Kaoutar Ben Ahmed

Assistant Teaching Professor

2022 Ph.D., Computer Science and Engineering, University of South Florida
2016 Ph.D., Information Science, Abdelmaalek Essaadi University
2012 B.S., Computer Engineering, Abdelmaalek Essaadi University

Dr. Kaoutar Ben Ahmed has over 6 years of experience in education and over 11 years of experience in research on the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to solve real world problems. Dr. Ben Ahmed received her first Ph.D. degree in information science from Abdelmalek Essaadi University, Morocco in 2016. She received her second Ph.D. degree in computer science and engineering from the University of South Florida, USA in Dec, 2022. Her main research concerns addressing automatic medical image analysis problems using novel deep learning methods. Dr. Ben Ahmed’s research interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining, and deep learning. She is a recipient of the 2018 American Association of University Women Fellowship and the 2015 Fulbright Joint-Supervision Scholarship.



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Juan F. Mancilla Caceres

Assistant Teaching Professor

2014 Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2010 M.Sc., Comptuer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2006 B.Sc., Electronic Engineering, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala

Dr. Juan F. Mancilla-Caceres received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has experience in research both in academia as well as industry, having worked as an Applied Research at Microsoft and as the Director of Data Science and AI for Parknav, a start up in Smart Cities. His teaching and research interests lie in the intersection of AI and Human Computer Interaction, including topics like Ethics in AI, Modelling Human Behavior, and Multidisciplinary Research in general.



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Mustafa Ocal

Assistant Teaching Professor

2022 Ph.D., Computer Science, Florida International University
2021 M.S., Computer Science, Florida International University

Dr. Mustafa Ocal is a distinguished researcher and academic in the field of Computer Science. He holds both a PhD and an MS degree from Florida International University, with a focus on Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing. Throughout his doctoral studies, Dr. Ocal’s research has centered on addressing core challenges in these domains, particularly in the realm of data science. His contributions have been recognized through the publication of numerous scientific articles at prestigious conferences and publishers, reflecting his expertise and scholarly impact. Moreover, Dr. Ocal has co-authored a book published by Cambridge University Press. Notably, he also holds a US-Patent for an Artificial Intelligence model of his own creation, demonstrating his innovative approach to problem-solving in the field.

In addition to his research contributions, Dr. Ocal is passionate about teaching and mentoring the next generation of computer scientists. With a...



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Sergio Pisano

Assistant Teaching Professor

Dr. Sergio Pisano is an engineer with a passion for teaching and technology.  He received his Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering at Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas, Venezuela, Master of Science in Telecommunications and Networking at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, and Doctor of Education at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. He has worked in a variety of information technology positions and has been teaching since 2011. His academic interests include Game-Based Learning and novel teaching methodologies.



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Gregory Murad Reis

Assistant Teaching Professor

2018 Ph.D., Computer Science, Florida International University
2014 M.S., Systems Engineering, Federal University of Lavras, Lavras, MG, Brazil
2012 B.S., Computer Science, Federal University of Lavras, Lavras, MG, Brazil

Dr. Gregory Murad Reis is an Assistant Teaching Professor at the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences, an Environmental Finance Fellow at FIU’s Environmental Finance & Risk Management (EFRM), and an Affiliated Faculty in the FIU Institute of Environment. With over 20 years of experience teaching Mathematics and Computer Science courses, Dr. Reis is a highly respected educator with expertise in early, elderly, and special education.

Dr. Reis is also an accomplished researcher with a focus on Marine Robotics, Environmental Monitoring, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, and STEM Education. He has mentored over fifty students, including undergraduate, master’s and PhD students in several programs, such as the Science without Borders’s Summer Research Program, NSF’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), and NSF’s Research Experience for Teachers (RET). Dr. Reis has published several papers in conferences and journals on...



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Tiana Solis

Assistant Teaching Professor

1994 M.S., Computer Information Science, State University of New York Institute of Technology, Utica/Rome

Tiana Solis has been teaching at the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences for over 20 years. She received her Bachelor and Master degrees in Computer Science from the State University of New York Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome in 1992 & 1994. Ms. Solis was a programmer analyst at the Department of The Attorney General in Hawaii in 2008-2010, a member of the team revamping the State Juvenile Justice Information System. Her research and instructional interests include student success and retention, distance learning, software development, and programming languages.



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Charlyne Walker

Assistant Teaching Professor

1998 D., Leadership and Education, Educational Technology, Barry University
1995 M.S., Adult Education, Florida International University
1992 B.A., Liberal Studies with a concentration in Computer Science, Florida International University

Dr. Walker has a passion for helping students explore science and technology. She has taught a wide range of technology  and technology related courses at the secondary and post secondary levels. Her teaching interests include programming, web building and cyber security. In addition, she has taught courses exploring the underrepresentation of traditionally underserved populations in science and technology as well as the contributions of women to science and technology. She is passionate about broadening the participation in computer science. Her research interests include the causes of underrepresentation of traditionally underrepresented populations in science and technology and the influence of technology on our perceptions of gender and identity.



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Ahmad Waqas

Assistant Teaching Professor

2016 Ph.D., Computer Science, International Islamic University Malaysia
2012 M.S., Computer Communication and Networks, Sukkur IBA University
2008 M.C.S., Computer Science, University of Karachi
2006 B.C.S., Computer Science, University of Karachi

Dr. Ahmad Waqas is an Assistant Teaching Professor at the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences, Florida International University (FIU). Before joining FIU, he was working as an Associate Professor and Head of Department in the Department of Computer Science, Sukkur IBA University Pakistan. He has been involved in research and teaching for more than fourteen years.

Dr. Waqas received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Department of Computer Science, International Islamic University Malaysia. He received his MS in Computer Communication and Networks from Sukkur IBA Pakistan, and MCS (Master’s in Computer Science) from University of Karachi with merit positions. His teaching and research interests include Blockchain, Distributed Computing, Computing architectures, Compilers, theoretical computer science, Operating Systems, Data structure and algorithms. He has published quality research papers in renowned international journals and conference...



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Richard Whittaker

Assistant Teaching Professor

Richard’s interests are both computer science and economics and he holds Ph.Ds in both fields. His research specializes in the dynamics of complex systems to analyze global financial arbitrage. He has been involved in the development and deployment of algorithmic trading systems and has specialized in Global structural components, with a focus on manufacturing processes. He has over 20 years of hands-on experience in the metal fabrication trade.



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Samira Zad

Assistant Teaching Professor

2022, Ph.D., Computer Science, Florida International University
2016, M.Sc., Comptuer Science, Northeastern Illinois University
2005, B.Sc., Applied Mathematics, University of Kashan

Dr. Samira Zad is an Assistant Teaching Professor at the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences. She was an instructor at the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Florida Atlantic University. She received her Ph.D. degree from FIU in 2022 (supervised by Dr. Mark Finlayson). During her Ph.D., she received a scholarship from the Department of Homeland Security to support her Ph.D. She also received her M.S. from Northeastern Illinois University in computer science in 2016. Her area of expertise is in natural language processing, machine learning, text mining, semantic analysis, and emotion detection.



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