Carnegie Mellon grad inspired by professors to pursue career in academia
Laila El-Beheiry, a graduate in the Class of 2021 at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), a Qatar Foundation partner university, has been accepted into six of the top computer science graduate programs in the world. El-Beheiry decided to pursue a career in academia because she was inspired by the faculty in the Computer Science Program at CMU-Q.
“I really do think if it were not for the professors here at CMU-Q, I would not be where I am today. They were all so supportive, and that’s why I want to be a professor too,” said El-Beheiry.
One of the faculty members who has been particularly inspiring is Giselle Reis, assistant teaching professor of computer science and a faculty advisor for El-Beheiry’s research. “I look up to her. There is still a gender gap in computer science, but I found it so motivating to work with her and learn from her. Professor Giselle is an excellent mentor.”
During her studies, El-Beheiry was an avid researcher. She was the co-creator of a tool that helps programmers verify their work, and she and her co-author presented the resulting paper at an international programming languages workshop in 2021. She completed her senior honors thesis on an offloading framework tailored for FemtoCoulds with faculty advisors Reis and Khaled Harras, area head of computer science.
El-Beheiry also took every opportunity to teach, and has been inspired by the guidance and wisdom of her professors. “The impact a professor can have on a student’s life goes far beyond academics. For me personally, Professor Saquib Razak has been a great mentor. I really wish I can someday influence students’ lives as much as Professor Saquib influenced mine.”
After completing her bachelor’s degree in 2021, El-Beheiry spent the 2021-22 academic year working as a teaching assistant for computer science courses at CMU-Q. “Teaching over this past year gave me clarity. I want to spend my career doing this.”
El-Beheiry was accepted into PhD programs at Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, EPFL, Georgia Institute of Technology, Max Planck Institute for Informatics, and University of Toronto.