Logo: University of Southern California

USC Engineering Grads Bring Cyprus Together

May 16, 2003 —
Turkish and Greek Cypriot Engineering Students Receive
Graduate Internet Degrees from University of Southern California

Two students from Cyprus who graduated May 16 from the University of Southern California School of Engineering are the first beneficiaries of a special fellowship program for engineers from the Turkish Cypriot community and the Greek Cypriot community.
Vesile Evrim, from the Turkish Cypriot community, and Charalambos Poullis, from the Greek Cypriot community, both received the Master of Science degree in Computer Science with a specialization in Multimedia and Creative Technologies, which was developed through the Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC). Evrim carried the School of Engineering banner in the School’s graduation ceremony.
"This is the culmination of a program that is bringing new technology to Cyprus and adds diversity to our School of Engineering," said C. L. Max Nikias, dean of the USC School of Engineering. Nikias is native of Cyprus who started the fellowship program when he was the director of the IMSC. The IMSC is the only United States engineering research center funded by U.S. National Science Foundation that is devoted to Internet and multimedia technologies.

Under the fellowship program, the students spent two years studying on campus in Los Angeles. They collaborated on testing an improved video distribution system developed by IMSC and aimed at helping Cyprus expand Internet capabilities.

"It was great to study together in this program to show that there is no problem with students from the two sides working together," said Evrim.

Poullis agreed, saying the two worked well together over the two years and that Evrim has invited him to visit her home in Lefke this summer. Poullis is from Nicosia.

He also said that the field of information technology (IT) is moving forward in Cyprus and the two-year old fellowship program has offered "a big chance to do something new. We can put aside our political differences and find something in common—and that thing is IT. IMSC gave us a chance to prove that."

The two students traveled to Cyprus in May 2002 to make a presentation on their Internet project as part of IMSC’s two-day Second International Information Technology and Education Workshop. More than 130 interested individuals from the Greek Cypriot community and the Turkish Cypriot community attended the workshop, which was held at the Ledra Palace Hotel in the buffer zone. The workshop also featured eight distinguished speakers who came from university research centers and industry in the United States.

Both Evrim and Poullis have both been admitted School’s Ph.D. program in computer science and will begin their doctoral studies this fall.
Two other Cyprus students have finished their first year in the fellowship program. Huseyin Balli, from the Turkish Cypriot community, is pursing a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Multimedia and Creative Technologies. Andreas Xeros, from the Greek Cypriot community, is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Computer Science with a specialization in Multimedia and Creative Technologies.
The fellowship program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development administered through America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc.
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EDITOR'S NOTE: High resolution images of Vesile Evrim and Charalambos Poullis can be found on the World Wide Web at:
Contact: Rick Keir (213) 740-4878 and rkeir@usc.edu