“Communications of the ACM” highlights Arab world research

The latest issue of the Communications of the ACM magazine features the first-ever special section on Arab world computing research. CS&E professor Mohamed Mokbel co-organized this special section with Sherif G. Aly (The American University in Cairo and Moustafa Youssef (The American University in Cairo and Alexandria University, Egypt). The journal features articles on artificial intelligence in the region, autonomous driving, Arabic natural language and speech processing, database systems, cybersecurity, bioinformatics, and more.

“It was eye opening, even for me, to learn more about the wonderful work and colleagues in the region,” shared Mokbel. "Over the last decade, the Arab region witnessed a significant investment in computing research, education, and industry. Several countries in the area became magnets for expats as they are moving toward a knowledge-based economy, while others have opened up to more industry."

As the welcome message for the special section states: "The Arab world has a huge potential in research and development that is yet to be exploited. This is apparent by the recent inception of new research-based universities and labs in Egypt, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates, and the recent change of the computing industry landscape in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon."

While on leave from University of Minnesota, Professor Mokbel served as the Chief Scientist at the Qatar Computing Research Institute at Hamad Bin Khalifa University. One of his last projects before returning to the U of M was coordinating this special section on exciting, emerging computing research in the Arab region.