Dr. Najam Hassan is the new Department Chair of Computer and Data Science at Capitol Technology University, bringing his impressive 35 years of experience in the industry to his classroom. He teaches computer and data science, artificial intelligence (AI), business analytics, big data, and project management.
In this extended interview, Dr. Hassan offers insight as to how he came to Capitol Tech and what exciting things are expected for the future of computer science!
Can you tell us a little about yourself, how you got into computer science, and what you find exciting about this field of study?
My journey into computer science began right out of high school, when I was introduced to the fascinating world of programming and problem-solving. I had a Commodore 64 computer with 64 KB RAM, which was considered a lot back in the 80’s. I learned to program in BASIC using the manual that came with the computer. The ability to create software and algorithms that can impact our daily lives has always intrigued me.
What I find most exciting about computer science is its ever-evolving nature as a field that never stands still, with new technologies, paradigms, and possibilities emerging constantly. This dynamism keeps me motivated to explore the latest advancements in data science, artificial intelligence, and other cutting-edge technologies. I believe that computer science is not just about coding — it is about solving real-world problems and pushing the boundaries of what's possible in an increasingly digital and interconnected world. This is a field that empowers us to make a difference and shape the future.
Can you give insight into your research and publications over the years?
Throughout my research and publications, I have maintained a consistent focus on the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies and am passionate about fostering a deep understanding of, and contributing to, the valuable insights of these critical conversations in the field.
My doctoral research delved into the utilization of visual summarization tools in conjunction with e-books to enhance the learning process among students. This study employed a quantitative approach and concluded that while such tools offer significant benefits in improving comprehension and retention, they may also pose challenges, with some students perceiving them as distractions during e-book reading.
In addition, I have had the privilege of contributing to two notable publications. The first explored the programming ethics of self-driving cars, highlighting the ethical dilemmas faced in rare accident scenarios and the need for a comprehensive examination of the ethical considerations for rapidly evolving technologies. The second delved into the ethical dimensions of a ransomware attack on Medstar Health, critically analyzing the event, Medstar's response, and the vulnerabilities that were exploited, and offering ethical position statements and recommendations to mitigate future attacks.
What inspired you to join Capitol Tech for this position?
My decision to join Capitol Tech was motivated by a strong alignment between the university's mission and my professional interests, especially in the domains of data science and AI. Capitol Tech's commitment to excellence in technology education and its rich history of preparing students for successful careers in various technology-related fields stood out to me. I believe the power of education can transform lives, and Capitol Tech's mission deeply resonated with me.
What exciting things are happening with Capitol Tech’s computer science programs?
Our computer science, AI, and data science programs are abuzz with exciting developments, driven by a commitment to innovation and preparing our students for the dynamic technology landscape. Here are some of the noteworthy happenings:
Cutting-Edge Curriculum: We are updating our courses to reflect the latest industry trends and emerging technologies to cover a wide array of subjects, from machine learning and deep learning to natural language processing, computer vision, and data analytics.
Senior Design Projects: One of the most exciting aspects is the remarkable senior design projects happening within our programs, where we place a strong emphasis on real-world projects for our students who are passionate about applying their knowledge to today’s challenges.
Industry Partnerships: We're forging partnerships with industry leaders to provide our students with valuable insights and practical experiences, and students can collaborate on industry-relevant projects.
Student Organizations: We are encouraging students to join technology-focused student organizations for networking, knowledge sharing, and team competitions. It's a great way for students to expand their skill sets and stay updated on the latest trends.
Faculty Expertise: Our accomplished faculty members bring their expertise in this field to the classroom. They actively engage in research and bring their practical experiences to our students, ensuring they receive the highest quality education and mentorship.
What do you predict for the future of computer science in education, technology trends, and the growth of the job industry?
The future of computer science in education and its impact on technology trends and job industry growth is poised for significant transformation. Here are some predictions:
Continued Integration of Computer Science Education: Computer science will become an integral part of education at all levels, from elementary to higher education. As technology becomes ubiquitous, students will need a fundamental understanding of computer science principles.
Evolving Curriculum: Computer science programs will adapt to the rapidly evolving technology landscape, with a stronger emphasis on emerging fields like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science. Ethical considerations and digital literacy will also play pivotal roles in the curriculum.
Interdisciplinary Approach: The boundaries between computer science and other disciplines will blur. Interdisciplinary studies that combine computer science with fields like healthcare, finance, and environmental science will be on the rise.
Online Learning and Accessibility: Online education will continue to grow, making high-quality online courses and resources in computer science education accessible to a global audience.
Tech Trends: Emerging technologies such as quantum computing, edge computing, AI, and blockchain will shape the tech landscape and their fusion with computer science will drive innovation in areas like cybersecurity, healthcare, and finance.
Job Market Growth: The demand for computer science professionals will continue to outstrip the supply. Job roles in computer science, data science, and AI will see significant growth. The ability to adapt to new technologies and learn continuously will be essential.
Ethical Considerations: Ethical and societal concerns related to technology will be paramount. Computer scientists will be at the forefront of addressing ethical dilemmas and ensuring responsible technology development.
We extend our gratitude to Dr. Hassan for his valuable insight and enlightening interview!