ITU’s Newsletter- June 2015


ITU’s Newsletter- June 2015
June 9, 2015

Information Technology University’s newsletter is an internal publication that provides a way for ITU students and their families to remain up to date on what is happening at the university. With this newsletter, our aim is to provide information that is likely to be of value and interest to families. It provides a thorough insight into the well-rounded and diverse curriculum at ITU and its world class faculty and administration. The newsletter emphasizes ITU’s unique, project-oriented and research driven approach to education by showcasing the innovative work being done at its cutting-edge research centres to solve pressing real-world problems. It also provides information about interesting events, workshops and guest lectures hosted by the university. The newsletter is produced monthly and it aims to keep our staff informed about new developments and inspire students with what the ITU community is involved in across the university.

For more information, stay tuned for next month’s newsletter!

ITU Team wins 1st Place in Karachi d|Bootcamp

The Karachi d|Bootcamp was held at the Center of Excellence in Journalism at the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi. The winning team included ITU’s employees, Abdus Salam and Zain Mehmood, who acquired 1st position for their project on visualizing honor crimes in Pakistan. The data boot camp brought together journalists, civic activists, developers and designers to collaborate and train on finding, cleaning, mapping and visualizing data to create stories and tools that improve citizens’ access to services and information.

ITU Research Department IPAL Selected to Host International Development Design Summit in 2016

Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Lab (IPAL) will host The International Development Innovation Network Summit in January, 2016. In the two week long summit, participants will be given the opportunity to use digital prototyping tools to create prototypes of technologies that will empower less tech-savvy people, and improve service delivery in sectors like health and education.

Har Zindagi – Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Lab receives £250,000 grant

Har Zindagi – Every Life Matters initiative was awarded a grant worth £250,000 from the District Development Challenge Fund by the Sub-National Governance Programme (SNG). The project was selected for the grant out of 247 other applicants.  It aims at increasing uptake, retention and quality of immunization by using a redesigned immunization card for parents, and a smart phone application for vaccinators that stores real-time immunization records onto a centralized database.

GIZ Programme Director meets Dr. Umar Saif and the Hello Rozgar Team

Dr. Julie Reviere, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Director of Education Projects in Pakistan, met Dr. Umar Saif and the Hello Rozgar team for a project overview and demo of the Interactive Voice Response System. Their discussion focused on issues related to Governance and the broader TVET Reform Support Program.

IPAL‬‬‬ Director delivers talk at Europe’s Biggest Conference on Internet and Security

Mustafa Naseem, Director of Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Lab (IPAL) delivered a talk with Ben Wagner at the re:publica 15 conference in Berlin, Germany. Mustafa Naseem and Ben Wagner’s talk was titled Innovation, Internet access & Dengue fever: Looking at Pakistan’s Complex Digital Communications Landscape. During the talk, they discussed the challenges and opportunities associated with ICT growth in Pakistan.

Paper Published

Globally renowned journal Graphs and Combinatorics has published a research paper written by a team at ITU. The paper titled Network Decontamination with a Single Agent, has presented ways to search and destroy a virus or a malicious agent that has contaminated a network.

Guest Lectures

Ahmed Rashid gives a talk on Understanding Afghanistan

Ahmed Rashid is an award winning journalist, political scientist and author of several books on Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia. He has written extensively for the Wall Street Journal, The Nation, Daily Times (Pakistan) and has been the Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia for over two decades. He is also a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and has appeared on international news channels such as CNN and BBC World. The author of the bestselling book Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, started the talk with a brief history of Afghanistan and went on to discuss what is happening there today.

Skype Session with Dr. Illah Reza Nourbakhsh

Dr. Illah Reza Nourbakhsh, Professor of Robotics and Director of the Community Robotics, Education, and Technology Empowerment (CREATE) Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, delivered a lecture titled Robot Futures through Skype. He gave examples from his similarly titled book and talked about how we would share our world with these creatures, and how our society could change as we incorporate a race of stronger, smarter and more connected intelligences.

Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed delivers a talk on Partitioning India: It’s Consequences for Punjab

Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed is a distinguished political scientist, author and professor who has taught at LUMS, Stockholm University and the National University of Singapore. He has written extensively on the politics of South Asia and published several books including Pakistan: The Garrison State, Origins, Evolution, Consequences. During his talk, Dr. Ahmed gave a balanced view of the partition and discussed the partition in terms of human rights, ethnic cleansing and nationalism.

Speaker from Microsoft talks about Cloud Computing and Microsoft Azure

The Tech Entrepreneur Society at ITU hosted an event with Syed Mudassir Shah from Microsoft. The talk titled Introduction to Cloud Computing focused on Microsoft Azure Cloud and its different technologies. Mudassir Shah ended the session by giving suggestions to young developers in the audience.

Session on Earth Observation through Satellite Remote Sensing with Dr. Waqas A. Qazi

Dr. Waqas A Qazi has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Deptartment of Space Science at the Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad. During the session, Dr. Waqas A Qazi talked about how Satellite Remote Sensing of the Earth has become a vital field of study in recent decades.

Dr. Ishrat Husain delivers a talk on Pakistan: An Elitist Economy

Dr. Ishrat Husain is the Dean and Director of the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi and former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan. He also had a distinguished career at the World Bank for over two decades. In recognition of his meritorious services, he was conferred the prestigious award of Hilal-e-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan in 2003. Dr. Ishrat Husain’s talk titled Pakistan: An Elitist Economy focused on economic management in Pakistan and the partition between the state and the market.

Workshops

Open House Session on 3D Game Development using Unity 3D with Syed Basit Ali

Syed Basit Ali conducted a short session on how to use Unity 3D to quickly make 3D games for mobile, PC and console. Syed Basit Ali is an entrepreneur, professional technology trainer, apps and games development expert and a technology consultant. He is the founder of Eccentrica Technologies, Reve-Apps and the popular mobile apps company Pepper.pk. During the session, he discussed the benefits of using Unity 3D and provided a quick guide for beginners on how to start making games. Syed Basit Ali demonstrated making a simple game containing a bouncing football in a football stadium using Unity3D.

Conferences

ITU Hosts Information Communication Technology Conference

The ICT conference was titled Emerging Technologies – Redefining Governance in the Information Age. It was widely attended by senior government officials, policy makers, academics and individuals from the development sector. The presentations focused on current trends in ICT and showcased the current technological interventions for improving governance and service delivery for the citizens of Punjab. Dr. Umar Saif (Vice Chancellor, ITU) talked, in particular, about the anti-Dengue application, Crime Mapping initiative, e-learn Punjab platform, Disease Surveillance System, School Monitoring Project, Data Plug Platform, vaccinator-tracking portal and the Citizen Feedback Model.

Media Training Course on Decentralized Development Governance

A Media Training Course on Decentralized Development Governance was held at ITU. The chief guests for the ceremony were Mian Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, Dr. Abdul Malik, Chief Minister of Balochistan and Mian Raza Rabbani, Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan. The event was attended by Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami, President CPNE, Dr. Muhammad Nizzamudin, Chairman PHEC, and Vice Chancellors of more than 35 universities.