Posted on October 25, 2015

At a round-table discussion at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), Serkan Piantino, Facebook’s New York site director, provided a glimpse into a more nuanced, human-focused world of technology.

“The questions we are asking of technology are becoming more complicated. The demands are getting closer to what humans want in their daily lives and thus we can expect computers to start answering more human questions,” said Piantino to an audience of students, faculty, industry and community leaders and representatives from the media. Led by Khaled Harras, associate teaching professor of computer science and director of the computer science program, the discussion frequently turned to mobile: “I think we’ll start to see more nuanced uses for mobile technology, where mobile becomes more about augmenting life than just being an escape.“

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Piantino developed the Multifeed system powering Facebook News Feed, the Edge Rank algorithm for ranking social content, and led the infrastructure engineering behind Timeline and Messenger. An alumnus of Carnegie Mellon, Piantino commented, “I have used literally everything I learned at Carnegie Mellon at some point in my career.”

Speaking directly to CMU-Q students, many of them studying computer science, Piantino said, “in computer science, any direction you look there is a frontier. Today, we talk about autonomous boats, mesh networks, Bluetooth low energy. You can go through junior year at Carnegie Mellon and make a contribution to that field just by tinkering and experimenting with things that people use. “ The conversation was hosted by CMU-Q’s ongoing commitment to stimulate thought, creativity and innovation by hosting a variety of prominent industry experts.

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