I dedicate this page to describe myself and talk about different dimensions of my personality.
I am doctoral student at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, working as an Early Stage Researcher in the Early Language Development in the Digital Age (e-LADDA) Marie Curie Actions Innovative Training Network. Here I study the Human Language Acquisition with the help of Social Robotics. It means I try to answer questions about how we learn languages and what is the procedure in our minds related to that. To know more about my PhD project, please visit the website I have developed specifically for that.
The main interest of my life is to discover and understand the system of the human brain, one of the most astonishing elements of which is the Language. I am also amazed by the power of computers in our era and I see an immense influence of Digitalizations and Robotics in many aspects of human’s current and near future life. Since I would like to have my impact on its development, I am standing on the meeting point between Linguistics, Social Robotics, Cognitive Science, and Artificial Intelligence, where I will be investigating the aspects of language acquisition by the interaction of Furhat robot with young (atypical learner) children. Ultimately, I wish to be a professor who changes the way for decades universities education have been; pretty inefficient let’s say. I would love to substitute coaching with teaching, the way to make the best use of physical attendance.
If you wonder why I did become fascinated by human languages and also the study of Cognitive Science, there is a long story to tell. However, I am sure about one thing, that the trigger which made me sure this is the path I want to go through was one documentary from BBC in which a professor named Deb Roy made an experiment on his own son. And here below you can see him talking about that experiment. I hope that it gives you also some joy and excitment.
The main joy of my life is understanding and discovery. In 2010 graduating from high school I though Computers are pretty impressive devices being able to do so much just with 0 and 1 logic. Therefore, my higher education started with a B.Sc. in Computer Science at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. Then I realized computers are not as complex as I thought. With some introspection sessions I understood the interaction we humans have with these new technologies is an interesting phenomena. That is why I started studying master of arts in Human-Computer Interaction in the Trento University In Italy. But then again I felt the questions asked and answered in neither Computer Science nor in HCI are as complex and marvelous as I expect.
That was when I accidentally got to know Cognitive Science, the filed of understanding the human’s brain and mind. I joined CIMeC and obtained M.Sc. in Cognitive Science, specialized in Language and Multimodal Interaction, at the same university in the Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMeC). In 2019 I was a guest research intern in Tilburg University in the Netherlands in the Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence group working on Computational Modeling of Language Acquisition and continued working on my master thesis in the same group.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
I have ADHD. I’ve been diagnosed with it on 2005 being 12 Y.O. Ever since I read, searched, and investigated ADHD as a matter of introspection and self-awareness which gave me a unique profound understanding of it. The prevalence of ADHD is ~5% of humanity. Not everyone is as lucky as me in getting proper support and growing opportunities (simply a psychologist mother and being a bit lucky to have great people in my life who inspired me). So, I decided to share with society what randomly was given to me, and support people with Neurodevelopmental disorders, especially with ADHD, as much as I can, and with any possible way I am able to.
I have settled agreements with our kind and sympathetic disability office staff and Neurodiversity group members of our university. They not only supported me in any ways they could, but also, we managed to establish an official academic support for people with ADHD as for one of the first universities in Italy. I will continue this way and if you have a say about ADHD just contact me. I will be more than happy to be of help.
Please educate yourself with ADHD, whoever you are. Because ~5% of prevalence means one from each 20 people you see in your life has ADHD. And that can be your family, loved one, friend, colleague, or whoever you might care about. So please take your time and as an initiation I refer you to one of the best video descriptions ever by Dr. Brown here on youtube.
For more information about ADHD please go to my Page abuot it: Ali.MK/adhd
Take a look at cimec.ali.mk.
Arts and Culture
Apart from all these, I am into folk dances. I started dancing so called BalFolk, on September 2017 within a dance group in Trento city in the north of Italy. Our dance group’s name is 33 Trent-in-Folk. BalFolk is not what you might think of traditional dances performed wearing shiny ancient clothes on the stages in national ceremonies. But it is a new way and a neo-classic reference to those dances for when they were being danced among people in cultures. To experience and have the same feelings of unity among a group of people and is more of entertainment and meditation.
Last but not the least I also play Setaar, A traditional iranian instrument. It is one of my best friends and in times no one else can make me feel better there she is.