UCSI University launched its new Institute of Computer Science and Digital Innovation (ICSDI) with the objective of advancing innovation through technology. Its programmes are skewed towards specialisation for niche industries of the modern world.
The new Institute is a break away from UCSI’s Faculty of Business while replacing the School of IT, forming its own identity. Currently it offers programmes such as Computing, Business Information Systems, Technoprenuership and very soon Data Science.
The said Institute is under the direction of Professor Dr Kurunathan Ratnavelu, who obtained his PhD in Computational Atomic Physics from Flinders University of South Australia. Professor Kurunathan has authored more than 120 articles on subjects including Information Science.
Professor Kurunathan put it aptly when he quoted Martin Luther King Jr on the changing of times, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. He said, “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
The ceremony saw UCSI Group’s Founder and CEO, Dato’ Peter Ng and UCSI University’s Vice Chancellor and President, Academician Senior Professor Dato’ Dr Khalid Yusoff officially launching the Institute.
“ICSDI truly represents the birth of a star in which there is a bright future. Hence, we should not just adopt and adapt but we should be innovative, creative with constructive thinking,” said Senior Professor Khalid.
“The future is characterised by VUCA: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Hence, at times, we have to be encouraged to take the future into our own hands,” he said.
As part of the launch, there were two keynote speakers who gave presentations. The first was by Professor Dr Mohamed Ridza Wahiddin, Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia on ‘Cyber Security In Malaysia’. The second was by Mah Kam Lin, Group Data Scientist of Maybank Berhad on ‘Data Scientist – To Be Or Not To Be’.
Professor Ridza touched on the digital world today where the current trend is the convergence between machine and man. He related that IR 4.0 is a convergence between ICT, biotechnology, nanotechnology and the thinking process.
“Data never sleeps. Cyber space is attractive because it is borderless and anonymous and is less risky.
With Malaysia aiming to be a digital nation, the new norm toady is online shopping, eWallet and working from home,” he said.
Some of the cyber threats that arose during MCO were that criminals have malware, the presence of social engineering and cyber harassment,” he continued.
Professor Ridza outline that the career prospects in this field would be as a data scientist, a data engineer or cyber security specialist.
The second speaker Mah Kam Lin from Maybank proceeded to explain what being a data scientist is all about and what it takes to be one. According to her, one needs to be imaginative, curious and observant, get used to looking for patterns, not to be afraid and to be creative and work hard.
“It helps if one has a sense of humour and one must find joy in numbers. Also, do your math and be organised,” she said.
The talks were beneficial as the audience got a better understanding of the digital world and how to be better in the field. Through the launching of ICSDI, UCSI University is taking strides to be at the forefront of computer science, technology and innovation. This is a moment that will definitely go down in the history of UCSI University.