I was born in Tehran/Iran, on a presumably snowy day in 1985. Grew up in a middle class family.
My dad was a retailer and my mom a teacher at an elementary school.
I have a younger brother who studied theater. My parents are still together and live in Tehran.
As a young boy I always dreamed of becoming a heart surgeon but now I am an astrophysicist.
In Tehran you basically choose what major you want to pursue at college and you go to the high school that best prepares you for it.
The only good high school in our district was focusing on math and physics rather than biology.
Therefore, I ended up in a different school and soon found myself interested in physics.
Despite my passion for physics my parents encouraged me to study engineering at college being afraid that otherwise
I'd be left with no jobs in Iran. I studied material science for my bachelor studies at
Iran Uni of Sci & Tech in Tehran. While in Tehran, I engaged myself with different topics in philosophy of language
and mind which forever left a passion for philosophy in me. It was during my college education that I found serious flaws with the
educational system in Iran and didn’t like to pursue my higher educations there. This made me leave Iran.
I went to Sweden for a master studies program in micro technology. It was in Sweden that I changed my major to astrophysics where I found myself sitting in master level physics classes which were gladly taught in english at Chalmers university.
In two years, I was applying for graduate school and got admitted to Johns Hopkins thanks to my advisor John Black.
I got my visa and flew from Copenhagen to NY and then Baltimore. The whole process of getting the US visa as an Iranian is a separate story to write about. In a few years into my Ph.D. studies, I started working with Harry Ferguson at Space Telescope Science Institute as my Ph.D. advisor on the subject of dust in galaxies and how it matters when we want to estimate the star formation rate of galaxies when the universe was one third of its current age. Harry is a true gentleman and a rare find. A fun fact about him is that his advisor’s advisor is Edwin Hubble. It was towards the end of my Ph.D. studies that I became a permanent resident through NIW application.
Baltimore is a unique though not the safest place. You will see a lot of art and culture there. I used to go to symphonies maybe every night, at the Peabody school of music or Baltimore symphony orchestra. I met a lot of great musicians. This motivated me to start taking classes in classical piano towards the end of my graduate studies with a focus on Chopin.
I graduated from Hopkins in 2016. I decided to work more on theoretical aspects of astrophysics. I reached out to Evan
Scannapieco at ASU and he offered me a post-doctoral position. We have been working on all sorts of questions, among which
are the physics of turbulence and neutron star mergers. Living in Phoenix area can be challenging at first but lots of things happen around here. It took me about half a year to find my spots in central Phoenix. I often take my laptop to a coffee shop and work.
After all, as an astrophysicist, all you need is your laptop and you can work from anywhere you like.
Lately I started mountain biking to enjoy the desert landscape.
I love Persian food. I read Persian poetry, specifically Hafez a lot. I think that Farsi is a language made for poetry because of its compact form in writing. I have the goal of visiting all the places I like to see before I turn 40 and I know there is no regret in traveling. It was on a flight from Porto to Paris that I thought of estimating how long this would take me if I travel one month a year, and the answer is 10 years. When I turn 40, I should have been to all the places that I'd like to visit.