Making a difference with Oracle Academy
The spotlight is on Dr. Adel N. Toosi, Senior Lecturer, Monash University, Australia.
Monash University in Melbourne, Australia has high international rankings for education and research, featured as number 57* of universities worldwide. Active in 150 fields of research, it has spearheaded thousands of discoveries and breakthroughs since inception in 1958. The university has four domestic campuses, 100 academic partnerships around the world, 10 departments, 86,000 students and over 16,000 staff.
Dr. Adel N. Toosi is a senior lecturer in the Department of Software Systems and Cybersecurity, part of the Faculty of Information Technology. He has designed and developed a course on cloud computing and security, for which he uses multiple cloud resources, including those of Oracle Academy.
Before joining Monash, Toosi worked as a research fellow in the Cloud Computing and Distributed Systems Laboratory at the University of Melbourne. He earned a PhD in Computer Science and Software Engineering from the University of Melbourne in 2015. He currently is researching resource scheduling algorithms for energy-efficient and sustainable edge and fog computing.
Oracle Academy: Can you tell us about how you use the Oracle Academy Cloud Program?
Adel Toosi: I discovered that Monash was an Oracle Academy Institutional member. Looking for resources with which to teach my newly created class, Cloud Computing and Security, I found that the Oracle Academy Cloud Program offered ample material for an entry into the topic and for hands-on learning.
My unit comprises 12 weeks of lectures and 12 of tutorials. In the lectures, I use Oracle Academy introductory modules to teach the concepts and theories behind cloud and give an overview of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).
In the tutorials, it’s hands-on practice with one week dedicated to Oracle.
Oracle Academy: And how do you use Oracle Cloud within that week?
Adel Toosi: Since none of the students have much knowledge about cloud, I introduce them to OCI’s division of the resources into logical groups, such as Compute, Autonomous Database, Networking, and so on.
As examples, I show them how to use Compute to create their own Virtual Machines and in Networking how to create a Virtual Private Network. On completion, they should be able to access OCI, create or modify Virtual Machines, run a micro web framework, and work with API platforms using tools such as Postman.
After the introductory lectures, I move on to Kubernetes for practical exercises.
Oracle Academy: Why Kubernetes?
Adel Toosi: People are no longer building apps in the traditional way. Today they create microservices and deploy them in a containerized environment, with Kubernetes for orchestration of the services. I have an assignment that walks students through the process of using Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes.
Oracle Academy: Can you share the assignment with us?
Adel Toosi: Certainly. The assignment, called iWebLens, is to build a web-based system that receives an image to a web service hosted by Docker containers and generates a return JSON message with a list of all the objects detected in the uploaded image: a cat, a car, a person, and so on.
It involves deploying a Kubernetes cluster on Virtual Machines in OCI, with Kubernetes as the container orchestration system. OCI is the infrastructure for building the worker nodes that handle the networking, which facilitates traffic between applications across the cluster.
In summary: the iWebLens project is a cloudified software system that gives students the experience of going through the steps of building an app, containerizing it, orchestrating it, and using OCI for deployment.
Oracle Academy: Fascinating assignment!
Adel Toosi: Yes, it contains a machine learning technique, using Python-based open-source computer vision and machine learning software libraries. And it’s fun because it is very practical and visual.
Oracle Academy: And what is the outcome of the assignment?
Adel Toosi: At the end of the assignment, I ask students to experiment with response times and resources using both local client and OCI client. The objective is to analyze the impact of increasing the load on the average response time of the service. They run 20 experiments each with 128 uploaded images and then plot the average response time of the web service versus the number of pods for the different number of threads for both the local client and the Oracle Cloud client.
The deliverables are a report and a video. They submit a detailed report of their findings, complemented by a short video documenting how they have configured the web service, Kubernetes and their Docker file.
Oracle Academy: Do they work in individual cloud accounts?
Adel Toosi: Yes, each one carries out the assignment within their own student account. As an Oracle Academy Institutional member, Monash has access to always-free Oracle Cloud resources. In addition, students can register for US$300 free credits that give them the use of Kubernetes and other tools for prototyping applications, such as the iWebLens I have described.
Oracle Academy: What type of jobs will your students apply for?
Adel Toosi: The most common position, for which there is huge demand, is cloud solutions architect. When they graduate from Cloud Computing and Security, they will be equipped with industry-level experience with which they can help the companies that hire them deploy the best solutions for their environments.
They will be equipped to recommend Oracle Kubernetes or Machine Learning and all of the other solutions offered by Oracle Cloud technology.
Cloud is very fast-growing area and in the department, Software Systems & Cybersecurity, we are constantly adding new technologies to help the students. We only just have started with Oracle Cloud, but we certainly will be adopting more and more of the Oracle Academy resources.
Oracle Academy: Great. And outside of the university, what are your interests?
Adel Toosi: For the past three years, I’ve been turning my house into a smart home. I have gradually installed lights, sensors, voice control and different smart devices. When I speak, the garage door opens. When I instruct Alexa it is ‘movie time!’, the house lights go out, the side lamps come up, the TV turns on, Netflix opens, the room becomes a theatre. It’s a great pleasure and I continue to… get smarter!
In this connection, I have just begun a team research project entitled Sustainable Serverless Edge Computing for the Internet of Things.
Other than that, I have my family, and lots of pets―cats, chickens, fish, and guinea pigs. And I also play amateur tables tennis tournaments. Never a dull moment!
Thank you, Dr. Adel N. Toosi, for your passion for Oracle Academy and for preparing your students to make a positive impact.