By Special to UM News

Changing Dynamic

By Special to UM News
The first woman to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science at UM lands a job at Microsoft.

According to a recent article in Fortune magazine, the majority of today’s top-paying jobs for college graduates involve computer science and engineering degrees, but only 18 percent of computer science graduates are women.

Negin ArhamiAdding her achievement to that small percentage is Negin Arhami, M.S. ’14. Arhami will be the first woman to graduate with a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences when she receives her diploma during the Fall Commencement Ceremony on December 17.

Arhami proves that in this male-dominated field there are opportunities for women seeking careers in the computer software industry. It was at a job fair on the Coral Gables campus where Arhami met representatives from Microsoft. The world’s leading software company recently hired her as a software engineer based in Seattle, Washington.

Geoff Sutcliffe, professor and chair of computer science in the UM College of Arts & Sciences, was Arhami’s advisor for her master’s degree and Ph.D. programs.

“Negin’s enthusiasm for independent research and her determination to develop and follow her ideas make her a pleasure to supervise,” said Sutcliffe. “I’m happy to have been part of her success.”

Arhami, who was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, says she has always enjoyed computer programming and first started to program while in high school.

Before enrolling at the University of Miami, she earned a B.S. in computer science from the Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran and an M.S. in computer science from the University of Tehran.

Enrolling at UM in 2011, Arhami earned her Master of Science degree in 2014. Her Ph.D. degree will be conferred on December 17. The topic of her research is “Automated Theorem Proving by Translation to Description Logic.”

“The Computer Science Department is like a family,” said Arhami. “Everyone is so nice and supportive, and the department allows you to be very flexible with your schedule. My advisor, Dr. Sutcliffe, is very motivating. I learned so much from him.”