BRAC University is going to build its new permanent campus facility in Merul Badda, Dhaka, on 6.29 acres of land which has been donated by BRAC. The building itself will be 1,700,000 square feet. The piling and D-wall for the new campus has already been completed.
For the construction of an iconic building having 3 basements and 13 floors, the contract was awarded to BUCG-ABC Joint Venture. The BUCG International and ABC Limited are renowned names in the construction sector in China and Bangladesh respectively. On September 25, 2017 the contract was signed in a ceremony held at BRAC University. The target is to complete construction of the new campus within 30 months and shift there in early 2020.
BRAC University was established in 2001. At present, the University has 7,023 undergraduate, 1058 graduate, and 298 diploma students studying in 9 departments/schools and 4 institutes. With many innovative programs including launching of Onnesha - the first nano satellite launched by a university in Bangladesh, the newly established Centre for Peace & Justice, a Scholars’ Program, IT integration, the Residential Semester at its Savar campus, and growing recognition in research, the University is poised to bring further dramatic changes to higher education in the foreseeable future, especially in its new campus facilities.
Sharmin Nahar Nipa, Lecturer, and Khandaker Jafor Ahmed, Research Associate, C3ER, BRAC University participated in the seminar on “An Assessment of Flash Flood’17 Impact in Haor areas of Bangladesh” on 24 August, 2017 at the BRAC Centre Inn. The seminar was chaired by Professor Abdul Bayes, Director, RED, BRAC and he welcomed the participants from different institutions and organizations. Dr. Nepal C Dey, Research Fellow of RED presented the objectives, research methods and findings of the research. After that, the participants gave their valuable suggestions and ideas to transform the project findings and recommendations more fruitful and realistic as well.
The recent flash flood’17 in the north-east region which was triggered by heavy rainfall has breached parts of embankments and resulted in huge loss of assets and income of haor dwellers. The flood has not only damaged boro crop, which is the only seasonal rice crop that farmers of haor area grow annually but also has affected livelihoods of haor dwellers. The aim of the study was to investigate the impacts flash flood’17 in different sectors, such as agricultural production, livelihood including food security, education system, social and gender vulnerability, water, sanitation and health and economic groups. One of the study objectives was to understand the effectiveness of government as well as BRAC’s support during flood. This study has covered 62 villages of 31 unions under six districts, and a total of 1845 households. Both primary and secondary data were employed in the study. This study has identified some important emergency services for the affected people during any humanitarian crisis like flood.
BUCC (BRAC University Computer Club) has always tried to bring the latest technological advancements right to the doorsteps for its members and students alike. Big Data and Machine Learning being two of the most buzzing words in the world of computers nowadays. Hence, in a timely manner, BUCC started introducing their members to these concepts through an amazing workshop. The workshop on Big Data and Machine learning was held on the 24th of September, afternoon at the UB3 Auditorium of BRAC University. It was organized by BUCC in collaboration with Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE).
The event started at 2.30pm with the respected Annajiat Alim Rasel, Lecturer III and undergraduate course coordinator, CSE Department taking the floor and inaugurating the session with an eloquent speech. During his speech, he briefly went over the concepts of Big Data and discussed the current situation of Machine Learning of our country.
Annajiat Alim Rasel, the host of the event, passed the floor Hossain Arif, Assistant Professor of CSE Department. Hossain Arif welcomed the chairperson of CSE department Professor Dr. Md. Abdul Mottalib and asked the students some questions. He thanked BUCC for setting up such an event and encouraged them to work in the future like this. He further described the necessity of having such active clubs as a crucial and essential part of any University.
Hossain Arif invited Dr. Reduan Hasan Khan, Head of Internet of Things (IoT) at Grameenphone Ltd. to talk about IoT and Cloud services. Dr. Reduan discussed the basic ideas of IoT and elaborately explained the topic to the students. After that, he introduced the concept of cloud computing. The relation between cloud computing and IoT was also narrated during his presentation. He showed cloud service models and also talked about the difference between IT cloud and IoT cloud.
Once his fantastic presentation was complete, the floor was passed on to Dr. Md. Adnan Kiber, Professor of EEE department at Dhaka University, discussed about the variety of data structures and the challenges faced while trying to dive into the sector of machine learning. He then talked about Bioinformatics and discussed a little bit about that particular sector. Before ending his speech, he briefly touched upon the concepts of supervision learning and reinforcement learning.
At the end, the guests and participants were entertained with refreshments. Special thanks to the volunteers Humayun Kabir, Farzana Haque Toma, Tarikul Islam, Bushra Ahmed, GM Mahbubur Rahman, Muyeed Shahriar, FM Jamius Siam, Ahmed Bin Sabit, Monamy Islam for helping the guests and ensure that everything was going according to plan. Moreover, Mushfiqur Rahman, Suraiya Rahman, Hasin Raihan, Sadman Sakib, Raiyan Kabir, Asadur Rahman Rishan, Wasik Khan, Md Nafis Nakib, Khalid Saifullah, S.Farhan Ahmed for volunteering the event.
A session on ‘Youth Awareness and Activism’ was held on September 23, 2017, at Markuli Hall in BRAC University Residential Campus, organized by Institute of Wellbeing and BRAC University. The objective of the session was to raise awareness among the students about social and health issues.
Mr. Rehan Ahmed, Campus Superintendent, introduced the guest speakers and concluded the session with a vote of thanks.
Staying true to their motto “Upgrade Yourself” BRAC University Computer Club (BUCC) arranged a workshop on “Android Codelab” by Google Developers Group (GDG)Dhaka to introduce the students to the world of android development. This four-day long workshop started on 22nd September at 2:30 pm, after completing the workshop the students will be rewarded with a certificate by GDG, Dhaka. The classes are to be taken by Mohammad Tareq Hossain from GDG Dhaka.
The objective of this event was to elevate the skills of the participants in android application development. On this day, instructor Mohammed Tareq Hossain started the session by laying out his plans for this course. Firstly, he gave the students a brief idea about Android applications and today’s android market for developers. Mohammed Tareq Hossain discussed some of the functions of Java that would come in handy. He also talked about the differences between android applications and Android games. Furthermore, he discussed about different layouts used in Android apps.
After that, the instructor showed the students how to make a simple application. At first, he introduced Android Studio to the students and gradually taught them all the steps and procedures to make the app. The event concluded at 6 pm in the evening with the instructor hoping to continue his lesson on the next class. Special thanks go to all the volunteers Arafe Zawad Sajid, Md. Humayun Kabir Pantho, Assaduzzaman Anik, Dipanker, Zarif Ahmed Chowdhury, Tarikul Islam, Syeda Tanzina Farhin Toma, Farhath Anwar and Monamy Islam.
Professor Adnan Morshed presented a talk, entitled at “A Global Approach to Teaching Architectural History,” at the Institute of Architects Bangladesh on Sept 21, 2017. A large group of academics, architects, design professionals, and students attended the event and participated in the question-and-answer session following Dr. Morshed’s lecture. The abstract of the talk is below:
How architecture students learn about history often explains the type of architects they become. The foundation of modern historiography was laid during the West's colonial domination of the world. It is not surprising, therefore, that the West's historiographic accounts of the East would be influenced by Eurocentric ideologies. Since, in Bangladesh, as in other developing countries, we are mostly dependent on textbooks written by western authors, it is necessary to understand the western intellectual politics of framing the rest of the world. In Lectures on the Philosophy of World History, German philosopher Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) - while stating that history marches forward with a universal consciousness of freedom - argued that the kind of social conditions that were necessary to pursue self-reflection didn't exist outside the West. Hegel's philosophy of history profoundly influenced how history was written during the 19th and 20th centuries. Consider British architectural historian Bannister Fletcher's A History of Architecture, which became a standard history textbook for architects around the world, including Bangladesh, throughout the 20th century and onward. Time has come to critically rethink how we teach history in architectural schools in Bangladesh. Transcending the false boundaries of “western” and “non-western” requires a global perspective, one in which architectural production is not nation-centric but rather is conditioned by a global network of ideas.
On September 21, 2017, wrap-up session of the blending learning program on “E-Government and Digital Governance in Korea” was held. It discussed Lessons & Implications followed by Presentation by each Distance Learning Center (DLC). The event included about 150 participants from 15+ DLC from different countries: KOREA (KDI SCHOOL), MONGOLIA (NUM), CHINA (AFDI), PHILIPPINES (USEP), PHILIPPINES (AMAES), INDONESIA (UNHAS), INDONESIA (FETA), INDONESIA (UI), THAILAND (CU-GDLN), VIETNAM (WorldBank Office), VIETNAM (HDLC), BANGLADESH (BRAC University), NEPAL (NREN), SRI LANKA (SL DLC), INDIA (CIPS), and Individual Participants.
The course was organized by Korea Development Institute (KDI) School of Public Policy and Management, under 2017 GDLN Distance Learning Seminar Series. It started in June 2017 and concluded in September 2017. The seven-part course included sessions on An Overview of Korea’s Digital Government Experiences, Service Government Innovation and E-Government, E-Government for Transparency: Korea's Experiences and Challenges, The Competent Government in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Next Generation of Smart City Development: Challenges and Future Perspectives, Digital Government Development in Korea and Versatile Leadership, and Wrap-Up: Lessons & Implications.
Participants included Annajiat Alim Rasel, Lecturer III and Undergraduate Course Coordinator, Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), BRAC University (BRACU) and Mohammad Aminul Islam, Senior Lecturer, BIL. Mr Annajiat Alim Rasel also served as the program coordinator for this program at DLC of Global Development Learning Center (GDLN), BRAC University. Special thanks to Mr Aminul Islam, Manager, GDLN, BRAC University for facilitating the program.
On the 21st of September, Preneur Labs organized the Tech for Peace Bootcamp at BRAC University, which was organized by BUCC (BRAC University Computer Club). The main goal of this event was to create a digital solution to achieve a form of peace in our society by using young entrepreneurs to build apps, web pages, browser extension and IoT.
The event started at around 11.30 am with the speaker Mr. Golam Muqtadir, project officer, Preneur Lab giving a speech where he welcomed the audience and introduced the whole idea of Tech for Peace, which is a project aimed to find solutions to different social issues through ideas developed by the young generation. He talked about how much of an impact a good and influential idea can actually put on the people of a country, especially in an era where information is seamlessly transferred through social media and other digital means.
Mr. Muqtadir further encouraged the audience by sharing his thoughts on how the ideas of the young generation can help to change the overall landscape of the social problems that we face in our country. The floor was then passed to Dr. Md. Khalilur Rahman, Associate Professor of BRAC University. He started his speech by discussing how initiatives such as this boot camp can help students and encouraged them about peacekeeping. He talked a little bit about the positive and negative sides of technology and shared his opinion on how the youth who are using them actually control the outcome.
The next speaker, Kumrun Nahar, Project Coordinator, Preneur Lab talked about how Tech for Peace can help implement ideas by providing two months training followed by extensive marketing. The whole initiative was explained through slide presentations. Saiful Islam, Lecturer of BRAC University, encouraged the students to participate in such competitions and motivate peers to do the same. Annajiat Alim Rasel, Lecturer III and undergraduate course coordinator, CSE Department, BRAC University, illuminated the students by touching upon the benefits of such competitions and how it would help us in the future.
Syed Naimul Hossain, Business developer, Preneur Lab discussed on how to generate ideas for safeguarding youth violence which included networking, partnership from national and international organizations and such. He also showed his enthusiasm for promoting a roadshow in different universities to help the students make market-ready product. Touhidul Islam Swapon, Android Developer, Preneur Lab then took the floor and talked about wireframing and app-designing including how to plan and prototype. The session concluded with Priyanka Bose Kanta, Lecturer of Law Department, Dhaka University giving her insights of the importance of peacebuilding and thoughts on how violence must be eradicated from the root.
The volunteers of BUCC worked really hard Humayun Kabir, Md. Muyeed Shahriar, Maisha Farzana, Leonard Michael Gomes Dip, T.I.M Fahim Sahryer, Suraiya Rahman, Akash Chandra Paul, MD Ahmedul Karim, Khalid Saifullah, Arafe Zawad Sajid, Ahmed Bin Sabit for organizing everything as well as helping the guests . Mehedi Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahman Sharot, Asadur Rahman Risan, Sohanul Habib, Amanat Ullah Prottoy, Tarikul Islam, Tahsin Mostafa, Md.Muzahidul Islam Rahi, Adiba Mahbub Proma, Monamy Islam, S.Farhan Ahmed and Yousra Mehrin for volunteering the event.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Signing Ceremony between the Department of English and Humanities and BRAC University was held on Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017 at 3:30 pm in the ENH seminar room. Professor Samina Sultana, Director, The History Academy and Visiting Professor, ENH established Ghazi Shamsur Rahman Scholarship Fund at ENH in honour of the renowned jurist.
The event was attended among others by the VC, ProVC, the Treasurer and Heads of different departments of BRAC University. Thanking Prof. Samina Sultana for her generosity, the speakers hoped that this gesture would inspire others to come forward with similar endowments for academic purposes. The Vice Chancellor’s announcement that the university will add an equal amount to the grant was met with loud applause by the audience.
Students from Hindu community celebrating Durga puja will be exempted from class attendance/quiz from September 26-28, 2017. In case of missing the quiz on those three days, faculty members are requested to arrange make up in some convenient form.
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination” - Jimmy Dean. When the fresher’s of BRACU girls’ Hostel students were asked to analyze the meaning of the sentence some insightful discussion was made by them. The gist of the discussion is that the stage of university life is an important part of the student’s life as he/she moves from the total dependence into the complete independence. Moreover, though they came away from their cities into new places which may cause a change in their cultural, social and psychological environment but they have to adjust it for their future betterment.
This discussion was made in the workshop on “Adjustment with Self and Others” organized by the Relationship Management Office on September 19, 2017. The aim of the workshop was to aware students about the significance of well adjustment. The session was facilitated by two members from the Counseling Unit: Ms. Anne Anthonia Baroi and Ms. Kazi Rumana Haque.
The workshop was started by expressing positive affirmations regarding self. Shortly after that a discussion was held on the different aspects of adjustment. Later on, a meditation was done to deepen their insights about the characteristics of a well adjusted person. In addition, some effective tools to make university life a productive one were shared with them. Students’ contentment was expressed through their enthusiastic participation throughout the whole workshop. They also expressed their need to do such workshop more often throughout their university life and also suggested to conduct workshops on other psychosocial issues as well.
Anika Saba, Lecturer, ENH, wrote an op-ed titled “Genocide: what do we know it?” which was published in Dhaka Tribune on September 17, 2017. Taking cue from recent events concerning the Rohingyas, Saba pondered over how little the young generation knows about them or others who have suffered from this word ‘genocide’ and why. From history books to pop culture, she looked at different sectors that often neglect or manipulate stories of wars and genocides thus misinforming the young generation to form biased opinions.
Office of Career Services & Alumni Relations (OCSAR) organized an on-campus recruitment session by Therap on Sunday 17th September, 2017.
71 graduates from CSE and EEE department registered for this recruitment event for the post of “Software Engineer; Database Engineer; Software Engineer, Testing”. The event took place in UB – 30303 & 30402 of BRAC University and continued for 3.5 hours.
Mr. Kazi Shahnoor Kabir, and Ms. Shanzida Shahab Uddin, OCSAR were present at the session and coordinated the event.
BRAC University alumna Ishrat Naher Erina, has got invitation from Bills and Melinda Gates foundation as a 2017 winner of the 120 under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders, recognizing and highlighting the achievements of the next generation of family planning leaders worldwide. The event will be hosted from September 18 - 22, 2017 in USA and organized by The Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, USA.
Ishrat is nominated for this competition because of her valuable contribution on Family planning methods, especially on infertility management and contraception method. The online voting has been done during July 1 - 15, 2017 and then she entranced into final round after securing 75% votes. Jury board has recently informed about the final result where Ishrat has become one of the 40 winners among 400 nominees across the globe and has got the invitation to join the event at Johns Hopkins campus as a representative of Bangladesh.
Being graduated from BRAC University, Department of Pharmacy, with highest distinction, she has started working with a US based research firm as a health science researcher. As a part of that, Ishrat, currently, is running a pilot project namely Prescription Bangladesh, with the aim of targeting youth minds to address Sex Education in order to deal with social taboos to make people educated, self-aware and sensible and also to ensure their good mental health condition.
She wishes to work on every aspects of Sex Education, starting from family planning to reproductive health, from puberty to sexuality education, from reproductive organs to mental health condition in order to ensure that Sex Education is an integral part of the lifelong learning process. It should be begun in early childhood and continued to adult life. The main objective of her project is to encourage personal and social development, fostering self-esteem, self-awareness, a sense of moral responsibility, and the confidence and ability to resist abuse, social taboos and unwanted experience with a view to ensuring a good and secured Mental Health Condition.
The seminar on ‘Inclusion and Diversity’ was held on September 16, 2017, at BRAC University Savar Campus. The focus of the seminar was to make students understand the concept of diversity and the importance of inclusion.
The seminar began with a story to illustrate the problems associated with expecting everyone to conform to society, followed by several video clips and songs to explain the concept of diversity in terms of complexion, culture and language. Students were then encouraged to explore their own preconceived ideas about their friends and reflect upon it.
In the second half of the session, several activities were conducted to help the students learn more about themselves and to appreciate the differences among people. Students were also briefed on the consequences of isolating people because of their differences and also on the individual responsibility to accommodate everyone in the sphere. Special emphasis was given on the positive effects of inclusion.
At the end of the seminar, students were asked to write a poem titled, ‘Who Am I?’ as a part of self-realization process. The goal of this activity was to promote the idea that self-realization equips people with knowledge to help them handle conflicts more efficiently and to be more accepting of others.
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