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Future coders compete in AUS-emaratech computing competition
American University of Sharjah (AUS) recently hosted the 2023 AUS-emaratech Computing Competition, which saw 135 aspiring programmers in 49 teams from 29 schools participate.
Sponsored by emaratech, the competition aimed to pave the way for high school students in grades 10 to 12 from schools in the AUS Sharakah Program to test their skills and excel in advanced sciences and technology.
Dr. Tamer Shanableh, Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at AUS, noted the importance of computer systems in all aspects of daily life, stating that, “Computer systems are part of every aspect of our daily activities be it leisure, work or even financial and official transactions. With the abundance of smart mobile devices and computers, the move towards online activities has become an essential part of our lives. The design and implementation of these computer systems are done by computer scientists and engineers, making the demand for these majors on the rise. In computer science and engineering, students design, development and analyze software and hardware to solve problems in a variety of business, scientific and social contexts.”
Working in the AUS College of Engineering computer labs, students competed in four tracks: coding in general programming for computer engineering; Python programming for artificial intelligence; mobile apps development; and Internet of Things (IoT) and/or web applications in smart cities.
In the computer engineering track, students used programming languages such as Java, C++, Visual basic and Python to solve three programming questions on variables, operations and if-statements; loops; and arrays and lists. The second track required students’ knowledge in the programming language of Python to compete. Participants were given a workable sample program written in Python that uses machine learning and were asked to expand or modify it, or develop a similar program for a different task. For the third track, students were asked to develop a mobile app prior to the competition day and present a demo to the judging panel, while they were asked to develop an IoT and/or web application for the final track. The application had to be related to one of five areas: topics related to smart cities such as smart energy, smart homes, smart transportations, smart education and smart health; artificial intelligence and its applications; IoT and its applications; applications of Edge, Fog and Cloud Computing; and similar or related applications to this track.
Fatima Kahoor, a grade 12 student in New Academy School who is planning to major in computer science and engineering, chose to focus on smart cities. “I learned to be confident in this competition and that it is okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them,” she said.
Maha Musab, a grade 11 student in Almarifa International Private School, who was passionate about IoT and an active member in her school robotics club said: “This was really a pleasant experience and CEN is one of the most enjoyable colleges I visited. It shows that AUS had put a lot of effort into organizing the event and I hope to be joining more competitions here in the future. I learned so much about how to present myself, and be concise and clear when speaking to judges. It was rewarding,” she said.
H.E Thani Alzaffin, emaratech Group CEO, said: "We are thrilled to have been the title sponsor of the AUS-emaratech School Computing Competition (AeSCC-2023). It was an incredible opportunity to collaborate with the university and showcase our commitment to advancing science and technology. We are proud to have been a part of this remarkable event, and we look forward to continued collaboration with AUS and its outstanding community. We were also happy to present our portfolio to the students; it was such an engaging session that provided valuable insights into the latest trends and advancements in the industry. We thank the university for the opportunity to participate in this inspiring event, and congratulate all the students who participated in it."
The AUS-emaratech Computing Competition is organized in collaboration with the Sharakah Program, which aims to promote sustainable partnerships with select schools. It engages teachers and students from partner schools through a wide range of activities and programs, from teacher workshops and training, to academic events, sports competitions and AUS scholarships for students.
The competition’s organizing committee included Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Ali, Professor in Computer Science and Engineering and Co-Chair; Dr. Tamer Shanableh, Professor in Computer Science and Engineering and Co-Chair; Salsabeel Shapsough, Lab Instructor; Ahmead Al Nabusli, Senior Laboratory Instructor; Sameer Alawnah; Laboratory Instructor; Hala Al-Jundi, AUS Sharakah Program Coordinator; and Desiree Carpio Juan, Administrative Assistant at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at AUS.
The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) in the AUS College of Engineering offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Computer Engineering. The CSE curriculum focuses on artificial intelligence, data science and smart cities. AUS is ranked among the top three in the UAE and top 500 universities globally for computer science and information systems, according to QS World University Subject Rankings (2022).
For more information on the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, visit www.aus.edu/cen/bscoe.