Mohammad Arif Ul Alam Class of 2018 head shot

After completing his Ph.D. in record time, Mohammad Arif UI Alam creates accessible health technologies at IBM

Mohammad Arif Ul Alam
Ph.D., Information Systems
Magna Cum Laude
Hometown: Quincy, Massachusetts
Plans: Research Staff Member, IBM Research

After I successfully defended my Ph.D. dissertation, I had the chance to stand before all of my mentors who made my Ph.D. possible through guidance, help, and criticism. That was probably the happiest moment of my life.

When Mohammad Arif Ul Alam joined the information systems department as a Ph.D. student in 2014, he  quickly began to make waves in his field. “Arif showed his prompt understanding of research problems and quick delivery of solutions from the very beginning of his Ph.D studies,” said Aryya Gangopadhyay, chair of information systems department.

Within just four months of starting the program, Alam published a paper based on work done in a class project. This was just the beginning for Alam’s academic career as he would go on to publish 17 scholarly articles and be a cited source for over 150 more. He also received three grants from the National Science Foundation to attend conferences and build his professional portfolio.

During his Ph.D. program, Alam interned at the Intel Corporation in Folsom, California, and IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While at Intel, he was recognized as a contributor at the CES 2017 conference, hosted by the Consumer Technology Association, as the CEO of Intel presented a demo of his work.

Following these back-to-back six-month internships, Alam returned to UMBC to defend his Ph.D. dissertation, setting a departmental record by completing the program in only three years and ten months.

Mohammad Arif Ul Alam after successfully defending his Ph.D. dissertation.
Mohammad Arif Ul Alam after successfully defending his Ph.D. dissertation.

After graduating in December 2017, Alam accepted a research staff member position at IBM in Massachusetts. He is currently working on sensor systems that will monitor health metrics in older adults and he plans to continue inventing prototypes that will help other populations in need of accessible health technologies.

Photos courtesy of Mohammad Arif Ul Alam.