May 04, 2023: School of Mathematics and Computer Science (SMCS), IBA Karachi, organized a panel discussion on 'Choosing Relevant and Impactful CS Project Topics: Tips for FYPs' with the aim to help senior students in computer science build industrial connections for their final year projects (FYPs) and provide them with the opportunity to get industrial project ideas and mentorship. The event was attended by senior BSCS students and CS faculty members.
Panelists included, Mr. Arsalan Rashid, VP - QA Services, Systems Limited; Mr. Zia Uddin Ahmed, Manager Data Tech, HBL; Ms. Neelam Raheel, Head of Service Delivery and Senior Project Manager, Genetech; Syed Kumail Haider Zaidi, Senior Software Architect, 10Pearls. The session was moderated by Dr. Tariq Mahmood, Professor, Department of Computer Science.
The event commenced with, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Coordinator FYP, Dr. Tahir Syed's presentation on FYPs, where he emphasized the importance and presented the processes, and practices of the final year project for the students.
After the presentation, the panelists and the moderator were invited to engage in the FYP panel discussion.
Talking about the successful FYP, Mr. Zaidi said that "It is essential to have a serious commitment from all three parties involved, academia, industry experts, and students, as this can lead to a win for all three parties." He further added that, to ensure a good application design for FYP, students should begin early, manage their time effectively, maintain regular collaborations and ensure that they pass through all SDLC steps, including design.
Expressing her views on standardizing the FYPs according to industrial norms, Ms. Raheel recommended a few practices that can be followed to ensure that the students take project management seriously. Her recommendations included, emphasis on the importance of architectural stability, acknowledging that the stability of a product or design is dependent on proper project management, planning and designing in the early phase to expose as many solution gaps as possible, making it easier for the later stages of SDLC, such as QA readiness/acceptance testing, etc.
She also highlighted the importance of detailed planning of the project which helps ensure that the project manager is well-equipped with project management and planning ideas to keep an eye on the design in a holistic manner and handle the projects in a systematically.
Responding to the question on overcoming the industry-academia gap, Mr. Rashid said that "Systems Limited emphasizes highly on bridging the industry-academia gap and our company has a designated department specifically for this purpose." He further added that the company is open to offering mentorship and guidance to the students provided that the students come up with project ideas and related proposals.
While talking about Data Science and Big Data, Mr. Ahmed shed light on some potential industrial data analytics projects/business problems in the areas of big data, machine learning and data governance, which can provide maximum learning, exposure, and problem-solving skills to students.
Summarizing the panel discussion, Dr. Mahmood emphasized the importance of creating frameworks for industrial partnerships and adopting an agile approach to industrial FYPs. This involves developing prototypes in the initial phase and making further iterations in the second phase.
A Q&A session followed the panel discussion.
Dr. Shakeel Khoja, Dean SMCS presented mementos to the panelists.
The event concluded with a networking session where the students got an opportunity to discuss their project ideas with the panelists.
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