St. Bonaventure University’s cybersecurity program will host artificial intelligence expert and STEM advocate Dr. Mahsa Mohaghegh as this fall’s Lenna Visiting Professor.
Mohaghegh is a professor at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand with a background in artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing. She will visit St. Bonaventure and Jamestown Community College the week of Sept. 3 for lectures and classroom discussions.
Mohaghegh will give a public lecture at St. Bonaventure at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, in the auditorium of the William F. Wash Science Center on campus. The program is titled “The Future of Work: Human and AI Roles in the Future Workplace.”
She will be at JCC for lectures and class visits Thursday, Sept. 6, and Friday, Sept. 7.
“Mahsa is an internationally recognized young leader who has made significant achievements in the area of women in technology leading to her nomination as a Woman of Influence and recently as New Zealander of the year,” said Dr. Hossein Sarrafzadeh, directory of St. Bonaventure’s cybersecurity program.
“Mahsa is a truly inspiring top achiever and having her at St. Bonaventure and JCC is an opportunity for us to have her speak to our students and enhance their enthusiasm about technology and especially computer science and cybersecurity. She will also work with us to initiate both outreach and research projects in collaboration with her home institution in New Zealand,” he said.
Because an early introduction to computers turned out to be career defining for Mohaghegh, she is trying to give more girls the same opportunity through her tech networking platform, She# (shesharp.co.nz). The women’s technology group is aimed at promoting STEM to the next generation and creating networking opportunities for students and industry professionals in the digital sector.
Since 2013, Mohaghegh has been involved with Google’s Computer Science for High Schools initiative, and she has run workshops for teachers across New Zealand for the past five years. Under her guidance, Auckland University of Technology has run a mobile app development competition for girls with the winners being awarded scholarships to study computer science.
Mohaghegh’s passion for promoting careers in technology to young women has been widely recognized. She has received a number of nominations and awards for her efforts, including the Emerging Leader Award at the New Zealand Women of Influence Awards, and she also was a semi-finalist for New Zealander of the Year 2018.
Mohaghegh holds a Ph.D. in computer engineering from Massey University, a master’s in computer engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Azad University.
The Lenna Endowed Visiting Professorship, established in 1990, is funded through gifts from the late Betty S. Lenna Fairbank and Reginald A. Lenna of Jamestown. It is designed to bring scholars of stature in their field to St. Bonaventure University and Jamestown Community College for public lectures.
Learn more about St. Bonaventure’s cybersecurity and computer science programs online.
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