2020-07-31: Sami Uddin (Computer Science Masters Student)

Hello everyone! My name is Sami Uddin (you can call me Rayan!) and I am a member of the Web Science and Digital Libraries (WS-DL) research group at Old Dominion University (ODU). I have joined ODU in Spring 2020 as a Masters student in the Department of Computer Science. Also, I am currently working with Dr. Vikas G Ashok and exploring the field of web accessibility for people with visual impairment.

My first semester here has elapsed pretty quickly. I took CS 595-Intro to Machine Learning where I learned about various machine learning algorithms and techniques on both supervised and unsupervised learning problems. In addition to that as the course project, Dr. Sun involved me in one of his projects which gave me the taste of working in the field of bioinformatics. Besides, I had a chance to take CS 665-Computer Architecture, taught by Dr. Olariu which enriched my knowledge in hardware and their functionalities, pipelining, parallelism and scheduling, and memory hierarchy. Furthermore, I took CS 580-Artificial Intelligence by Dr. Ashok where I learned about searching techniques, genetic algorithms, CSP, agents, backtracking, games and logics. I have also been appointed as a full-time TA where my task was to grade assignments and check web projects of undergrad students. As of research, it’s been a fantastic journey of getting hands-on research experience under Dr. Ashok. I have been learning how to collect data, scrap web, build model and develop tools. I extensively invested my time developing chrome extensions for detecting table-of-contents, differential magnifier etc. It is worthy to mention that one of our work titled "TableView: Enabling Efficient Access to Web Data Records for Screen-Magnifier Users" has been accepted for ACM ASSETS 2020. It was a collaborative work with Hae-Na Lee (a Ph.D. student from Stony Brook).

I received my bachelor of science from the Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), Dhaka, Bangladesh. There I, along with my team developed an alphabet learning tool for the children with special needs as a computer interfacing project. It was a fun project to build a portable keyboard from cotton thread using piezoelectric sensors. This project won the best project award-2016 in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Faculty, MIST, and stood 2nd runner up position in the International Humanitarian Technology Project Competition (IHTPC) 2017, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka. Our work titled "Towards developing a learning tool for children with autism was accepted in the 6th International Conference on Informatics, Electronics and Vision (ICIEV) 2017, Hyogo, Japan. Besides, I have always been fascinated with the influence of data. That's why I decided to explore more about it and its impact on security aspects as my undergraduate thesis. This work titled "Security threats for big data: A study on Enron e-mail dataset" was accepted in the International Conference on Research and Innovation in Information Systems  (ICRIIS) 2017, Langkawi, Malaysia. Fortunately, I was able to present the works in both places.

Before coming here I was in a Spanish startup, Bluebnc, for almost 3 years where worked in .Net core, Microsoft Azure, SQL Server, and front end tech like HTML, CSS, JavaScript and so on. I was one of the first members of this startup team and we have built this boat rental platform from scratch. I still remember our initial basic website with google forms which has turned into a web app now with million lines of logic running behind. However, if you ask me to mention about one thing that I have learned from there, I would mention my experience in teamwork and the magic of a collaborative environment.

In my free time either I go for a run, listen to audible or music, or do a headstand! Recently I am learning to play Ukulele.

Coming to graduate school was a dream for me. It's a place to meet and connect with some great minds. I was just not sure if I were ready for Ph.D. and that's why I came for Masters to be more prepared and explore grad school more whether I like it or love it. Till now I am enjoying my time here. And I am thrilled to be a part of this research group! I am very much looking forward to an exciting experience!

Thank you for your time to read this post.

--Sami Uddin