Computer science professor improving education in Bangladesh

Elizabeth Randolph

The chairman of the Department of Computer Science is creating new ways for students to connect overseas.

Professor Javed Khan, Ph.D., is working on a project called the Bangladesh Research Education Network, or BdREN, a high-speed data communications network that is working to meet the needs of universities and higher education institutions in Bangladesh. Khan said the project is a small step toward the overall goal of connecting students with instructors and experts from all over the world.

“The project is quite exciting,” Khan said. “With this technology, any researcher, any student, any faculty member can collaborate with others with just a click of a button. We use some of our best technology to help others with smaller resources than us.”

Khan said the project is very complex and requires a lot of small steps, such as funding and research. He said people from all over the world are helping to make this project happen.

“It is a global-skilled project, so it can’t be done essentially in one place,” Khan said. “There is a whole community that is working for this dream.”

Jeanne Tran works as the project coordinator for BdREN She said the project interested her because of the demand for Internet in other countries.

“It’s not just Bangladesh that is in need of new technology,” Tran said. “We take Internet for granted here because everywhere we go, we have Wi-Fi and we can use Internet, but not everyone has those capabilities.”

Khan said four engineers from Bangladesh came to Kent State in December 2013 to learn about the new technology.

“We wanted them to learn the technology hands-on,” Khan said. “They visited Kent State and looked into our operations and how our engineers work.”

Graduate computer science major Amjad Hossain worked with the engineers to learn about the technology. Hossain said he also worked with them on a more personal level as he is also from Bangladesh.

“I tried to be with them outside of the classroom and training sessions,” Hossain said. “They had to adjust to the weather because it was much colder than in Bangladesh. Learning the new technology up close was also different for them.”

Khan said that one issue surrounding the project has been the changes it will make to the traditional classroom.

“The universities are going to change dramatically worldwide,” Khan said. “It’s a dear risk that learning virtually can take away from experiencing a country, which can be a downfall to the technology. But once you get the facts of a country, you will want to experience it physically more after learning so much about it.”

Khan said that the project helps the new generation see that there are many different ways to attain knowledge.

“People in this generation need to be global citizens,” Khan said. “We physically might be in a distant space, but almost everyone in this generation will visit all over the world.”

Contact Elizabeth Randolph at [email protected].