Mr. Kazi Abu Bakar Siddique, Lecturer at BRAC Institute of Languages (BIL), conducted a series of four workshops at the Savar Residential Campus to help develop students’ reading and writing skills. Held in the first two weeks of February 2017, these interactive workshops shed light on students' existing skills on reading and writing and introduced newer approaches to improve their performance.
The first workshop titled Why Reading Matters focused on a brief discussion on the several benefits of reading, common reading skills, analyzing sample extracts from famous books and answering critical questions related to the topic of a text. The workshop also focused on the idea of ‘great books’ and how and when to approach them.
The second workshop, The Illusions of Writing Well, featured an interactive discussion based on ‘How to Write Well’, looking at the basic writing skills. The workshop was followed by a short writing activity and a feedback session.
The third workshop, Impromptu Poetry, a form related to Creative Writing, focused on presentation of instantly composed poetry with particular emphasis on the beauty of language. At the beginning of the session, the idea of impromptu poetry was introduced and a few sample presentations were shown to motivate the students.
The fourth workshop, Creative Non-fiction, introduced the genre with its various forms, discussing some remarkable pieces, and inspired the students with some helpful tips to write creative non-fiction pieces in the session.
The workshops proved to be quite useful as mentioned by the students who attended the sessions. However, like any learning workshop/activity, it had been agreed upon by the majority of the students in the after-workshop discussions that continuous practice needs to be ensured for significant improvement.
IEEE BRAC University Student Branch organized IEEE Campaign 2017 on the 5th and 6th of February 2017 from 9:30am to 2pm to promote new memberships and the renewal of the previous ones. After the two day campaign, a total of 130 sign ups were logged and among them, 65 members were successfully recruited for the upcoming year by the first campaign of 2017.
First International conference on Scientific Research and Practice was organized by the Global Circle for Scientific, Technological and Management Research (GCSTMR) at Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka on February 4-5, 2017. Professor Arefin Siddique, Vice Chancellor, University of Dhaka, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. A twenty-seven member team from the microbiology and biotechnology programs of the Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, BRAC University which included four faculty members namely, Professor M. Mahboob Hossain, Ms Zubaida Marufee Islam , Ms Trosporsha Tasnim Khan, and Ms Kashmery Khan. Four abstracts were selected for oral presentation. Ms. Asma Binte Afzal, Laboratory Officer, presented her paper entitled, "Identification of Virulent Genes of Cronobacter sp. Isolated from Foods " . Ms. Tasnia Islam, a student of microbiology presented the paper entitled, "Screening of Amylase producing Bacteria from Soil followed by Identification via 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing and Characterization of the Crude Amylase”. Another student of the microbiology program Ms. Faria Mahjabeen presented the paper entitled, "Screening of Cellulolytic Bacteria from Soil followed by Identification via 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing and Characterization of the Crude Cellulase”. A student of biotechnology Ms. Maria Kibtia presented a paper entitled, “Isolation of diesel and kerosene degrading bacteria from soil samples and determination of optimum growth condition”. Ms Nahreen Mirza, Teaching Assistant presented the poster entitled, “Immune Response to Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia Coli: Detection of Antibodies against Outer Membrane Proteins in Healthy Population around Dhaka City, Bangladesh”. Ms. Muniara Juthi, a student of microbiology presented the poster entitled, “Comparative study of the microbiological qualities between tap water of Old Dhaka and New Dhaka with emphasis on the presence of fecal coliform bacteria”. Ms. Nusrat Afrin a student of biotechnology program presented the poster entitled, "Microbiological quality of ice cream and tamarind juice (tok) collected from various locations of Dhaka City". Tasnim Mortuza Zarin, a student of microbiology program presented the poster entitled, “Studies on isolation and identification of microbes from various fruit juices made and sold for immediate consumption at home and in market of Dhaka city”. A student of biotechnology Ms. Sihinta Sabeen Shembil, a student of biotechnology presented the poster entitled, “Isolation of Lactic Acid Bacteria with Antimicrobial Activity”. Ms. Faria Yasmin Aditi of microbiology presented the poster entitled, “A study on the Microbiological Status of Mineral Drinking water”.
The students of ARC 101 Design I visited Curzon Hall and Institute of Fine Arts, Dhaka University on Sunday, 5 February 2017. The tour was conducted as part of an outdoor excursion for students as part of their sketch project to explore form, Space and Scale. They were shown around the Curzon Hall as well as the Fine Arts Institute for a first hand understanding of the relationship between form, scale and proportion in public buildings. The outing was attended by 40 students and was guided by studio teachers Saiqa Iqbal Meghna, Amir Ebn Sharif, Tanjina Khan and Riffat Farjana.
- A four page interview report under the title “GDP Probridhi 7.5 Shotangsho Arjito Hobar kono Laxman Dekchi Na” was published in Arthojogat, a financial fortnightly magazine on 01 February, 2017. The interview dealt with the prospects of achieving 7.5 percent GDP growth in light of recent developments in macroeconomic indicators such as exports, remittances, exchange rate and private sector investment.
- An interview report with Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was published in the Bengali daily newspaper Prothom Alo on 4 February, 2017. The interview dealt with the recently announced Monetary Policy for second half of FY17.
Two students pursuing MS in biotechnology program defended their dissertations on 2 February, 2017, in Room UB21511 of the MNS Department. Among them, Ms Tribeni Ghosh has worked in the field of biofuel generation and title of her thesis is “Study of Low Cost Biofuel Production from Vegetable Waste”. The research work was supervised by Professor Mahboob Hossain and was carried out at the MNS Dept. laboratory. Mr. Md. Asrafuzzaman presented his research project entitled “Study of GLUT-4 and AMPK Gene Expression and Phosphorylation AMPK Protein in Oyster Mushroom-Induced Type 2 Diabetic Model Rats”. The work was carried out under the joint supervision of Prof. Naiyyum Choudhury, Chairman, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority and Dr. Omer Farque, Associate Professor, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences. The Viva Board was chaired by Prof. A. A. Z. Ahmad. Professor Mahboob Hossain, Dr. Omer Farque and Dr. Aparna Islam were also present. The Viva Board expressed its satisfaction on the quality of the work carried out by the students.
A Workshop on Concept and Issues of Open and Distance Learning: An Overview, Online Learner's Management and E-Learning System for Higher Education, and Student Engagement and Active Learning Process was held on 02 February 2017 at BRAC University Auditorium. Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) of BRAC University (BRACU) organized this event. Professor Md. Tafazzal Hussain, Ph.D. director of IQAC, BRACU delivered his welcome address at the beginning of the program.
Prof. Dr. Khondoker Mokaddem Hossain, Center Chief and Administrative Team Leader, E-Learning Center and Pro Vice Chancellor, Bangladesh Open University and Mr. Md. Masum Billah, System Analyst and Technical Center Chief and Head, E-Learning Center, Bangladesh Open University and Dr. Serajul I Bhuiyan of Kuwait University were present as the facilitators at the workshop. Prof. Dr. Khondoker Mokaddem Hossain discussed on Concept and Issues of Open and Distance Learning in the 1st session and Mr. Md. Masum Billah gave a presentation on Online Learner's Management and E-Learning System for Higher Education in the second session of the workshop respectively. Dr. Serajul I Bhuiyan gave a detailed presentation on pedagogy and discussed various techniques of teaching-learning. A total of 64 faculty members, administrative & management staff and IQAC officials were present in the workshop. Both the sessions were concluded with two different technical sessions of question and answers.
CSE faculty member, Dr. Md. Ashraful Alam, Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Engineering Department, BRAC University attended a conference “SPIE Photonics West 2017” as a speaker, held at the Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA, USA from 28 January to 2 February. SPIE is the world’s largest society for Optical engineering and Photonics, including imaging science. Dr. Alam presented a paper titled “Viewing angle enhancement of a real-time integral imaging system using multi-directional projections and GPU parallel processing.” This paper is also co-authored by four students of BRAC University – Md. Sifatul Islam, Mahfuze Subhani, Mohd. Zishan Tareque, Md. Rashidul Rahman Rafi and Md. Shahinur Rahman (PhD student in Chungbuk National University, Korea) and Professor Nam Kim (Professor of Chungbuk National University, Korea). This research work was accomplished in collaboration with OIP Lab, Chungbuk National University, Korea.
Dr. Alam happily shared that in the interactive session, some researches and professors appreciated the idea of this paper including a researcher from MIT Media Lab, a researcher from US Naval Research Lab and professors from Japan and China.
Besides attending the conference, Dr. Alam was visited Stanford University and University of California, Riverside (UCR) and had a meeting with Professor Amit Roy-Chowdhury, a renowned Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept. of UCR on January 30, 2017. His research area includes Computer Vision and Image Processing allied field with Dr. Alam. Professor Roy leads the Video computing group at UCR. Dr. Alam discussed about research collaboration with UCR.
The eighteenth Journal Club Session organized by BRAC Institute of Languages (BIL) was held on February 02, 2017, at the Writing Centre of BRAC University. Ms. Tanjila Ferdous and Ms. Tanzima Baten, Lecturers at BRAC Institute of Languages (BIL), individually presented an article titled “Guided Meditation in the English Language Classroom,” written by Amy Jenkins.
As the name suggests, the article is about integrating meditation into English Language classrooms. The author relates meditation with anxiety and how meditation helps students in learning. The presenters shared their views on the challenges students usually face in classrooms, one of which is experiencing anxiety and struggling to acquire the language being taught. Therefore, the speakers and participants came to the conclusion that by using guided meditation at the beginning of English classes, students may achieve a relaxed state and become more open to acquiring the language. They further emphasized on Krashen’s theory of ‘affective filter’, the importance of ‘breathing in and breathing out’, benefits of meditation, and how to effectively meditate in the classroom.
All the attendees participated in the discussion and contributed their thoughts and ideas on how meditation could be used in the classes. According to several faculty members, meditation may prove to be a useful part of teaching and learning, and they are looking forward to incorporate these in their own classes. Thus, the article was deemed both interesting and informative by the faculty members present in the session.
Md. Tamzidul Islam, Assistant Professor and Internship Coordinator of BRAC Business School joined the International Conference on Science Technology and Management (ICSTM) on 1st and 2nd February, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The conference was organized by International Academy of Science, technology, Engineering and Management.
He also presented his paper entitled as "Determinates of level of motivation to consume organic tea" and later on it was also published in the conference proceedings. The participants from various countries also highly appreciated his work.
A journal review session took place on February 01, 2017, at the Meeting Room of BRAC University Savar campus. Ms. Saudia Islam, faculty member of Ethics & Culture, discussed an article titled “Getting Mill Right” written by Deni Elliott.
The article tries to clarify Mill’s utilitarianism and how it can be taught in media ethics appropriately. John Stuart Mill is regarded as the greatest classical thinker in media ethics and he has provided a foundation for balanced news presentation in arguing that public discussion must include minority opinion in order to discover the truth.
Usually utilitarianism is understood by the arithmetic formula which is “Do the greatest good for the greatest number,” but this formula can be misused by applying it in justifying morally unaccepted action as a right action. Ms. Saudia explains how the article shows the difference between arithmetic good and aggregate good, where arithmetic good is calculation of people who are going to be satisfied by the action; on the other hand, aggregate good is the overall good for the community as a whole who are concerned with the action. The article also sheds light on the connection between individual good and community good by giving the argument that individual’s happiness is dependent on the happiness of the community as a whole. In other words, happiness is found in the realization of society’s shortcomings and active involvement in making the world a better place.
Ms. Saudia further mentions the purpose of the article, which is to analyze Mill’s utilitarianism by considering all relevant factors to remove all vagueness and make it understandable for both students and teachers of media ethics.
The session was open for all to share their views after the discussion. Faculty members of Ethics & Culture shared their opinion at the end of the session.
The Department of Pharmacy has been conducting seminars involving students to help them acquire more knowledge on a particular topic. Moreover, this would help them to convey their ideas and thoughts to their friends as well to their teachers. Keeping this in mind, the Department of Pharmacy, BRAC University has started to conduct seminars where the students are the speakers every Thursday. The students gave presentation on interesting topics such as hypothetical companies based on marketing principles, industrial training, blood brain barrier tableting process and manufacturing problems, G protein coupled receptor mechanism etc. The interactive sessions turned out to be a learning experience for the students as well.
A graduate of the Department of Pharmacy, Samin Huq, recently received the Erasmus Mundus Excellence Scholarship for the Europublichealth for Master’s program and Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s program in Public Health. Samin Huq was a student of the 3rd batch of the Department of Pharmacy and worked as a Teaching Assistant from August 1, 2015 to October 3, 2016 in the Department of Pharmacy, BRAC University. He is currently working in the WHO Bangladesh Country Office as a Project Facilitator of IVD (Immunization and Vaccine Development) Programme - Bangladesh of Chittagong Division.
His achievement will surely inspire all the students of Department of Pharmacy. The Department of Pharmacy wishes him a bright future.
During the month of November 2016, BRAC University Pharma Society (BUPS) participated in an “Antimicrobial Resistance Campaign Week” which has been recognized by IPSF (International Pharmaceutical Students Federation). As a result, IPSF decided to give a certificate of recognition to BUPS club. BUPS successfully created the best campaign on “Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness” in the world.
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