Dean Michael Trick
Dean Michael Trick

The Peninsula: CMU-Q to play bigger role in Qatar’s economic diversification

In The Peninsula, by Mohammad Shoeb

Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) is set to play a major role in Qatar’s journey to achieving economic diversification and a knowledge-based society, in line with the country’s long term vision.

The premier American university’s Doha campus is working to focus and explore the wider applications of innovative technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Fintech, which are expected to be a game changer that drives the new wave of digital revolution, said senior official of the private nonprofit research university, whose main campus is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“We have dedicated faculty who are working on Blockchain technology. There is a lot of potential applications of the technology, but it is important to distinguish Blockchain from the currencies such as Bitcoin. The innovative technology can have wider applications, and our faculty are exploring the various possibilities,” Michael Trick, Dean of CMU in Qatar, told The Peninsula.

Trick added: “Blockchain technology has a very interesting future. But I think the most interesting aspect is when it moves away from currency to some other fields such as supply-chain.”

CMU-Q has plans to have courses that adapt to what market and businesses need and looks forward to introducing new programmes which will be in line with Qatar’s long term vision.

“Clearly introducing new courses is an important issue and I would not be surprised to see more courses in areas such as cybersecurity, AI, and advanced computing technology. This is a great direction for us, as well as Qatar,” said Dean Trick.

Commenting on Fintech (financial technology), he said that the CMU-Q is working in close cooperation with major stakeholders from the banking and financial sector, including the Qatar Central Bank (QCB, the regulator) and Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority, the Doha-based business and financial centres providing legal and business infrastructure for financial and other services.

“Fintech is really a strong area for us to pursue. My senior associate dean is studying Fintech and its various applications that will help Qatar emerge as the regional hub of the financial technology and other services,” Trick added.

“Currently the programmes that we offer here are biological sciences, business administration, computational biology, computer science and information systems. All of them are very important for the diversification of the Qatari economy.”

On cybersecurity, he noted that it is a huge issue in Qatar. Every company and the government entity face it. And without home-grown people, who are educated and trained here, it won’t be easy to find a viable and sustainable solution to the problem.

He also said that CMU-Q, through its students, is playing an important role in this regard. And it is also trying to strengthen its contribution to the state’s efforts in enhancing capabilities and preventive measures to ensure cybersecurity by collaborating with various stakeholders.

“CMU-Q has undergraduate programmes in computer science and information systems. It also offers cybersecurity courses, and many of our students take internships and positions that tackle cybersecurity issues and a lot of them also go on to pursue master’s degrees and specialized studies meet the market demand,” he said.

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