Career Profiles

Explore profiles of real professionals and students to learn how they got started, what they love about computing, and all about the fascinating work they do.
Asad Ullah Naweed

Asad Ullah Naweed

MS/PhD Candidate, Computer Science, Chapel Hill, United States

Degree(s):

BS Computer Science 2012 Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan
MS/PhD Candidate, Computer Science, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Do what you love. Period. You may do well in many fields, but passion is a prerequisite for excellence. And excel in whatever you do. There is simply no excuse for living your life in the shadows of mediocrity.”

As a freshman, I wanted to major in mathematics or physics. However, everything changed after being introduced to programming in my second semester. Computers were suddenly tools to CREATE things. Programming suddenly opened up a whole new realm of possibilities, where I could imagine an idea one day, and pilot it the next. That is why I chose CS, and why I love it to this day.

I owe a lot to two professors; Dr. Sohaib Ahmad Khan and Dr. Arif Zaman. Their continuous guidance and support helped hone my skills and use these to excel in my studies.

My day starts with breakfast, doing house chores, then heading to school. I work in the Computer Vision lab on course projects and homework and maybe watch an episode of Supernatural with other students.

Classes are over by 3.pm. After lunch I attend to events at the department like organizing workshops on iOS development, helping with seminars or catering to external department guests. I also serve as a TA.

Since I love cooking, my favorite weekends are spent barbecuing for friends and family at my small farm on the outskirts of Lahore

I love to travel. I’ve been on many trips; Model UN conferences in Turkey, rock climbing to Khanpur, skiing trips to Rattu, leisure trips to the gorgeous island of Langkawi, and trips to Bahrain and Singapore. My dream is to brave the journey to the Antarctic, which I hope to achieve soon! I am also a video games freak. I still have possession of every single Nintendo console since the first generation. I also love to read.

Graduation

With classmates

Studying

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First computer mouse
Douglas Engelbart
Douglas Engelbart

In 1967, Douglas Engelbart applied for a patent for an "X-Y position indicator for a display system," which he and his team developed at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, California. The device, a small, wooden box with two metal wheels, was nicknamed a "mouse" because a cable trailing out of the one end resembled a tail.

In addition to the first computer mouse, Engelbart’s team developed computer interface concepts that led to the GUI interface, and were integral to the development of ARPANET--the precursor to today’s Internet. Engelbart received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Oregon State University in 1948, followed by an MS in 1953 and a Ph.D. in 1955 both from the University of California, Berkeley.

King's Quest
Roberta Williams

Video games immerse users in a world of high tech thrills, stunning visuals, unique challenges, and interactivity. They enable users to become a warrior princess or a gruesome ghoul, create a virtual persona, or even develop worlds that other gamers can play on. But before the games of today became reality, they were the dreams of a few innovative individuals.

Roberta Williams is considered one of the pioneers of gaming as we know it today. During the 80’s and 90’s along with husband Ken Williams through their company On-Line Systems, she developed some of the first graphical adventure games. These included such titles as Mystery House, Wizard and the Princess and the popular King’s Quest series. Williams also helped introduce more girls and women to the world of gaming by bringing games developed from a woman’s perspective to mainstream market.

Router
Sandra Lerner

It is difficult to imagine a time when computers were not capable of sharing information and resources with great ease. Sandra Lerner pushed the boundaries of network computing as one of the co-founders of Cisco Systems, which introduced one of the first commercially viable routers. The router was born while Sandra was working at Stanford University in the 1980’s after earning her Master’s degree there in Computer Science. To avoid the tedious task of transferring information between computers using floppy disks, she and co-founder of Cisco, Leonard Bosack, created a local area network, or LAN, between their campus offices using a multiprotocol router that Bosack developed. Shortly thereafter the pair started Cisco Systems, and began selling the router which was a success, because it could work with so many different types of computers. After Leaving Cisco in 1990, Lerner started the trendy cosmetics company Urban Decay and became a philanthropist and avid activist for animal rights.

@ symbol
Ray Tomlinson
Ray Tomlinson

Have you ever considered that someone, at some point, was in a position to choose what symbol would be used separate the user from their location in an email address? That person, it turns out, was Ray Tomlinson, and in 1971 he chose "@". Tomlinson is credited with demonstrating the first email sent between computers on a network, and when asked what inspired him to make this selection he said, “Mostly because it seemed like a neat idea.”

After completing his Master’s degree at MIT in 1965, Ray joined the Information Sciences Division of Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since then he has made many notable contributions to the world of network computing. He was a co-developer of the TENEX computer system that was popular in the earliest days of the Internet; he developed the packet radio protocols used in the earliest internetworking experiments; he created the first implementation of TCP; and he was the principle designer of the first workstation attached to the Internet.

Punch card from a COBOL program
Jean Sammet

Jean E. Sammet was one of the first developers and researchers in programming languages. During the 1950’s - 1960’s she supervised the first scientific programming group for Sperry Gyroscope Co. and served as a key member of the original COBOL (COmmon Business-Oriented Language) committee at Sylvania Electric Products. She also taught one of the first graduate programming courses in the country at Adelphi College. After joining IBM in 1961, she developed and directed the first FORMAC (FORmula MAnipulation Compiler). This was the first widely used general language and system for manipulating nonnumeric algebraic expressions. In 1979 she began handling Ada activities for IBM’s Federal Systems Division. Ada is a structured, object-oriented high-level computer programming language, designed for large, long-lived applications, where reliability and efficiency are paramount. Jean has a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and an M.A. from the University of Illinois, both in Mathematics. She received an honorary D.Sc. from Mount Holyoke (1978).

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