North Dakota State University Computer Science Sophomore Abdullah Almosalami had a number of options for his college education. While he was accepted at and considered attending Purdue, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M, the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, he decided to come to NDSU so as to not increase the financial burden on his family. What he found at NDSU was opportunity.
“I love that I get so many opportunities to work on actual robots, because I hadn’t dreamed of anything even close to that before coming here,” said Almosalami. “There’s way more things to do than even the most insane of us can take on, and that makes the learning experience outside of class just as valuable as the learning experience in class. I love the overall enthusiasm and knowledge of the people I work with on a daily basis, and the incredible amount of resources available.”
Almosalami was recently recognized as a “student of distinction” by the NDSU Computer Science Department, an honor bestowed on only 12 of the department’s approximately 600 students. He is pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science and recently added a second major in Electrical Engineering. In addition to his coursework, Almosalami has helped with the development of self-driving vehicles and is participating in the National Cyber League competition. He also recently led NDSU’s team to victory at the International Aerial Robotics Competition in Atlanta Georgia, winning the top award for technical design.
“Abdullah is exactly what you want in an undergraduate student,” noted Computer Science Asst. Professor Jeremy Straub, who employs Almosalami as a research assistant. “He has tremendous passion for the areas he’s involved in and a drive to succeed. It will be exciting to see what else he accomplishes while at NDSU and in his career.”
When he’s done with his bachelor’s degree, Almosalami plans to pursue additional education, leading to a Ph.D. with a robotics focus. He hopes to work for a company that develops robotics technologies or systems or perhaps to pursue a career in academia.
“I honestly feel very blessed and I hope that I truly make the most out of my time here at NDSU,” said Almosalami.
The NDSU Computer Science Department was founded in 1988 (though computer science courses were offered as part of Mathematical Sciences since 1973). It offers Ph.D. degrees in computer science and software engineering, three master’s degrees and two bachelor’s degree programs. It occupies 7,460 square feet in NDSU’s Quentin Burdick Building and has approximately 600 graduate and undergraduate student majors.