Software Engineer, Student, and Scholar

Our MSCS student interns work full-time in their professional IT positions. They also take required distance education courses. As a result, most students find little time left for any other activities. Mohamed Sobhy M.A. Farag is an exception. Not only is he working full-time as a Technical Consultant for the top IT consulting company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and earning A’s in his distance education courses, but Mohamed has made the time to pursue a number of scholarly activities.

Mohamed was born in a small town in northern Egypt, and attended primary and high school in Saudi Arabia. By the time he finished high school, he was ranked sixth among the top ten students in Saudi Arabia. During this period Mohamed became inspired by computers, and he returned to Egypt to study Computer Science in Menoufia University, where he specialized on the architecture of computing machines and operating systems.

By third level at Menoufia University, Mohamed was listed on the FreeBSD contributor list. He got the opportunity to develop an approach for loading FreeBSD kernel modules at run time dynamically. As a result of this project, he was awarded a Google Summer of Code Prize. His interest reached to both the node structure level, and to the node communication level. By the fourth year at Menoufia University, he studied Computer networks and received CCNA Academy certificate (CISCO Certified Network Associate). In May 2011, he graduated with a grade of Excellent with Honor degree.

Recent Honors and Achievements

During 2010 and 2011, Mohamed received several honors:

  • First place in “Best Programming Project”, Renewable Energy Conference, Egypt, 2010.
  • Google Summer of Code Award, Google, 2010.
  • First place in “Best Programming Project”, Renewable Energy Conference, Egypt, 2011.
  • Top 20 Engineers in Egypt, 2011.
  • Technical Lead at ArabBSD project (December, 2010 – Present).
  • Organizer at Google Developer Group (January 2011 – Present).

Mohamed’s recent scholarly achievements:

  • August 2012: Mohamed published the article, “Multicore dynamic kernel modules attachment technique for kernel performance enhancement,” in the International Journal of Computer Science & Information Technology (IJCSIT), vol 4, no 4, under the Maharishi University of Management, Department of Computer Science.
  • December 2012: He published, “An enhanced run-time kernel visual debugger,” in the IEEE 8th International Computer Engineering Conference (ICENCO) Proceedings, also under the Maharishi University of Management, Department of Computer Science.
  • February 2013: Mohamed was formally invited to speak at the session on “The Emerging Mobile Applications and Services” at BIT’s 2nd Annual World Congress of Emerging InfoTech-2013, to be held June, 2013 in Dalian, China.
  • March 2013: Mohamed’s proposal, “Cryptology from Operating System Paradigm,” was accepted as a chapter for a new book discussing the importance of information security in a multidisciplinaric manner. In this context, “multidisciplinary” indicates the presentation of computer security topics in terms of other disciplines, i.e. introducing security in file systems, kernels or cloud instead of offering pure security topics. Currently, his chapter is being revised by several professors who specialize in computer security.
  • April 2013: He was invited to participate in the US Department of Defense “Cloud Computing & Assurance for Critical DoD Initiatives Conference” in Maryland.

Why attend MUM?

When asked why he chose Maharishi University of Management for his Masters degree in Computer Science, Mohamed replied, “The choice for graduate study depends on a student’s objective. The majority of programs miss the ability of tracking market needs. There’s a gap between the theoretical research and practical life. I can feel it in my new workplace where we have other universities’ Master’s students lacking the industrial qualities. From my perspective, MUM is one of the top places in preparing students with the required qualities and experiences for the US market. I gained the industrial experience indirectly during my on-campus studies at MUM, and have faced many situations in my job similar to what I had in course labs.”

Advantages of practicing the TM® technique

“The focus on self-development along with educational qualities is fascinating at MUM. Transcendental Meditation as a common self-development technique [practiced by all students, faculty and staff at MUM] helps me to listen to my inward capabilities, and to enhance my emotional stability.”

Future goals

Mohamed’s goals: “According to the rest and activity cycle, I’m planning to return to academic studies soon. I’m intending to study for a PhD to build and refine my systematic thinking and investigate new ways of problem solving.” He is considering MIT, Stanford and Carnegie-Melon for his PhD.

Advice for other Software Engineers

“Maharishi University of Management is one of the top programs which prepares students for top industrial positions in the US IT market. You should consider MUM if you want to be a leader in the IT world.”

Ethiopians and Eritreans at Home at MUM

Walking through the McLaughlin Building, home of the School of Computer Science and Mathematics at Maharishi University of Management, you meet students with a rich diversity of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. While more than 40 nationalities are usually represented in the MSCS program on-campus at any given time, it becomes apparent that there are more Ethiopians than any other nationality represented. In fact, since our MSCS program began in 1996, the largest number of graduates come from Ethiopia. Out of 1205 graduates, 289 are Ethiopian. Among currently enrolled students on-campus and doing internships around the U.S., Ethiopians are also the largest group represented with 155.

Why do so many Ethiopians come to the US for graduate school?

According to Sundus Yousuf, who first got interested in computers in Ethiopia at age 10, and is currently doing his curricular practical training internship in the Research Information Systems Department at the University of Iowa, “It’s the American Dream. The USA gives this world image that it’s such a great country and that anyone can be successful if they work hard enough.”

Professionally, Sundus would like to work his way up from small organizations involved in software development, and then take another step to larger innovative IT organizations. Next, he hopes to earn a PhD, so that he can contribute to research related to Artificial Intelligence or the IBM Smarter Planet®.

Why attend MUM in particular?

Sundus transferred to MUM from another U.S. university when he didn’t see his goals being achievable at that university.

“The attraction of MUM was that:

  • It is made up of people from almost every nation, tribe, and region of the world. MUM is the most diverse university that I have come across. Study at MUM gives international students the chance not only to experience American culture, but to meet people from every corner of the world.
  • Another undeniable reason is the financial support that the school provides for its esteemed international students. This is a very big plus for any international student as it gives us the chance to explore our limits without any financial boundaries.
  • Last, but definitely not least, is the employability record and reputation the school has developed among the U.S. Fortune 500 IT companies. It’s every student’s dream to be employed in any of these companies, and to put their knowledge to the ultimate test by practicing it in the real world.”

What pleases you the most in your experience at MUM?

“Because classes are on the block system, we study one course a month, and then change. This is great because you never get bored or feel unsatisfied in a class for an extended period of time. The environment is very calm and peaceful, and this helps you focus deeply, achieve your daily assignments, and fulfill your dreams. The courses offered in my program are well tailored to the current era of technology, which is a very good thing, since technology is evolving so rapidly.

What advice would you give software developers for success and satisfaction in life?

“What was yesterday is not today and will not be tomorrow, so keep yourself up-to-date on the latest technologies to stay in the game. One more thing—knowing what you need to know matters, whether you’re just starting out as a software developer (or planning to become one), so make a good commitment to it. MUM’s Computer Professionals education system is wonderful. The courses offered are up-to-dateespecially the two-week seminar courses, which play a big role in keeping us current. Moreover, the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique is integrated with the education system, which gives us a clear vision of the road ahead.

Eritrean students and graduates 2013.

Along with the Ethiopian students, in recent years we have seen a steady growth in the Eritrean student population. This is understandable when you consider that Ethiopians and Eritreans share a common border in East Africa, have similar climates, languages and traditions, and both have high quality undergraduate computer science education. There are currently 15 Eritrean students in the MSCS program, and the 2013 outstanding graduate is Eritrean. Students from both countries enjoy each other’s company, whether it’s on the football (soccer) field or in a group posing for a photograph.

Transcendental Meditation® Technique: the Competitive Edge for IT Professionals

According to Maharishi University of Management Computer Science Dean Gregory Guthrie, “The future of IT education in the US includes focusing on improving software by improving the software developers themselves.”

The unique distinguishing benefit of MUM education is that all students and faculty practice a proven technology for developing their intelligence, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and general well-being. This technology, verified by nearly 700 scientific studies, and practiced by six million people from all major cultures and religions worldwide, is the Transcendental Meditation® technique.

Personal development is key for professional success,” said Dr. Guthrie, “and MUM is unique in providing this opportunity for students in the field of computer science, to augment their technical and academic training.”

Students from all backgrounds enjoy TM.

Quotes from students

Daily practice of TM eliminates the stress from the work and life, physically enables me to take up more challenges in my work, and go the extra mile to be a top performer in my company. — K.I. (China)

One of the benefits of practicing TM for me is being calm and in control. Having a regular practice pays more than just doing it when you think you need it. It’s a process of pealing off the layers of stress one by one and experiencing the deep self. I am able to learn faster than before, concentrate better during the day, and get enough sleep at night.

My manager is very happy with my progress and with what I’m delivering. He likes the fact that I take care of myself by eating healthy, having enough sleep, and also meditating. — S.M. (Iran)

The daily practice of TM has always been useful in personal and professional life. It keeps me alert and cool. — S.M. (Nepal)

My practice of the TM technique has helped me have a good focus in my work and a less stressful day to day life. — A.A. (Ethiopia)

With the amount of time I spend at work and on my DE course, I couldn’t survive without TM. I noticed that I get tense and tired at the end of the day, but as soon as I meditate, I feel recharged. — E.T. (Canada)

Regular TM practice has helped me to remain fresh and calm at times of difficulties. I feel that I have been handling pressure in normal ways as compared to my co-workers, and this definitely is the result of regular TM practice. — L.P. (Nepal)

I have been able to handle a lot of pressure lately and able to multitask very easily due to TM. — D.P. (India)

With TM I experience more detail and a more in-depth approach to problems, ease of learning new technologies, easy focusing and context switching. — S.M. (Bulgaria)

Since the job is a little bit stressful, especially when deadlines come, TM makes it easy. — S.M. (Ethiopia)

Transcendental Meditation gives me inner peace and calm that helps me minimize stress in this uncertain time of my life. — D.R. (Philippines)

TM helps me to focus on my duties without using any external chemicals such as pills or coffee, and it makes my body fresh after a long day of work and activities. — V.A. (Colombia)

My current course is a difficult one, requiring quite a lot of time and attention. The TM practice relieves stress naturally, and helps me to concentrate while being relaxed at the same time. — S.V. (Sri Lanka)

My mind is clear, my body feels rested. TM helps me reduce stress. The practice of TM is boosting my performance on the job and in my personal daily activities. — L.A. (Dominican Republic)

Through the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique I have come to understand myself better, and how my thoughts and experiences influence my everyday life. I have personally improved my communication skills and ability to stay more focused on my targets. — G.A. (Ghana)

Regular practice of TM produces clearer thinking which is important for software development. Doing TM helps me to release stress and allows me to start my work with a fresh mind on the following day. — S.A. (Sri Lanka)

I have experienced that solving complicated problems is almost impossible when there is lots of stress and workload. Transcendental Meditation helps me in such situations. I meditate in the morning before going to work, and again after returning home. Just 20 minutes of TM again brings me to the freshness of the morning. — A.A. (Nepal)

Regular TM practice helps computer professionals to be successful in their lives by re-energizing and creating more orderly brains.

The TM technique is the gift from MUM to all students. TM will help you live with less stress. — T.A. (Myanmar)