. “We believe that the participants enjoyed the experience. A good number of students have signed up for follow up events and further interaction,” he added. While this particular setup was arranged for the launch event only, other smaller events are planned for the future, such as classroom discussions.   Dr. Latif extended his thanks to Korak Agha from AUIS IT department, IT student volunteers, Dr. Esther Mulnix, Ms. Tamara Jafar and Mr. Alexander Jacobson from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, AUIS Communications department and Avesta Restaurant for their support. Read more about the project in this press release by Harvard GSD. See photos of the event on our facebook page. 
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