What my students wanted to know about me


Well this may be a little late to post 😀 but at the first class I asked my students to fill a survey mainly asking about their expectations for a good TA. In the last question I said they can ask me any question that they want and it was an anonymous survey. Here I’m sharing them with you. Answers may/are a little different from what I gave in the class but I tried to be close.


  • How long have you been in the US? At what age did you start learning English? What companies have you worked for? Well first time I came to US was in 1999 when I was a 5th grade student. I left US after one year and came back 2013 for my PhD program. I started learning english from 2nd grade elementary school but they didn’t teach us anything useful till when I came to US I actually learned. Funnies memory that I have is from the first week at school when I was answering to the teacher’s questions with YES and NO while she was confused since I guess the answer was neither of them
  • Why is your preference Prezi over other presentation tools? Well Prezi is awesome, but in general I have no preference for anything. I believe tools are tools. People shouldn’t choose favorite programming languages they should learn as many as they can for different purposes 😉 
  • Can you dunk? Not even in computer games 😀
  • Are you involved in any cool (research/personal/…) projects? A couple of them but the answer will be too long check out my website: http://salimm.me 😀
  • Do you enjoy American Movies over Iranian/Middle Eastern?  Well today I should say both. But, before I met my girlfriend back in undergrad (first year of undergrad LOL ) I didn’t even used to watch Iranian movies. Till she made me to go a couple of times and surprisingly they were good too. I guess in general I like movies that do something new in their own genre.
  • Why do Iranians say “Merci” for thank you instead of an Farsi word? Why do Iranians say “Merci” for thank you instead of an Farsi word? I guess I missed this one in class. Will I think its similar to “déjà vu”. We also say mamnoon as well 😀 You also use “Khaki” as a color which comes from Farsi and means the color of dust/earth. Khak in Farsi means dust/earth.
  • What is the most difficult aspect of applying what we’ve already learned in programming to web design and programming? What is your favorite thing about Pittsburgh? I believe it will be design of a coherent and well thought system that can bee extensible, reliable and robust. Maybe even more important is to keep up to that design and manage your team toward developing it.
  • Where is your favorite place that you have traveled? In US is Seattle so far. In world today I will say city of Shiraz in Iran. I also really enjoyed Istanbul in Turkey and Singapore 😀 
  • Do you prefer dogs or cats? Dogs for sure :D. I find Cats selfish I guess + I’m allergic to them 😀
  • Restaurant recommendation in Tehran??? Would you go :D? Get Kabob, there are many nice places for that. Try Shamshiri in Central Bazaar(Market), or Nayeb. There are many fantastic Kabab restaurants 😀 
  • What is your favorite Irani film, and further, which Irani director is your favorite? For Iranain director I’ll go with Asghar Fahadi and naturally my favorite film will be one of his: “About Elly”. The movies is not under copy right rules so let me know if your interested I can send you a link 😀 
  • Would you recommend Grad School? Tell us about your motivations and experiences. Well I masters is great. I think its a really good opportunity and its worth doing it no matter what. PhD depends on your personality. I would suggest getting master, working for a while and then starting a PhD after a while if you needed or were interested. 
  • What is your favorite book, and why? What is your favorite color, and why? If you mean story book I will definitely go with Harry Potter (common I don’t think this needs any reason :D). But, if you mean any genre I will suggest “Paradox of Choice”. its a great book about how people think and how the everyday increasing variety of options in everything affects peoples life. It changed my way of thinking about many things and motivated reading many similar books.
  • What is your career goal? Professor, Research, Industry? Do you have a favorite programming language? I guess to start my own companies :))) LOL. I like the hassles you get when you have your own business. 
  • Do you enjoy php?  I don’t find it awful but not the greatest I guess. Still I think it was a significant progress at its own time so I respect it 😀 :))))
  • Are you better at front end development or back end? I’ll go with JS. But then Backend. I don’t find myself so talented in design 😉
  • What is your favorite programming language? The one that I prefer is usually Java since I’m most experienced in. But, I avoid choosing a favorite. I believe programming languages are tools and tools are to be used. The more you know the better crafty man you are and each one of them is good in a particular situations.
  • What do you think the most challenging thing is about developing web applications?  design and progress (take a look at second question)
  • I looked at your LinkedIn and it looks like you have worked on robotics projects before in addition to web programming stuff. What parts of working on robotics is the most interesting to you? Will this has a long answer. I guess I will write a post for this later 😀

1 comments On What my students wanted to know about me

  • Salim, I read your post and I truly enjoyed reading it. It seems like students love you so much that they took their time and wrote this awesome questions!
    Keep on writing friend, your blog is actually getting my attention and in my opinion, it will be one of the best blogs for computer scientists! I keep checking you blog later if I find time and read your articles!

    Note for students: This guy is an awesome guy! Pay attention to what he says and advices you. 🙂

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