A few years ago, computer scientist Mohamed Aly had an epiphany. He and his wife, Khadiga Elhaddad, awaiting the arrival of their second child, were trying to save money where they could. Piles of coupons and sales fliers cluttered their mailbox each day. There has to be a better way to connect people to the discounts that are relevant to their needs, he thought.
The idea stayed with him and eventually motivated Aly to leave his job as a senior research engineer at Yahoo! Research to launch his own start-up, Seeloz, in California’s Silicon Valley. The company began by using data science to understand shoppers' interests and help retailers and manufacturers target consumers with personalized offers through a MixaWallet, a program relieving shoppers from the need to collect coupons. Over a four-year journey, the company evolved into a data-driven decision-making platform that aids enterprises in multiple sectors including retail and health care.
Aly’s path to success began in his hometown of Alexandria, Egypt, where he earned an undergraduate degree. Then, he pursued a master's degree and PhD in computer science at Pitt, where a vibrant multicultural setting provided the right environment for him to thrive both academically and personally. “You have students from all over the world and the United States, resulting in this awesome graduate school experience,” he says.
While at Pitt, Aly (A&S ’09G) secured a coveted internship with Google, which helped pave his path to a career in tech and entrepreneurship. Today, his company and his family continue to grow. He and his wife now have three children who, Aly says, are already Panthers fans.
This article appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of Pitt Magazine.