With more than 3,500 students and 150 faculty members, CHSS is the largest of the nine Colleges which make up the University, distinguished by a rich tradition, commitment to heritage and innovation and a dedication to serve our community and the nation. It comprises 12 academic departments organized into two divisions,
The humanities and social sciences make an important contribution to a range of contemporary research questions and problems. Most current social, cultural and economic questions necessitate cross-disciplinary understanding.
Emerging fields such as life sciences or the cognitive sciences, in particular, benefit from insights and methodological approaches from the humanities and social sciences.
If you choose to study a humanities or social sciences degree, you will acquire analytical, critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills. These abilities are highly sought after in both the corporate and private sector. Owing to the fast-changing nature of technological innovation, the ability to process large quantities of diverse data into a clear, economical and effective argument (a central feature of a BA course), is more in demand now than ever before.
Our goal is not only to give students an excellent degree qualification but also to ensure that you have fun along the way. Our students come from more than 60 countries, so you will interact with and learn from people of diverse cultural backgrounds. The university offers a wealth of extra-curricular activities and life-enhancing experiences with more than 50 Clubs and Societies.
Associate Professor of Cognitive Science, Department of Philosophy
Riding through the mysteries of human and robotic minds
For Dr Massimiliano Cappuccio, the power of discovery and innovation is all in the mind – literally. The Associate Professor of Cognitive Science at the College of Humanities & Social Sciences of United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) is focused on studying how the cornerstones of the human mind – such as memory, perception, and decision-making – work and how they can be augmented, channeling the power of the ‘computer’ inside our heads.
Dr Cappuccio – who is also director of UAEU’s Interdisciplinary Cognitive Science Laboratory, or ‘Cog Sci Lab’, coordinates the university’s Cognitive Science Program, and is commonly known as Max by his colleagues – describes this process as akin to “reverse engineering of the brain”, consistent with the assumption that “the mind can be studied as if it is a computer, through digitally-emulating its functions.” And six years after joining UAEU, he remains committed to promoting appreciation of cognitive science, a “fascinating discipline” that he sees as pivotal for the highly informatized, knowledge-based and innovation-focused economy the UAE is rapidly developing.
“Information, knowledge, and innovative thinking depend on cognitive processing,” explains the globally-respected researcher, 40 year old. “Cognitive science is concerned with problem-solving, skill development, human performance, artificial intelligence, and robots. It studies human mental functions to learn how to train them, fix them when they are impaired, or artificially replicate them through robots or computer programs.
While Dr Cappuccio’s research involves both experimentation and computational modeling, he also has a background in philosophy. “Cognitive science is, intrinsically, an interdisciplinary endeavor that requires shoulder-to-shoulder collaborations between researchers with varying backgrounds. Philosophy works as an ‘instant translator’ for scientific disciplines that don’t normally talk to each other, and provides the ‘conceptual glue’ that allows them to work together. You cannot work in cognitive science without a strong philosophy of cooperation, intellectual curiosity, and team spirit.”
This philosophy runs through Dr Cappuccio’s body of work, which has seen him co-author numerous peer-reviewed publications with distinguished psychologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists and primatologists, and regularly participate in international conferences and interdisciplinary research projects in the sphere of cognitive science. His quest for discovery saw him amass a wealth of academic experience in the Netherlands, France, the UK and the US, and receive his PhD from the University of Pavia, before taking him to UAEU in 2011.
As well as offering an interdisciplinary minor for undergraduates, the Cognitive Science Program he designed and coordinates has led to him organizing a series of internationally-publicized scientific events, including three editions of the Joint UAE Social Robotics Symposium, and the First International Conference in Sport Psychology and Embodied Cognition – all raising the profile of cognitive science, and of how UAEU, and the UAE as a whole, aspires to be at the forefront of generating new knowledge on this field.
That is also the goal of two current National Research Foundation-sponsored projects on which Dr Cappuccio is the principal investigator, in collaboration with academic partners in Australia, Germany, Italy, and the UK, where he is a regular visiting faculty. One project focuses on understanding why professional athletes succumb to pressure, and how they can optimize their performance and prospects of victory: this led Dr Cappuccio to edit and publish the MIT Press Handbook of Embodied Cognition & Sport Psychology, considered a milestone in the field.
The second project is centered on social robotics and the quality of human-robot interaction, using the relationship between robots and autistic children as its basis. “The next generation of robots is going to enter our lives soon,” says Dr Cappuccio. “They will help us as co-workers and social companions. To maximize the reciprocal understanding between robots and humans, this project will study interaction protocols and design patterns.”
Away from the laboratory, Dr Cappuccio, who lives in Al Ain with his wife Raquel, enjoys riding his Harley-Davidson through the desert and discuss over a cup of coffee with philosophy amateurs at the “Café Philo Abu Dhabi” biweekly meet-up series that he coordinates. Because even when you are delving into the mysteries of the human mind, it’s important to relax your own.
Chair of the Geography & Urban Planning Dept
Opening A Path To Knowledge, Building A Bridge To Society
Many people talk about mapping out their career. For Dr Naeema Al Hosani, that takes on a more literal meaning.
An established cartography scholar, she is an expert in the science or practice of drawing maps, and now brings that knowledge to UAEU students as Chair of its Department of Geography and Urban Planning. But her role within the university – and within UAE life – has a much wider compass.
With her areas of research interest including cartography, geographic information systems, remote sensing, the environment, tourism, and education, Dr Al Hosani – who is also Assistant Dean for Student Affairs within UAEU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences – initially joined the Al Ain university as an Assistant Professor, having completed her MA and Ph.D. at the University of Kansas.
Since arriving at UAEU, she has been heavily involved in scholarship, teaching, and service, in addition to holding senior administrative positions at departmental, collegial, and university level, including chairing and being a member of numerous committees.
Her professional life has two aspects. On the research side, she has a high-caliber publications record – as a single author and a co-author – with her work being published in top-ranking Western academic journals and her experience and insight seeing her make presentations at domestic, regional, and international conferences.
Dr Al Hosani participated in the transfer of groundbreaking Western research to an Arab audience by translating significant, globally-important books in her area of specialization. The outstanding nature of her research has led to her winning many grants and being awarded prominent accolades, including the UAEU Award for Distinction in Research, as well as being honored by the UAEU Provost for her publication record.
In the teaching field, Dr Al Hosani has carved a reputation for reliability, resourcefulness, and dynamism, as an excellent planner and organizer, and for her dedication to creating a vibrant learning environment. Her approach is based on interactive teaching strategies, inquiry-based learning, nurturing students’ individual passions and curiosity, and integrating IT into the educational process.
Describing her role in the classroom as being “a facilitator and guide in a challenging adventure designed to foster collaboration, discourse and discovery”, she has played a pivotal part in curriculum development and learning outcomes assessments at UAEU. Her academic work recently led to her receiving the UAEU Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2017, and the Prestigious Khalifa Award for distinction in teaching, recognition that follows many other awards from international organizations.
Dr Al Hosani’s stature and expertise has seen her make a valuable impact to enriching knowledge and opportunity across UAE society. She has participated in an array of events and seminars dealing with pedagogical issues, within UAEU and in the wider community, and served as mediator between the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and a number of UAE companies and institutions to provide training openings for UAEU students.
Her impressive community service record includes cooperation with local universities and government bodies, such as the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Youth and Culture, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior. And she has established many cooperation initiatives aimed at strengthening connections between UAEU's academic community and wider UAE society, by establishing avenues of dialogue, outreach, and knowledge exchange.
Away from the UAEU, Dr Al Hosani has many hobbies and enjoys spending her downtime reading novels and discovering new recipes to cook in her kitchen.
Professor, Department of Mass Communications
An inspiring professor full of many achievements
Badreya Al-Jenaibi is a full-time professor in Mass Communications at the United Arab Emirates University. She gained a Ph.D in Public Relations and Mass Communication from the University of North Dakota (USA) in 2008. Previously she received a Master’s of Art in Mass Communications from the University of Northern Iowa (also in the USA in 2004). In addition, she won the H.H. Mohammed Bin Zayed Award for outstanding students.
Her research interests include pedagogy, international communications and public relations, as well as the effects of both mass media and new media. She has published 43 articles in peer-reviewed journals in a variety of countries (USA, Canada, England, etc.) Theses publications include the Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies, the International Journal of Information Systems and Social Change, the International Journal of E-adoption, the Global Media Journal and the Journal for Communication and Culture. She is a member of the editorial board for a total of 18 peer-reviewed journals.
Professor Al-Jenaibi has received 24 local and international awards. These include the H.H. Hamdan Bin Rashed Al Maktoum Award for best teacher in the UAE in 2017; the Khalifa Award for best professor in the UAE and Arab region. She has also been the recipient of the Best Teacher Award at UAEU and the H.H. Shamsa Bint Sohail Award for the most creative teacher. Additionally, Professor Al-Jenaibi has been judged as an Outstanding Woman Achiever in Mass Communications and Teaching.
Other awards include the H.H. Hamdan Bin Mubarak Award for the best employee in a highly specialized jobs (academic level). Locally, she has won the UAEU Community Service Employee Prize as well as being the most active professor in terms of publication. This is in line with winning her college’s award for research and publishing and the Rashid Award for Academic Excellence.
She is founder and voluntary director of the Mubadrah Student Community Engagement Center, which works with 114 local organizations. She is also heavily involved in charity campaigns, fundraising, other exhibitions and in working with local organizations. One of her initiatives was the ‘Let's Read, Volunteer and Innovate’ Program.
Professor Al-Jenaibi has attended more than 33 conferences and taught on 27 different courses. Her teaching philosophy is innovative and she is always keen to develop her teaching skills.
She likes to travel and took a sabbatical from 2014 to 2015, to go to Beijing, China. Her other hobbies include drawing.
"UAEU has provided me with the necessary practical skills and theoretical knowledge I need to begin my future career. I am very proud to be receiving my education from this first class academic institution.”
"The Translation Studies Department provided us with an opportunity to open a Translation Students Club, where we regularly organize events that are both educational and entertaining at the same time. This helps to keep the students motivated while learning new skills such as leadership, teamwork and organizational skills.”
"UAEU is truly a world-class university, providing small class sizes, state-of-the-art technology and supportive and caring faculty members.”
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