Computer science grad helped his peers and the wider Phoenix community

May 2, 2022

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates.

Computer science and engineering have made many things possible for Yasser Mountasir Dbeis.

Yasser Mountasir Dbeis, who is from Syria, has used his computer science and engineering skills to help his peers and refugees in Phoenix.
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“I was tired of all the barriers to making my ideas a reality,” says Dbeis, who is earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science and computer systems engineering from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. “Coding allowed me to go from ideation to creation with just a computer.”

Dbeis saw this in action while working at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard Cancer Center as an artificial intelligence software development intern. There he built an application for cancer research at hospitals.

“Being able to go from zero application-development experience to building the entire application in one summer was extremely empowering,” says Dbeis, a student at ASU’s Barrett, The Honors College. “It also showed me how much of an impact I could make through software engineering.”

The skills they developed have taken Dbeis far, earning him top-three finishes in coding and design competitions and enabling him to help others.

In leadership roles with the Software Developers Association, Dbeis hosted technical development, interview practice and resume workshops to help students get their dream jobs and internships.

One of his biggest achievements was revitalizing ASU’s PCs for Refugees club, which helps fix and deliver PCs for refugees living in Arizona.

Another memorable experience was building the Refugee & IDP Camp Tracker website to educate people about the refugee situation around the world, a project they took on his sophomore year after his internship was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dbeis was helped on his educational journey through the Stanley C. and Helen K. Delpier Scholarship, the ON Semiconductor Scholarship, the Garmin Scholarship, the RMEL Foundation Scholarship and the New American University Scholarship – President’s Award.

Some of the most influential people during his time at ASU were Assistant Professor Heewook Lee, Lecturer Justin Selgrad, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Associate Director of Artificial Intelligence Operations and Data Science Services Renato Umeton, and ASU alumnus Kaan Aksoy.

Through his many experiences at ASU, Dbeis has gained the satisfaction of finding new and unique ways to solve problems, lost his fear of failure and has seen the potential of his work to impact many people.

After graduation, Dbeis will begin his career as a software engineer in Seattle. In the long term, Dbeis would like to start a software company with the people they have met at ASU.

“While I don’t know exactly how,” Dbeis says, “I would like this company to be leveraged to help rebuild my home country of Syria.”

Read about other exceptional graduates of the Fulton Schools’ spring 2022 class here.

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