Nigerian Professor Loves Teaching at MIU (formerly MUM)

Prof. Obinna Kalu

Obinna Kalu is a dynamic, enthusiastic young Assistant Computer Science Professor who loves teaching and has a keen eye on the future.

We sat down with Professor Kalu and asked him a series of questions about his background, including time spent as a student prior to joining our faculty.

Q: When did you start teaching at Maharishi International University (formerly Maharishi University of Management)?

A: I started teaching MSCS program distance education courses in March 2015. Then, in August 2017, I started teaching on-campus Computer Professionals Program (“ComPro”) courses right here in Fairfield.

Q: Why do you enjoy teaching at MIU?

A: The first attraction for me is our unique campus environment—the peace and serenity, we enjoy. I very much like the team I work with here in the CS department and the breadth and depth of knowledge available from my co-faculty members.

And then, the great students we get to work within every class that I have taught. The overall daily experience in teaching/learning here is simply awesome!

Prof. Kalu is very energetic and enthusiatic in the classroom!

Learn More about our MS program

Q: What is it that attracts so many top students from around the world?

A: MIU offers easily the most affordable means to boost their careers in professional software development. Our students can gain top-notch, full-paying practical internship experience in some of the best U.S. IT companies—which cannot be gotten anywhere else.

Our students are very bright, highly motivated, and are always eager to learn and try new ideas and technologies. Our CS curriculum is first-rate.

Having spent the prior three years studying in a similar master’s program in England before coming here as a student in 2004, I could easily compare and see the remarkable difference between the two. Ours is a very practical, purpose-designed MS in CS program. All of our courses are designed to equip students with the latest skills and technologies that are in very high demand by the best companies in the industry.

Q: What are the unique benefits and advantages of studying at MIU?

A: The first unique advantage is learning the Transcendental Meditation® technique, which students, faculty, and staff use to live a low-stress, balanced, happy, wholesome life.

TM helps me maintain a balanced life. With my regular practice of TM, I find that no matter how hectic my teaching schedule gets, I still always feel that inner bliss, joy, and happiness.

Another advantage is the quality of the cutting-edge skills that they acquire in the ComPro MSCS program. Since 1996, more than 1000 U.S. companies have hired our students. The average annual internship salary is around $90,000.

Prof. Kalu enjoys working with small groups of students.

Q: What is your educational background?

A: In my higher education studies, I first earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Lagos, in Nigeria. After graduating from college, I spent a couple of years working for a small but prominent software development company in Lagos as a trainee programmer. And then two more years following that, working for a bank in their electronic banking technology department.

Then I went on to earn two Master of Science degrees—one in computing and information technology from the University of Bedfordshire in England, and the other in computer science, right here at MIU, graduating in 2008.

I first learned about MIU from one colleague in the bank in Nigeria where I worked. He had learned about MIU from a friend of his who was a student here at the time (~ 1999).

Q: Where did you work during your ComProSM internships and after graduation?

A: I was a Project Programmer at AECOM and a Software Developer III at SAP in Arizona for my internships, and later was a Software Engineer at NORC at the University of Chicago in Washington, DC before joining the MIU faculty.


Every classroom has a laptop for each student.

Q: What courses do you teach?

A: I teach Software Engineering, Web Application Programming, Enterprise Architecture, Modern Programming Practices, and Fundamental Programming Practices on the graduate level, and have also taught Data Structures on the undergraduate level.

Q: What advice do you have for software developers who want great careers?

A: My advice to young, aspiring developers is for them to stay hungry to pursue learning and achieve even more. There are an increasing number of new tools, techniques and technologies to get into and enjoy working with. In other words, keep learning new things, as the future in software technology is bright!

Do not hesitate a minute once you come across information about our unique MSCS degree program. It offers easily the most affordable means to boost your career in professional software development, through which you can gain top-notch practical experience in some of the best IT companies here in the U.S.

Q: What do students say about your teaching?

A: A former student from Mongolia recently emailed, “I received a very good job offer as a Software Development Engineer in Bellevue, WA. The knowledge that you taught me was valuable and helped me a lot during my internship search and interview. I will be using Java for back-end. Thank you so much Professor Kalu.”

Q: What are your personal goals?

A: I plan to continue in my teaching career for the long term. And I also hope to (in parallel) pursue my Ph.D. in one of the areas of artificial intelligence in the near future.

Learn more about our MS program
All students have state-of-the-art computers available in every classroom.

Prof. Kalu is often seen cycling around campus!

When not teaching, Professor Kalu enjoys cycling, trail running, and hiking on our beautiful 365-acre campus.

2018 ComPro Graduation & Homecoming

Happy New Students from our August 2016 Entry

Our June 22-24th graduation weekend was a joyful homecoming celebration filled with parties, pomp and picnics. A record 387 ComPro students from 29 nations were awarded their MS in Computer Science degrees.


Three Days of Celebration:

Day 1: Pre-graduation ice cream social, garden dinner party, and graduation awards ceremony.

Reunion at the garden dinner party

Pre-Graduation Photos ➜


Outstanding ComPro graduates:

Mosheer Yousef Mahmoud (From Palestine) and Candy Claire Cadungog (From the Philippines)

Mosheer Yousef Mahmoud (Palestine) & Candy Claire Cadungog (Philippines)


Day 2:  Graduation Day!

Celebrating graduation!

Happy during graduation ceremony!

Graduation Day Photos ➜

Graduation Day Highlight Video ➜ (18:34)


 Day 3: Annual ComPro Picnic

ComPro Director Elaine Guthrie welcoming everyone to the picnic.
Colombian graduates are World Cup fans!

Happy canoers!

Picnic Photos ➜

Congratulations to all our new ComPro alumni!


The Secret to ComPro Student Success

Educating Advanced Software Developers for Lifelong Personal and Professional Growth: 

Happy New Students from our August 2016 Entry

There are two major challenges facing working computer professionals:
1. Keeping up with rapidly changing computer technologies
2. Dealing with the stressful demands in the IT industry

Unfortunately, most graduate programs do not offer educational technologies for dealing with either of these critical challenges. “This is where the unique educational approach at Maharishi University of Management provides much needed solutions to these challenges,” says Greg Guthrie, Computer Science Dean Emeritus and Dean of Educational Technologies.

What makes MUM education unique?
The basis of this unique approach is the Transcendental Meditation® technique. Research shows that this simple meditation technique, practiced 20 minutes twice a day, greatly aids learning new things – just what a software engineer needs in order to keep up with the rapid changes.

Jeffrey Abramson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Maharishi University of Management

Jeffrey Abramson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at MUM, who has hired a number of our graduates, describes our special education this way:
“As an employer, I have hired 15 graduates of MUM’s ComPro and Accounting MBA programs, and have continually been impressed how well their MUM education prepares them for today’s demanding workplace.”

“MUM has a unique approach to education that awakens the students’ vast interest in learning, a special inner alertness, and deep confidence that is critical for success today. The core component is Consciousness-Based education. This inspires within each student a world of fresh ideas creating a humane and socially conscious leader capable of building a safe and prosperous world.”

More about Transcendental Meditation
TM is so effortless to practice, that even 10-year-old children learn to do it. Transcendental Meditation involves no beliefs or disbeliefs–it is not a philosophy, or a religion, or a way of life. Even skeptics benefit from doing TM when taught by a certified TM instructor. The TM technique was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi over 60 years ago, and has been learned by more than six million people.

When we do TM, this results in clearer thinking, broader awareness, increased receptivity by students in the classroom, relief from stress, increased inner happiness and joy in living.

This natural development through regular TM practice is what gives our students and graduates the advantages of being able to keep up more easily with rapidly changing technology while naturally dissolving accumulated stress, and simultaneously becoming more resistant to future stress.

Personal experience

Sarju Pandit enjoys doing TM

You will love this video with Sarju Pandit describing experiences in our ComProSM program.

Proven success on the job

Ali thinks learning TM is the best thing he ever learned in his life.

Here’s what student Ali Alrahahleh, from Amman, Jordan, has to say about the value of Transcendental Meditation in his curricular practical training internship at Walmart Labs, Co. in Sunnyvale, California as a Senior Software Engineer.

“I have learned a simple mental technique at MUM, which I really have appreciated since coming to San Francisco. When my real life started, and my responsibilities accumulated, I really needed to have some moments of quietness in my daily routine.”

“Within all the chaos of the city, and my fast-pace life, my 20-minute meditations were awesome moments of peace, life and quietness. I could rejuvenate myself and my mind twice daily, and that twenty minutes gave me much energy to continue my routine, doing sports and working. It made me so creative and made my thinking vast. I think the Transcendental Meditation technique was the best thing I ever learned in my life, and now I see its effects much more.”

According to Ali,
“Stress is a major player in software programming; deadlines make people unstable, angry and desperate to finish on time. With the help of TM, I tend to be more focused and calm most of the time, and a high performer. People in my company asked me about the secret, so I pointed them to articles about TM.”

Published scientific research on the benefits of TM
Extensive published research has found that this effortless technique promotes a state of deep inner calm, and boosts learning ability and creativity.

More than 380 peer-reviewed research studies on the TM technique have been published in over 160 scientific journals. These studies were conducted at more than 200 research institutions, including Harvard Medical School and Stanford Medical School.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded MUM researchers more than $26 million for research on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique on health.

It’s no surprise that people on campus smile, greet each other warmly, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Members of our highly diverse student body appreciate and benefit in sharing rich multi-cultural differences. The unofficial motto of MUM is, “The world is my family!”

Learn more about the Computer Professionals ProgramSM.

Data Science MS specialization named the top master’s program of its kind in Iowa, 2018

The MS in Computer Science-Data Science specialization at Maharishi University of Management recently received the unique distinction of being named the best master’s program of its kind in Iowa.

In its first annual review of all 290 accredited schools in the U.S. offering similar grad degrees, DataScienceGraduatePrograms.com found MUM to be among the very best, giving us the #1 spot for Iowa on its list of Top Data Science Graduate Programs for 2018.

Selection Criteria
To come up with these recommendations, reviewers sifted through a list of 290 data science master’s and graduate certificate programs by hand.

As much as possible, they looked for programs that included multiple required courses covering core subjects such as:

Inferential and Descriptive Statistics
Linear and Logistic Regression
Time Series and Forecasting
Probability Theory
Stochastic Analysis
Statistical Modeling
Multidisciplinary Approaches

A multi-disciplinary program including courses and instructors from computer science and applied mathematics or statistics departments ranked more highly than single department programs.

Because data science blends together essential elements from at least those fields (and often from others, including biostatistics, which draws on heath and medical education) they judged that programs built by professors from both houses were more likely to cover all the bases.

Database and Data Theory Education

The secret sauce that makes data science, data science, is the use of automated data processing elements in statistical analysis. So they searched for programs that included an education in data structures and database theory.

Hands-on work with relational and non-relational data stores were a big plus, in their view, to build on that theoretical education. Dedicated data modeling courses and capstone projects that required genuine database creation or manipulation were also excellent signs of a useful education.

Coding Courses With Teeth

The other aspect of data processing is coding. Data scientists apply their analytical training to information stored in data structures through expressions and algorithms crafted in programming languages heavily used in the profession, like R, Python and Java.

They selected programs that included genuine, hands-on programming work. Although most data science programs require some coding experience as a condition of entry, they looked for those gems that also continued the education in the more specialized aspects of languages and coding specific to data science.

This also extended to coverage of the latest techniques used in data analysis. Data mining, machine learning, and advanced visualization were important courses they looked for.

Instructors With The Right Stuff

Data science is a new field and it’s one that is largely being defined in practice rather than theory. That means that the big players are active in government, industry, and academia alike. On-the-ground experience working with the systems that are collecting, processing, and analyzing big data is invaluable when it comes to training others how to do the work.

So reviewers looked for programs that included faculty with current or recent experience in real-world projects outside academia, where the practical considerations of employers and users come into play. Adjunct professors with day jobs working with big data were a big plus.

Other Factors

Since data science is so new, they had to look at some proxy elements to judge programs. They always like to consider reputation in the industry, and in many cases they had to look at the parent department or college generally instead of the individual program. However, they did try to account for graduate placement as an indicator of reputation and preparation.

If the school had a dedicated data lab where professors and students partnered with outside businesses and agencies, they also counted that highly.

To a much lesser extent, website and the availability of information played a factor. Data science draws people who like data and have an interest in technology. It’s 2018, and if an academic department dealing in a computational science puts together a website that looks like a 12-year-old built it in 2001, or can’t provide easy online access to course descriptions and offerings, it’s time to run the other way.

The Very Best Data Science Grad Programs by State

Iowa

Maharishi University of Management
Although the Maharishi program is focused first on a traditional computer science education, with all the emphasis on core networking and programming skills that entails, it’s also a unique world center for the integration of traditional self-development with this most modern area of technical study. The inclusion of proven meditation techniques here only reinforces how serious this program is about preparing students for real-world work in data science. The optional 8-month internship for full credit provides genuine on-the-job experience, building your resume and putting you into direct contact with real data scientists doing real work, all before you graduate.

The base program specializes in training on software systems and development and the data science option piggybacks on this strength with concrete training in hot data analysis technologies like R, Hadoop, Spark, Flume, and HBase. Overviews of other NoSQL approaches and cloud-based tools like AWS and Cloudera are also taught. Finally, you’ll work with IBM’s SPSS modeler application, diving into text analytics and data mining to learn predictive modeling skills.

Learn more.

New: Computer Professionals Program Website

After nearly a year in development, our new responsive website for the Computer Professionals ProgramSM is ready.

Please click on the images shown below to experience the unique excitement and attraction that draws more than 300 students per year from every continent and every cultural background to our Computer Science MS program.

We are especially proud of the website videos, which give an inviting taste of student life at MUM, and will inspire you to apply to our “ComProSM” degree program!

See for yourself why campus visitors, students, and graduates consider MUM their home-away-from-home!

Some pages on our new website:

Unique Payment Plan for Internationals

Unique, affordable payment plan for international students

 

Low Entry Fee with Paid Internships for Internationals

Low initial payment with paid internships in U.S. companies

 

Our Students Come from Around the World

Read testimonials and watch video comments from students and graduates worldwide.

 

You Will Experience Personal & Career Growth

ComPro students practicing Transcendental Meditation® technique

 

Students Have Held Internships in Fortune 500 Companies

ComPro students do paid internships in U.S. companies

 

Learn Advanced Computer Science from Top Faculty

ComPro students gain advanced knowledge in software development

 

New Data Science Specialization: Big Data Analytics & Machine Learning

Our new Data Science track prepares students for careers in the fastest growing area of computer science

 

You Will Enjoy Our Vibrant Campus Community

MUM is located in a vibrant campus community not far from Chicago

Visit our new website now.

Your feedback is welcome. Thank you to RileyDesigns.com for the outstanding design and service!

Students Gain Cutting-Edge Knowledge

Students Gain Cutting Edge “Spring Framework” Knowledge: 

This past December (2017), MUM Computer Science Professor Payman Salek attended the “SpringOne Platform Conference” in San Francisco, which is the most significant conference on Spring Framework and related technologies.

With 2800+ attendees, 145+ talks, 200+ speakers, 32 keynotes, and 43 sponsors, SpringOne Platform 2017 was “simply amazing!” He also did the intense two-day, pre-conference training on “Spring Cloud.”

According to Professor Salek, “The conference became an inspiration for me to come back and share the knowledge with students and faculty. I have created a report about the talks and topics I learned in the conference, and also just gave a one-week seminar on “Advanced Spring Framework Topics” to MSCS students at MUM during the winter break. Seventeen students signed up and spent their last week of winter break learning about new Spring Framework features.”

In the student seminar, the following advanced topics were covered:

  • Spring Boot, Under the Hood
  • Spring Boot Actuator
  • Spring Cloud Services
  • Refactoring the Monolith into Microservices
  • Circuit Breakers and Service Discovery
  • Load Balancing and External Configuration
  • Introduction to Spring 5.0 and Reactive Programming

MSCS students doing morning TM

 

Professor Salek

“Students seemed excited about learning these new topics as much as I was excited to share this knowledge with them!”

The knowledge of Spring Framework gained by Professor Salek has been shared with MSCS students in a recent week long seminar. This knowledge will also be included in existing Enterprise Architecture courses at MUM.

Meet Professor Bruen

Our Computer Professionals (“ComPro (SM)”) MS Program at MUM is known globally for preparing students for IT and personal career success.

Like all our professors, Computer Science Associate Professor Joe Bruen plays a big role in this unique and unprecedented education.

Two factors lead to our students’ success

Having highly industry-experienced senior faculty teaching in the program.

Professor Joe Bruen brings 35 years of high level experience working in Fortune 500 corporations into the classroom. His employers included: Digital Equipment Corporation, Banker’s Trust, Sprint, and Wells Fargo. He also spent many years as an independent consultant.

His long and varied career included senior management and corporate architecture positions. Work areas included: operating system development, voice recognition, timing simulation of large computers, high speed network devices, graphic software development, object-oriented DB development, and service-oriented architecture (SOA).

Practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique

At Maharishi University of Management, all the professors and students practice Transcendental Meditation (TM) every day. TM is a simple, natural, scientific, and time-tested mental technique shown to produce clearer thinking, increased comprehension, energy and creativity, while relieving deep rooted stresses and tension from the physiology.

As a result, students report that they learn more easily, get better grades, enjoy teamwork collaborations more, and are healthier and happier.

MSCS students doing morning TM

MSCS students doing their morning TM

After starting TM in college, Professor Bruen says, “I was able to understand core concepts more quickly, and I was also able to more readily connect the concepts together. TM gives you a great foundation for success.”

“In anything you do, if you want to do it well, a strong foundation is tantamount to success. TM is as foundational as it gets. Clearer mind, less stress, healthier body lead to more success. In a sense, I was able to run faster & jump higher. It helped me immensely.”

As a conscientious educator, Professor Bruen wanted to give his students the same personal and educational advantages that had made his life so enjoyable. So, in 1973 he became a Transcendental Meditation teacher. Since joining our faculty in 2014, in addition to teaching advanced courses in Web Application Architecture and Enterprise Architecture, he also enjoys teaching TM to many new MSCS students.

Need for the Transcendental Meditation® technique in IT Industry

When working at their full-time practical training internships around the U.S., our students also take distance education courses part-time to continue their advanced Computer Science education. Their schedules are very demanding.

As one of Professor Bruen’s student’s experienced: “I am glad to have this amazing technique, Transcendental Meditation, to release all the tension I encountered, and revert back to my normal stable routine. My typical day is really hectic and comprised of a lot of mind-blowing thoughts and stressful conditions. “I do have the busiest job with taking distance courses and worrying about personal matters on different occasions. TM has helped me reset back to my original peace and restful mind after all the things I have to deal with.”

See more student comments and video: Transcendental Meditation® Technique: the Competitive Edge for IT Professionals.

Professor Bruen invites all computer professionals interested in advancing their personal and professional careers to visit our website and prepare for a life changing education.

ComPro Students Come From 111 Nations

‘ComPro’ Students Come From 111 Nations

Since 1996, experienced software developers from 111 nations worldwide (see above) have enrolled in our Computer Professionals Master’s Program in the U.S. (MUM is located where the red circle is in the image above.)

The program, affectionately known as ‘ComPro,’ offers a unique opportunity in higher education, combining latest advanced practical computer science knowledge with professional IT experience in U.S. companies. A one-of-a-kind payment structure provides students with the ability to self-finance the majority of costs from well-paid practicums.

With close to 2000 graduates, and 800+ currently enrolled students, the ComPro MS in Computer Science is one of the largest, most successful campus-based MSCS programs in the United States.

New Video Highlights International Student Satisfaction


ComPro video: A unique opportunity in higher education that combines a master’s degree in computer science with professional experience in the U.S.
Our new video is featured on our homepage. See summaries below of comments made by six current students from: Uganda, China, Iran, India, Egypt, and Brazil.

Edwin Bwambele from Uganda

  • “I just love this course. It’s practical, it’s hands on, and has helped me during my practicum search.”
  • “I had struggled to find a program that had a low cost, and yet could give me quality education. So, I came to this university.”
  • “First time I saw the program, I doubted it—couldn’t believe something like this existed, but a friend of mine joined the course. That’s when I confirmed that the program was real.”
  • “The university is in the small town of Fairfield, Iowa. The people in the town are great. People smile everywhere. It makes you feel at home, though you are so many miles away.”
  • “At MUM I’ve got the knowledge I couldn’t have gotten in my country. I am so happy. I would highly recommend it to anyone out there.”

Julia Chen from China

  • “This program is so great, because it is professionally oriented.”
  • “The professors here really care about students. All of the faculty have a long history of working as software engineers in the American job market.”
  • “Tuition fee is pretty scary for me. This university offers loans, so we don’t need to worry a lot about the financing.”

Shivali Jain from India

  • “I’ve gained solid professional skills and practical experience, with theoretical knowledge.”
  • “The low financial entry requirement is very good for the students who want to pursue higher education, but cannot because of the financial constraints.”
  • “This university has the block system—that is, one course per month, so that you can just dive deep into the subject, and you need not take on stress for other courses or subjects. That used to happen with me in my undergraduate education.”
  • “They include the Transcendental Meditation® technique in their curriculum. TM has helped to improve my concentration, and to relieve stress.”
  • “I like the food here—pure organic fresh food. I feel like I am home outside of India.”

Mohamed Samy from Egypt

  • “For me, in the end it paid off, because I had all the skills I needed to secure a high-paying practicum in a U.S. company. It’s a win-win situation, because you and the University work together to secure a practicum for yourself, and from that practicum, you pay your loan—so the University wins, and you win, and everybody is happy.”
  • “They did exactly what they promised. I’m just living proof of that.”
  • “The combination of the TM technique, the block system which allows you to focus on one subject at time, and just living in a U.S. small town in a stress-free environment, gives you everything you need to prepare for your practicum in the U.S. job market. I graduated from the MUM ComPro program. Looking back at it, I can say now, it was just the perfect deal.”

Rafael Costa from Brazil

  • “I was already working at a big company in Brazil, but I wanted to expand my experience in a high paid U.S. practicum.”
  • “The University enrolls students from all over, so it’s a great opportunity to learn from other cultures.”

To accommodate the large ComPro application demand, international students can now apply for any of four entries each year: October, January, April and August. Please visit our website or email us for details. We look forward to hearing from you!

More than just a Computer Science Master’s

Benefits of Multi-Cultural Living

More than just a Computer Science Master’s: Benefits of Multi-Cultural Living

(This is a reprint of an article published July 24, 2017, by MUM Brazilian student Mauro Nogueira, PMP, in LinkedIn group: Computer Professionals at Maharishi University of Management.)

The experience we had goes beyond earning an advanced degree. We earned a “global-ready” stamp in our lives….

The World is Global. No way! Really?

I know, it sounds redundant, but it’s true. We live on a planet that should have no borders for knowledge and relationships. When you have a chance to share and know what is on the other side you will see that everybody shares the same dreams, fears, desires, and hopes.

I had a great opportunity being surrounded by a multi-cultural environment during the on-campus part of my Computer Professionals Master’s degree program at Maharishi University of Management.

For 8 months I studied full-time on campus at MUM. The student body was composed of approximately 70% international students. In my entry were 94 students coming from 20 countries around the world.

I had this incredible opportunity of being close to cultures that I never thought I would ever experience. While on campus I made friends from countries including: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Pakistan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, and others.

Wow, this is what I call “melting pot”!

Having an opportunity like that is unique, and you must enjoy as much as possible. And I did.

I learned a lot about other cultures, and I could see how many things are in common with my own culture, and also how many differences exist. Such an enriching experience in my life.

During that time I learned things like:

  • How many different languages exist. How rich and incredible they are.
  • What are the moral and ethical principles in their society.
  • How is the education system in their countries.
  • Familiarity with American/Western and other cultures.
  • About religion and politics.
  • Which sports are the favorite ones.
  • What they eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Types of music existing in their countries.

 

While realizing the common things among the different cultures, it was the differences that enriched me more.

Some facts I discovered:

  • Most of the people from Nepal didn’t climb Mt. Everest.
  • Muslims are great joke tellers. They are very funny.
  • All Mongolians are Genghis Khan’s descendants.
  • In Iran, they don’t speak Arabic, but Persian–which is very different.
  • Many African countries use the same colors in their flags (green, yellow, red) because of the leading role taken by Ethiopia in the League of Nations. Those colors are in the Ethiopian national flag, and several other countries adopted these colors when becoming independent, as a source of inspiration.
  • Rice is present in all cultures as an important component in the meals.
  • Doesn’t matter what religion you have, the core principles are the same: respect your God, treat others in the same way you would like others treating you, there’s time for penitence and time for celebration, among other things.
  • Doesn’t matter what language you speak, everybody can be a friend.

My intention is not to discuss which culture is better or worse. What I want to show is that when you open your mind and heart to listen to the other side, even when you disagree with the other’s point of view and beliefs, you create in yourself a new experience, and maybe you can start seeing something from a perspective that differs from yours.

There’s no better or worse. What exists is the DIFFERENCES. And we must respect those differences. It’s the only way to build peace, brotherhood, and self-awareness.

You don’t grow when you see/act in the same way. You grow when you try different ways, and choose the best one to reach your goal.

My advice when experiencing a multi-cultural environment:

  • Listen: be an active listener. Don’t listen just to prepare your answer and defend yourself, but to understand what the other side is saying. Different cultures have different ways to behave in many situations.
  • Have empathy: sometimes we disagree with others just because they have a different opinion. Instead of just rejecting an idea, try putting yourself in the other’s shoes. Maybe the point of view is different just because the scenario looks different.
  • Respect: things that for us are acceptable, for others maybe are not.
  • Repeat: keep doing the three points above.

What about you? Have you had this experience of being surrounded by a multi-cultural environment? How was that? Let’s discuss it…. :-)

Mauro Nogueira (author) and his family

Record Number of Computer Science Master’s Graduates

Graduates throwing capsOn June 24th, Maharishi University of Management awarded 579 academic degrees to a record number of graduates from 55 nations—a more than 1/3 increase from last year.

More than 60% of this year’s graduates received Master of Science in Computer Science degrees, and this total of about 350 may be a new single graduation U.S. record for campus-based, non-online master’s in computer science programs.

 

Computer Science Department commencement activities occurred over three days:

  1. Friday: Ice Cream Social, Garden Dinner Party, Awards Ceremony (See photos below)
  2. Saturday: Graduation Day (See photos below)
  3. Sunday: Annual Computer Science Picnic (See photos & video below)

1. Friday, June 23rd, graduating students returned from their curricular practical training internships all around the U.S., to an atmosphere of homecoming, since most had been away for two years.

In the afternoon, the first event was an ice cream social with current on-campus students, where our returning students passed on lots of friendly and helpful advice to the current students.

3 men at ice cream socialIce cream social

Next, was a garden dinner party where graduates, their guests, and MUM faculty enjoyed catching up with each other while eating a delicious outdoor picnic meal.

Vietnamese group at garden party5 close friends

The third event on Friday occurred after dinner at our annual Graduation Awards Ceremony, where each department and academic program honored their top graduate(s). This is always an emotional and highly impressive evening of short speeches by faculty and outstanding students.

Because of the large number of MSCS graduates, this year four graduates were given outstanding student awards in our graduate program. Our outstanding students were: Samuel Bacha Heye (Ethiopia), Manoj Shrestha (Nepal), Kashif Shabih (Pakistan), and Achal Jain (India). Congratulations!

4 ComPro outstanding students

See many photos from Friday’s events here.

2. Saturday, June 24th was Graduation Day—starting with graduating student and class photos in the morning at the Argiro Student Center.

Five graduates having fun in Argiro Student Center4 ladies getting ready to graduate

Following lunch, the Commencement Ceremony highlighted the 3-days’ festivities.

Congressman Tim Ryan gave the Commencement address.

This year’s Commencement speaker was the Honorable Tim Ryan, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio. Congressman Ryan has served in the House of Representatives since 2003, and has taken a national leadership role in improving access to healthcare, promoting ways to make college more affordable, and expanding renewable energy.

He has also raised awareness about the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation® technique, and is working to make it accessible to hundreds of thousands of veterans.

4 men holding caps in the air2 couples and child

See many photos from Graduation Day here.

3. Sunday was the Computer Science Department’s end-of-year picnic at nearby Waterworks Park.

Chinese familyCanoeing

Delicious food was brought in from favorite local restaurants, and all our faculty, staff, graduates, current students, and their families enjoyed friendly, competitive games and outdoor summer recreational activities.

Bag race at picnicHappy picnic champions

See many photos from the Computer Science picnic here.

***If you haven’t seen the picnic videobe sure to see it here***

We wish continued personal and professional success to all our graduates, and look forward to following their careers.