Meltem Özsoy: TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering ‘08 / Research Engineer at Intel

“I entered TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering Department in 2004, as a 100% scholarship student. I vividly remember having just 350 students in the whole university, as well as the gym and dormitories still under construction. I was part of the group of students who were the first to taste the whole experience, not to mention the joint training. I had my first joint training at Nabay Tekstil, the second one in Havelsan, and the last one in UPA Makine. The internships showed me the wide range of work opportunities waiting me as a computer engineer. I witnessed the successful work on my part as well as my friends, and how the professionals in the enterprises were really looking forward to working with us again.

I was just a junior year student when I began my studies on computer architectures at Kasırga Microprocessor Research Laboratory. During my studies for an engineering design project in the senior year, I served as a part of the team designing Kasırga 1-2-3 processors, followed by my participation in the design of the rasterizer for the graphics processor developed for Vivante.

After graduation, I started with the master’s program in computer engineering at TOBB ETÜ, and served as a research assistant in the TUBITAK-supported project to reduce power consumption of processors. I completed my master’s studies in just 1 year.

Our outstanding professors at TOBB ETÜ always took us seriously and believed in us, making our experience truly unique. I was inspired by Assoc. Prof. Oğuz Ergin, my advisor, and started my Ph.D. in secure computer architectures in 2009, at State University of New York, Binghamton. In the first few years of my Ph.D., I received AirForce scholarships, and in the last few semesters, I served as an assistant for the courses. Once I got my Ph.D. in the development of information security methods in microprocessors, I was hired as a research engineer to work in Intel’s research laboratory on security measures with microprocessors. For approximately 2.5 years now, I have been working as a researcher at Intel Labs, on the “Software Guard Extensions” project related again with security.

The first time I ventured in my professor’s room at TOBB ETÜ and told him that I wanted to work on architecture, upon hearing his comment that I could work at Intel after I god my Ph.D., I had to suppress a smile, thinking that was a very unlikely dream. Now, looking back, and seeing the realization of that dream reinforces my belief in TOBB ETÜ as well as myself.”

Mehmet Kayaalp: TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering ‘08 / Researcher at IBM

Having begun his education as a full scholarship student at TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering Department in 2004, Mehmet Kayaalp worked as a developer in the team that designed Kasırga 1-2-3 processors. Writing interpreters and compilers for Kasırga processors, Mehmet then contributed to interface design and driver development for the graphics processor designed for Vivante. After his graduation, Mehmet proceeded with a master’s at TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering Department, and worked on identifying and correcting bugs in microprocessors, as well as developing new power saving mechanisms. After getting his master’s degree, Mehmet was granted admission for Ph.D. at Binghamton University in the US. Upon completing the Ph.D. program, he received offers for faculty member positions from two universities in the US. However, he opted for being a post-doctoral researcher at IBM’s research center in New York. He is currently working as a researcher at IBM.

Cansu Kaynak: TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering ‘09 / Researcher at Oracle

Having begun her education as a full scholarship student at TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering Department in 2005, Cansu Kaynak achieved the highest GPA of her class, and graduated as the valedictorian in 2009. Right before doing so, Cansu worked extensively on methods to cut microprocessor power consumption within the framework of her graduation design project, and published the fruits of her work in an international journal. After graduation, Cansu was granted admission for the Ph.D. program at EPFL, a Swiss university named among the top universities of Europe. There, she worked on increasing the efficiency and performance of processor caches. Her successful Ph.D. studies brought her fellowships from IBM and Google, and were followed by her work as a Ph.D. researcher at Oracle’s research laboratory in Zürich, Switzerland.

İrem Nizamoğlu: TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering ‘10 / Data Analyst at Facebook

 

“Upon my graduation from TED Ankara High School in 2006, I begun my undergraduate education at TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering Department. I graduated in 2010. Thereafter, I got my master’s degrees from Koç University in 2013, and Northeastern University in 2014.

During my time at TOBB ETÜ, the element I found most useful was the Joint Training system. In particular, the joint training I had in my senior year, at Nanobiz in METU Technopark played a major part in shaping my career. Before that experience, I was not really happy with my department, and to be honest, I was not much more than a mediocre student. I guess everyone has her distinct approach to learning. In my case, my last joint training was very useful in making me realize that. There, I started learning software development with ASP, .NET C#. I never thought my 4 months of joint training would be of so much use later on, when I went to US.

At the moment, I work as a Data Analyst in the Partner Program Management team under Facebook’s Marketing Department in San Francisco, US. The majority of the ads you see when using Facebook are designed by Facebook’s marketing partners. The partners implement the campaigns through either advertising agencies, or advertisers they work with directly. That is one of the major sources of income for Facebook. That is why all data is farmed and stored diligently at the firm. Of course there are other pieces of data the partners gather themselves. My duty is to review and analyze all these data.”

İlker Yaz: TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering ‘10 / Software Development Engineer at Microsoft

“I started my education in 2005, at TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering Department, leading to my graduation in 2010. I got my master’s degree from Bilkent University, in 2012. I took part in Google Summer of Code, and upon graduation from the master’s program I worked remotely for a few months with the firm supporting the open source project I worked on at the Summer of Code. 

I really loved TOBB ETÜ. And especially experiencing another university as well, I came to realize the value the importance of our professors in particular (I should note that, in my eyes university ~= professors). I was also very happy with the joint training experience. It makes one think ‘oh, so that is how it will be in the future’. It is common knowledge that the college years are not often characterized by the most serious outlook one will ever have in his life. The joint training, in this context, helps one stir and get some semblance of seriousness.

I am currently working as a Software Development Engineer at Microsoft, in Redmond, US.”

Merve Selçuk Şimşek: TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering ‘12 / Researcher at the University of Manchester

“My education at TOBB ETÜ began in 2007, at the Department of Computer Engineering. In 2010-2011, I ranked among the top three in my class and took my grade point average to more than 3.5, receiving achievement scholarship in return. That same year saw me get my joint training in Germany, within the framework of the Erasmus program. I always remember my 5 years at TOBB ETÜ, a school I graduated with honors in 2012, fondly.

You may have heard that the curriculum at TOBB ETÜ is a trying one for students. A frequent complaint is about the “lack of vacations” due to the fact that the academic year covers three semesters. But, especially after venturing into a professional career, I came to realize how good they didd by encouraging us to work hard, and how advanced we are compared to our peers in other schools in terms of our command of the field.

The joint training program was among the reasons guiding my choice of school, and at the time of my graduation, I was really happy with the choice I made. At every firm I had an internship, I put into practice everything I learned, built on that set of knowledge, and got a job offer. My last joint training, and my first job experience other than my internships, was at DataSEL Information Systems, the place I also had my first joint training, and hence occupying a special place in my heart. In 2013, I started my master’s degree at Hacettepe University, as well as my researcher career at TUBITAK. As I decided to proceed on the academic track, to which I had originally ventured into only timidly, after getting my master’s degree I started my Ph.D. in my field, at the University of Manchester, UK, as a full-scholarship student. Nowadays, in addition to my Ph.D. studies, I am working as a Research Associate in a multi-partner project implemented in wider Europe.”

Utku Güleviz: TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering ‘15 / Software Engineer at Ford

 

"My education at TOBB ETÜ began in September 2010, as a 50% scholarship student. After 1 year of English Language Preparatory Program, I proceeded with my undergraduate education. Before that, I did not know anything about computer software or hardware. Once I got used to the school, I received achievement scholarship to cover 100% of the tuition, thanks to my high GPA figure.

I had my first joint training at Aydın Yazılım, and had the opportunity to get some insight into the defense industry. The story of my second joint training is even more interesting. I was interested in developing apps for mobile devices, but I did not take any mobile app development courses before that. In that second joint training, I worked at INNOVA, and begin my internship in the mobile software team. During my first 2 weeks there, I got a rough introduction to the firm’s android-ios projects on my own initiative, studying the documents and videos supplied by the firm, and begun discovering the foundations of android. I was asked to complete a mini android project on my own, and was given a term of 1.5 months for doing so. I completed the project before the deadline, and hence was able to start working with the mobile app team 2 weeks earlier than scheduled. The experience I got was really rewarding. At the end of my joint training I received a job offer from INNOVA. (I can safely say that the foundations of my current work as an Android Software Engineer at Ford were laid down there and then.) After that joint training, I took a mobile software course at school, and reinforced my theoretical insights as well.

My third and final joint training was at Aydın Yazılım. In April 2015, I graduated from TOBB ETÜ, Department of Computer Engineering with a GPA of 3.39, and on 1 June, 2015, I started working at Alyo (Anvato, Silicon Valley, California) firm at METU Technopark, as an Android Developer. The Silicon Valley based firm had me working on video publishing, encoding, dynamic advertising, and monetization processes on various platforms (mobile, web) for TV broadcasters operating on an international scale (NBC, Fox Sports, Univision). My work at Alyo continued till I arrived in the US. On 1 August, 2016, I left my job there, and moved to US to get a master’s degree from Maharishi University of Management in Iowa. As I worked on my master’s degree, I was hired by Ford in Michigan, US, where I continue to work as an Android Software Engineer.”

Davut Deniz Yavuz: TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering ‘15 / University of Southern California

“I began my studies at TOBB ETU, Department of Computer Engineering in 2011. After my first year there, I was entitled to an achievement scholarship. Thereafter, I maintained my scholarship status till my graduation.

3 distinct joint trainings I had there helped me transform my knowledge acquired at school, to practical applications at work, giving them a more lasting character. I also had the opportunity to apply many current technologies I learned at the firms, to the projects I worked on at school. At my first internship at Deloitte, I got the experience of an international corporation, and the intricacies of software development at such corporate entities, at an early stage of my education.

For 4 years, I worked with my professors, on a number of problems other than course work. Among these, computer security, data mining, and computer architecture ranked prominently. With the help of my professors, I authored articles for various conferences. The electives I took and my work with my professors, on a number of topics, helped me understand the career I wanted to build in the future, even before I graduated. Among these topics, computer security drew my interest, and I had my graduation project on cloud security. I presented the paper we authored through that process, at IEEE CNS 2016 held in Philadephia / US.

With the reference and support of my professors, I filed applications for master’s in computer engineering at US universities, and got an admission from the University of Southern California (USC). After my first year in the graduate program, I started working at STEEL Security Research Lab, a research laboratory in USC. Right now, I am working on various research projects as a member of STEEL security group. Among these, I can name the efforts to catch DDoS attacks we started to hear about frequently, as early as the internet service provider (ISP) level, and using the photos of people known to the user, and the eye movements when looking at such photos, for authentication as a replacement for passwords.”

Volkan Keleş: TOBB ETÜ Computer Engineering ‘16 / R&D Engineer at Apple


In the spring semester of 2015, Volkan Keleş, a student enrolled at the Department of Computer Engineering with 50% scholarship, started work at Apple in the US, to get his second semester of joint training.

Having worked on the “OpenCL-Compatible Multi-Core High Performance Accelerator Hardware Design” project at TOBB ETÜ Storm Microprocessor Laboratory, with the support of ASELSAN, Volkan gained substantial information on compilers in particular, thanks to the hardware-specific software development experience he gained there. During his tenure in the project, he took part in technical discussions on various internet forums, leading the compiler team at Apple recommend him apply for an internship at the group.

Volkan began his joint training in April 2015 at Apple’s complex at Silicon Valley, and worked with the “GPU Compiler” team at the Development Technologies department throughout his internship. He took part as an Apple engineer in the World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) event organized annually by Apple for software developers, and served in the team to provide technical support to the participants. Having completed 2 successive terms of joint training at the Silicon Valley, Volkan returned to Turkey with 8 months of experience at Apple, only to receive a job offer from Apple, even before his graduation from TOBB ETÜ. After his graduation in April 2016, Volkan started work as an engineer at Apple’s research and development office in London by late July 2016.

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