“I’ll stay in Memphis” – Elvis Presley
Established in 1912, the University of Memphis’ (UofM) motto, ‘Driven by Doing’, certainly embodies the overall ethos for this academic institution. Based in the culturally-rich Memphis – a city now known as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll – it should come as no surprise that the university is indeed compelled to push boundaries and discover new ways of thinking. “Most of all, we’re driven by hard work and getting results,” the faculty website notes.
The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) is the heart of the university, responsible for the largest slice of the institution’s undergraduate curriculum. The college awards close to 1,100 BA and BS degrees every year.
One of only two research-intensive public universities in Tennessee, undergraduates receive unparalleled research opportunities in graduate-level labs.
Self-expression too has a place to flourish, with nationally recognized arts programs currently employing and producing some of the world’s most productive musicians, artists, actors and writers. “Whatever your passion, you’ll discover endless paths towards it at UofM,” the website explains.
With its well-backed research model, the CAS will continue to thrive. UofM President David Rudd allocated US$1 million in fiscal year funds for 2017, helping the institution move closer to its goal of $100 million in annual research expenditures.
Dean Tom Nenon makes it evident on the university website that the college has a clear mission, pointing to the successes in student recruitment, graduation rates and faculty research as essential for UofM’s success. The college is supported by an extensive alumni network and friends who are more than willing to invest in the future – one with immediate results and lasting legacy. The Dean went on to praise those willing to invest.
“With their support, the college and university will continue to offer affordable quality education and a memorable experience for our students,” said Nenon.
Prospective students can certainly look forward to some memorable experiences, with UofM boasting over 900 academic staff to its 21,000 or so students. With an approachable and actively-engaged faculty, the college is certain to give any academic the chance to develop their knowledge. “They will go out of their way to make sure that you have all the tools and knowledge to further yourself in the field of Computer Science to then lead into a very nice career that pays very well,” said Robert Edstrom, a Computer Science student.
With 25 Chairs of Excellence, five state-approved Centers of Excellence and a family-like atmosphere, it’s no wonder staff see their hard-working students get positive results from their studies.
Graduates who get ahead
After their time studying at the college many students have gone on to pursue internships with companies like Intel and FedEx, who come to the institution to recruit every year. The Office of Institutional Research at the UofM found that in 2015-2016 alone, FedEx Services employed 55 graduates from the university, with the corporal giants taking on more than 250 former students in total since 2008.
Since receiving his master’s degree in Computer Science from UofM in 1997, Naga Gurumoorthy now finds himself with Intel Corp. as a Senior Principal Engineer of the Data Center Engineering Group. Naga works closely with customers to quickly anticipate their needs and translate them into products. He is closely focused on platform debug and stability, power and performance optimizations and innovations. The MS degree in Computer Science Naga received from UofM is crucial to his way of approaching problems, also keeping him grounded with the basics in HW-FW-SW and system design.
In Seattle, Stephen Ash works as a Senior Software Engineer for Amazon. At Amazon, Stephen’s role falls within the Deep Learning group, which builds AWS services like Lex, a platform for natural language understanding (NLU), and Reckognition, an imagine detection and analysis service. Stephen received an MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Memphis. As a graduate student, he gained the chance to work on challenging problems with faculty members in addition to working hard to build a lasting foundation in computer science. Stephen uses the knowledge gained from the UofM every day in his job, whether it’s analyzing the runtime complexity and performance of algorithms or building out sophisticated NLP pipelines to tackle hard real-world problems.
Nobal Niraula spends his days as an Applied Researcher at Boeing Research & Technology. Before his present work on artificial intelligence and its applications, Nobal earned his PhD in computer science from UofM in 2015. During his time pursuing a PhD, he conducted state-of-the-art research in the core topics of language and information processing, including knowledge representation, semantic similarity and virtual assistants. Nobal has published more than 40 scientific articles in premier peer-reviewed international journals, conferences and book chapters and has been awarded with a US patent.
UofM graduate Mustafa Hajeer also finds himself working for Intel Corp. as a System Engineer. Mustafa completed his master’s degree in Computer Science and has now been with Intel Corp. since he first joined in the summer of 2015. At Intel Corp., Mustafa now finds himself working to develop end-to-end platform solutions for the Data Center. His research interests focus on big data, data science and analytics.
With such a repertoire of alumni, professional faculty, cultural surroundings and a successful research model, coupled with an affordable education, it should come as no surprise that students take away memorable experiences and valuable knowledge from their time at UofM.
“I chose the University of Memphis because I knew that it would push me to be MORE than just a student,” notes senior, Andrew Mok. “The University of Memphis has given me more opportunities than I would have imagined. Being a part of the Tiger family means being part of something bigger.”