Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2021
Danial Yunus says he decided to become a computer engineer before he was old enough to understand what it meant. But even as a youngster, he recalls, what he wanted most was “to be like my dad.”
His father, an engineer at Intel, had earned a bachelor’s degree in computer systems engineering and a master’s degree in computer science at Arizona State University.
Yunus now says the “simple desire” to emulate his father became a “serious passion” as he learned about the ingenuity and creativity involved in computer science and came to view it as “problem-solving in its purest form” with applicability that “has no limits.”
Even in his introductory courses, Yunus says he realized the boundless potential of a career in the field, leading to a decision early in his undergraduate years to pursue a master’s degree in computer science through the 4+1 accelerated degree program in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
Yunus, a recipient of ASU’s New American University Scholarship, is now graduating summa cum laude after having made the dean’s list every semester and expanding his expertise with a concentration in cybersecurity. He plans to complete his graduate studies after a summer internship as a software developer for Amazon.
Yunus has already gained valuable real-world work experience as an intern at Intel throughout his sophomore, junior and senior years.
At the same time, he has been active in the Muslim Student Association at ASU since his first year, serving terms as a board member and as treasurer.
Those were only some of the endeavors outside of the classroom that he found educationally and personally enriching.
“When I think of the Fulton Schools, the first thing that comes to mind is the strong community here and how honored I am to be a part of it,” he says. “The number one thing I will take from my experiences in Fulton Schools is the friendships and connections I made. Some of my closest friends now are people I’ve met throughout my time at ASU.”
Among those who inspired him, Yunus singles out Rida Bazzi, a Fulton Schools associate professor of computer science. After being impressed by his dedication to continually improving his teaching methods, Yunus became one of Bazzi’s undergraduate teaching assistants.
“His constant striving for perfection is now an ambition of my own,” Yunus says.
The decision to be a teaching assistant, he emphasizes, was also influenced by his mother, who is a second-grade homeroom teacher.
Yunus’ career aspiration now is nothing less than to contribute to advances that impact the world.
“I have high hopes that computer science will enable me to achieve that goal,” he says, “whether it be by protecting people’s data in this digital age, making leaps in medical devices, further growing the Internet of Things, or doing something that hasn’t even been thought of yet.”