Software and Computing

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Faculty and students at the program of computer science are working on research related to both theoretical and applied computer science. Theoretical computer science is a division or subset of general computer science and mathematics that focuses on more abstract or mathematical aspects of computing. Applied computer science aims at identifying certain computer science concepts that can be used directly in solving real world problems.

1- Image Processing, Data Mining, and Smart Cities: A professor in computer science Ali El-Zaart is currently working on image processing, data mining, and smart cities.

  • image processing is processing of images using mathematical operations for which the input is an image, a series of images, or a video, such as a photograph or video frame; the output of image processing may be either an image or a set of characteristics or parameters related to the image.
  • Data mining is an interdisciplinary subfield of computer science. It is the computational process of discovering patterns in large data sets involving methods at the intersection of artificial intelligence, machine learning, statistics, and database systems. The overall goal of the data mining process is to extract information from a data set and transform it into an understandable structure for further use.
  • Smart sustainable cities: A smart city is an urban development vision to integrate multiple information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in a secure fashion to manage a city's assets – the city's assets include, but are not limited to, local departments' information systems, schools, libraries, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement, and other community services.

2- Parallel and distributed processing

Ahmed Zekri (an assistant professor) is working in the design and evaluation of parallel computer algorithms. Parallel computing is concerned with using both software and hardware approaches and techniques to accelerate the execution of computer programs run on all types of computers, ranging from small held devices to supercomputers. Dr. Zekri is currently investigating the use of multi-core processors, the main stream in processor design, to exploit many types of parallelism in applications. Specifically, he is studying how to restructure common algorithms in image processing and data encryption/description to exploit the three main degrees of parallelism, namely, data-level, instruction-level, and task-level parallelism.

3- Energy-efficient cloud computing

Ahmed Zekri (an assistant professor) is working in developing energy-efficient algorithms for allocating and scheduling application tasks on cloud computing platforms. Nowadays, cloud computing is the standard de-facto in computing systems, it offers computing as a service. Instead of purchasing hardware and software infrastructures, they can be hired in a pay-as-you-go concept. However, running applications on these systems demand good management to maximize revenue for providers reduce energy consumption, and satisfying quality-of-service requirements for users. Dr. Zekri’s research is mainly focused on designing application-aware and energy-aware algorithms for scheduling application tasks on cloud systems.

4- Assistive Technologies

Visually impaired people usually try to build their careers in areas where the use of mathematics is minimal. This is because learning or practicing mathematics demands high visual abilities. Islam Kabbani (an assistant professor) has his research focused on introducing a framework for enabling visually impaired students to learn and practice mathematics like sighted students. The framework was instantiated successfully to enable visually impaired students to learn and practice linear algebra. An electronic system was developed which was used by visually impaired university students. In addition, an instantiation was implemented to help visually impaired upper elementary and middle school students learn and practice Algebra using either Arabic or English. This instantiation has been implemented as an electronic system and tested for upper elementary students. Dr. Kabbani’s current work is ongoing on augmenting the algebraic expression instantiation so that it will be useful for middle school students by supporting operations like power, fractions and square roots. The Linear Algebra instantiation can also be augmented to cover more Linear Algebra operations. The framework can also be instantiated in other areas of mathematics such as graph theory and discrete math. This research venture has resulted so far in publishing the following papers:

Model Driven Engineering

Wassim El Hajj Chehade, an assistant professor is currently working with an assistant professor, Riham Abdel Kader, on using the Model Driven Engineering (MDE) in software development process. In fact, given the complexity of software being developed today, linked to very pressing economic and competitive contexts, application portability and development process reusability have become a major issue. Currently, they are using MDE to automate and reduce the development process of real-time embedded systems. An MS student is working on validating the application models of real-time embedded systems before being deployed on a specific platform. Such an approach will have an impact in guaranteeing that the implementation model conserves non-functional properties of the application model on the target platform. Dr. Wassim is also working with Dr. Riham AbdelKader on using Model Driven Engineering to provide development processes that enhance the portability of Mobile application. Such an approach will reduce the development cost of such applications.