Posted on February 25, 2015

Dr Ahmed Elmagarmid, Executive Director of Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, has been inducted as a Fellow of the American Association for Advancing Science (AAAS). Dr Elmagarmid was elected as one of nine members in the section on Information, Computing and Communication. Dr Elmagarmid is also a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), giving him the notable recognition of being the only computing scientist in the Arab world who is a Fellow of these three distinguished international scientific societies. 

AAAS is the world’s largest and most prestigious general scientific society and publisher of the well-known scientific journalScience. The mission of the organisation is to promote cooperation among scientists, encourage scientific integrity and responsibility, and support scientific education and science outreach for the betterment of all humanity. Each year, AAAS recognises outstanding members for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications by naming them as Fellows. Dr Elmagarmid joins a distinguished list of colleagues from the world’s leading universities, industries and research labs to whom the AAAS and its members look for guidance in innovation and education, and scientific leadership.

Head of Qatar Computing Research [].jpgWith the AAAS Fellow election, Dr Elmagarmid is cited for his “national and international leadership in computer science in both industry and academia, and seminal contributions to distributed and multimedia databases and data quality”. QCRI is fully committed to furthering Qatar Foundation in its mission to build the country’s innovation and technology capacity in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030. For over four years since its inception, Dr Elmagarmid has served as the Executive Director of QCRI, established by Qatar Foundation as a national research institute focused on tackling large-scale computing challenges that address Qatar’s national priorities.

Under his leadership, QCRI has achieved many milestones in a short span of time, including launching its first start up, Tamr, a next generation data curation company based in the United States. QCRI has licensed several of its technologies to users locally and internationally including an Arabic e-book reader (Jalees) and an automated Arabic language transcription system (QATS). 

QCRI has used advanced computing technologies to design and develop platforms for use by global humanitarian organisations for disaster response. Its research teams have been acknowledged on several occasions over the past few years at top scientific venues through best paper awards, best demo awards and most recently, ‘Best in Show’ by BBC at its news hack. With the aim to protect its innovative ideas for Qatar Foundation, the institute has filed 73 patent families, eight of which have been granted. 

Dr Elmagarmid’s work in database management and database systems is well known and often cited in both academia and industry. Early in his career he received the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award from former US President Ronald Reagan, and has been appointed to serve on several boards and committees in the technology industry. Dr Elmagarmid is a well-published scientist, having authored several books and more than 200 papers that have been published in prestigious venues. 

AAAS formally recognised Dr Elmagarmid and all the 2014 Fellows at its annual Awards Banquet this week in San Jose, California.