Impact Award, Spring 2021
Ahmed Usman’s first coding experience was using the “inspect element” tool in Google Chrome to alter HTML on a webpage. As he got more involved with technology, he became more excited to learn about it.
“I really like all the different applications that computer science has,” Usman says. “Whether it’s industry or specialization, there is some software niche that can be filled.”
Placing second in a hackathon was what cemented his decision to pursue computer science, as he was able to see the wide variety of areas his work could impact.
He served as a community assistant in Barrett, The Honors College for two years and conducted research through the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative as well as in the Security Engineering for Future Computing, or SEFCOM, lab.
“In the SEFCOM lab, I have been working as an undergraduate researcher investigating how the humans behind spam and robocall phones operate,” Usman says. “When I first approached Associate Professor Adam Doupé, I lacked the confidence to drive this idea to reality, but Professor Doupé has always lent a helping hand and pointed me in the right direction. Seeing his passion for research and investigating things that others haven’t has been inspiring.”
“It’s been my honor to serve as president for the National Society of Black Engineers this past year,” Usman says. “Our mission is to create black engineering students who excel academically and positively impact the community. It’s been fulfilling to make an impact in my community and connect students with engineering resources to develop professionally. I always try to pay it forward any way I can. I’d like to give a shoutout to Professor Terry Alford for being a great faculty advisor for NSBE. He has been a pillar in our community for the past few decades at ASU and a waypoint for those in need.”
After graduation, Usman looks forward to starting a position as a software engineer at Twitch in San Francisco.
“There’s still a lot I don’t know and I’m just hoping to learn as much I can about the tech industry and software development,” Usman says. “I’m very interested in the intersection of computer security and software development. Being a Nigerian American, I would love to be a part of Africa’s emerging tech hub in the long run.”