University Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
Ph.D. in Computer Sciences, Intelligent System Techniques (March 2011)
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Rosni Abdullah
Awarded the Mlabs Scholarship (2006-2008), and the USM Fellowship (2008-2010), with full fee exemption.
Thesis Title: “Enhancing the Harmony Search Algorithm for the Training of Multi-Layer Perceptron Neural Networks”
Al-Nahrain University, Baghdad, Iraq
M.Sc. in Computer Science, Mixed Mode (2 June 1998)
Supervisor: Associate Prof. Dr. Riyadh A. K. Mehdi
Graduated ranking 1st on the Department.
Thesis Title: “Evaluation of Different Structure & Supervised Learning Parameters on the Performance of the Neocognitron”
Al-Nahrain University, Baghdad, Iraq
B.Sc. in Computer Science (25 June 1995), Total of 16 Semesters and 188 units.
Graduated ranking 1st on the Department as well as on the College of Sciences (in terms of overall score/GPA).
Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, IoT, Big Data
Being an academician for more than 15 years, I can confidently say that teaching is such a challenging task. To be a successful teacher, one should put continuous efforts to improving one’s abilities. There several basic requirements for such a task including mastery of the subject taught, confidence and the ability to answer questions that students might ask. The latter is probably the most challenging of all. A good educator should be able to give a satisfactory answer, whether immediately or after a while, regardless of the question being “dumb” or “irrelevant”. A good educator must build confidence within his/her students and encourage them all the time. However, more effort is required to facilitate students’ understanding of whatever subject being taught. Such effort must not be restricted to what the “textbook” or “syllabus” dictates. In my case I do my best to make linkages to real life examples, if possible, or at least explain the subject from a different perspective that would help students to better understand what is being presented and how to apply it and use it.
Class and lecture management is another key factor to consider to become successful educator. A lecture is not just a process whereby the teacher “reads” or “present” pre-prepared materials. I consider this as an intellectual process that needs my full attention. I must be aware of what kind of students in the classroom, look out for their responses and be able to predict the kind of questions I’m to answer. I must also be on the watch for my “pace” in delivering the subject to guarantee that I reach a broad range of students; from those fast learners to those that require a bit more patience. I perceive students’ feedback during the lecture not only based on their questions or arguments but also via their facial expressions. Are they interacting and responding or just looking at their watches? For me these points are indispensable signs to gauge my performance. In addition, I emphasize in each lecture that any student can see me during my office hours in case they need further assistance. This would target those “shy” students who prefer a less public environment to ask their questions. My job to is not just to answer their questions but also to understand the nature of obstacles students are facing and what I can offer to eliminate them.
Another important factor that I had to consider is how technology is reshaping the way we interact, communicate and learn. This became important regardless of the fact that I’m a computer scientist. Utilizing technology in teaching became essential not just useful. As a teacher, I’m very much aware how technology made access to information much easier and faster. However, I realized that, for students at least, finding the correct “relevant” information and using the proper communication channel could be an issue sometimes. Not all sources of information are reliable or authentic and I usually devote the time to explain and justify.
As a computer scientist, I must be aware that many of the tools and methods that were used and introduced just few years ago are by now considered either obsolete or out-of-date. Although many of the concepts and standards prevail to a certain extent, computer science is by far different from other science as it stands behind many of present day technologies and gadgets that people use and relay on. Artificial Intelligence is the science behind what people refer to as “smart” machines. I strive to be ahead of the game in my area of specialization and this requires a tremendous effort to not only digest new things but also to be able to implement and produce assuming a nurturing research environment.
Although I’m confident of my teaching capabilities, I know that what works for a certain subject or a group of students might not work for other subjects or other groups of students. Finding my “comfort zone” is a skill that requires adaptation and resilience. I’m always keen to find new approaches, strategies and technologies that would enhance the quality of my teaching. Based on the feedback I’m getting either directly from my students or based on evaluation reports, I’m doing a good job, so far.
A. Kattan, R. Alrawi, “Preliminary Design of Household Smart Water Consumption Metering Apparatus for Erbil City”, 4th International Conference on Applied Science, Energy & Environment (ICASEE2017), Erbil, Iraq.
A. Kattan, R. Alrawi, “Erbil City Household Water Consumption Data Collection Utilizing Smart Metering System”, 1st International Conference on water and Energy in Kurdistan, Challenges and Alternatives (ICWEKA17), Erbil, Iraq.
International Journal of Intelligent Information Processing IJIIP – Editor[ LINK ]
Y. Salih, A. Kattan, T. Çevik, “Detection of motorway disorders by processing & classification of smartphone signals using artificial neural networks”, International Journal of Natural Sciences Research, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 56-67, 2016 (DOI: 10.18488/journal.63/2016.4.3/188.8.131.52).