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November 8, 2001 Enterprising student wants to give the Web a Canadian face



Michael Amin

Michael Amin

by Sigalit Hoffman

When 23-year-old Concordia student Michael Amin noticed the lack of Canadian content on the Web, he decided to do something about it. “It would be beneficial to me as a student and as a creator of content on the Web to participate in creating the face of the Web,” he reasoned.

He wrote a paper called “Computing Education,” and was invited to present it at a two-day conference in Calgary from October 27-28, called Information Deficit: Canadian Solutions.

As the sole student speaker at the conference, he felt compelled to make the student voice heard. Students doing research would welcome more Canadian references and sources, including authors, and the Web is a valuable teaching tool for elementary-school students to learn about Canada, he told participants.

The Net has always been a passion for Amin, who majors in Communication Studies, with a minor in Digital Image and Sound, a fine arts program. His own experience with digital media and education inspired him to investigate how each affects the other.

“I’ve always had an interest in computers, but when I started using them seriously in conjunction with my education I could see the shortcomings and the benefits,” he said. “Computer technology is bringing down the literacy rate, [but] it’s not all negative. We do have a plethora of information at our fingertips.”

Amin has personal reasons for wanting to add Canadian content to the Web. As part owner of a Montreal marketing company, he sees the Web as a way to broaden his client base: “The more Canadian stuff is on the Web, the more people will want to go on.”

He founded Noesis Media with Rupa Majumdar in 1998. Since then, the company has moved out of his mother’s basement and into an office on Sherbrooke St. near St. Laurent Blvd. Clients have included Just For Laughs and the Centaur Theatre.

Amin plans to combine his interest in education and business by working with educators to help them improve their delivery of online education — but at the moment, balancing courses, a business, and three teaching assistant assignments in the Communications and Journalism Department has made for a life that is “pretty crazy.”

Michael Amin’s company Web site can be found at www.noesismedia.com. For more information about the conference please go to www.ucalgary.ca/idcs-disc.