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Faculty Rockstar: Shahdad Shariatmadari

Written by Anju Kakkar

 

Experiential learning enhances the ability to apply acquired in-class knowledge and better prepare learners to solve real-world problems. The distinguished faculty and researchers at Humber College encourage cultivating a methodical and systematic mindset, and they are passionately driven to help students succeed. Shahdad Shariatmadari, we thank you for your efforts in guiding, mentoring and challenging learners through discovery and research. Shahdad leads by example, constantly motivating his students to envision a successful outcome.

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Background and expertise:

Shahdad joined Humber as a faculty member in 2015. He is a part-time Professor at the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology and a Program Coordinator. He coordinates two grad-certificate programs at FAST – a two-year program ‘Information Technology Solutions (ITS)’ and a one-year sister-program ‘Enterprise Software Development (ESDV)’. He also teaches as a part-time Professor at Seneca College.

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Shahdad’s high school passion for all things ‘electronic’ and his fascination with ‘digital circuits’ steered towards programming, and so began a lifelong career in computer engineering and software development. Shahdad pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering (Software) from Azad University, Iran, in 1997, followed by a Master’s degree in 2001. He immersed himself in acquiring industry knowledge while also pursuing a path of teaching. Shahdad’s roles spanned from database analyst and software developer to that of an entrepreneur, as co-founder & CEO of Honar Hashtom Co., providing IT solutions to electrical industries. Shahdad was simultaneously involved in his educationalist role as a faculty member with Azad University from 2001 to 2013.

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Teaching and being with the young generation and working in partnership and collaboration with the industry gives me better flexibility to engage my students, teach them, and expose them to an actual workplace environment.

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Shahdad’s life path led to Canada in 2013; he joined a cohort in 2014 – a Humber Bridging Program for international professionals and acquired the .NET Development Certification. A relationship formed with Humber was sealed as he was offered to join as a faculty member in 2015. Shahdad went on to obtain a Post-secondary Certificate, Leadership in Higher Education, from the University of Toronto – Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in 2018. During 2018-2020, Shahdad completed several cloud training and certification exams, including Microsoft Azure data solutions and IBM Cloud Application Developer and continues to stay abreast of trends and technologies. Shahdad has had his work published in several publications in his research area: semantic web and distributed computing. He has been the recipient of the ‘Best Instructor’ award at Azad University in 2003. He also received the ‘Excellence in Teaching’ award from St. Clair College @ Acumen in 2015.

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Insights:

Shahdad recalls his involvement with research during his tenure with Azad University, which he described as deeply theoretical, focusing on proof of concept. At Humber, Shahdad mentions, he has had the opportunity to get involved with applied research, and he asserts that he has found tremendous benefits, insights and spectacular exposure through collaboration with industry partners, gaining a broader perspective and an opportunity to impact real change.

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“There is constant talk about a gap between the education system and industry, and the only way to fill up that gap is through research, in particular, applied research. I find engagement with industry partners advantageous, as it brings to the forefront any improvements that can be made in our programs. We can look at what is needed in the market and improve our curriculum or program objectives to address that need.” – Shahdad Shariatmadari

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On delving further into what motivates Shahdad to pursue research, he shares that it is his focus as an educator to continuously seek new trends and practices to help others find a better way of conducting themselves, be it professionally or personally. “Research helps my students with practical examples, clarifying how and why they can apply theory in real-world scenarios.” We genuinely appreciate the passionate approach of professors like Shahdad, leading students beyond the classroom to instill a desire to learn cognitively and think like problem-solvers.

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On Research:

Our Humber Researcher Rockstar particularly emphasized that his teaching methodologies and capabilities have been stretched and enriched through his experience with applied research and working alongside students. “My students are like my colleagues when I’m working with them on a research project. It’s a cycle of growth where I share my knowledge and help students participate in real-world experiences. At the same time, it allows me to view the project through their lens”, humbly states Shahdad, who goes on to remark that during his involvement with Humber, he has witnessed students who went on to become industry partners and in turn hired students; some went on to join the Humber community to teach. This is what Shahdad had to say about his involvement with Humber’s research community:

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“Humber’s Research and Innovation office works like a ‘catalyst’ that motivates Humber faculty and students to get engaged with applied research projects with industries and supports them throughout this journey. Without a catalyst, there is no spark, and not much gets done.” 

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Shahdad shares that he is currently involved with two research projects at Humber College, with one as a principal investigator: one-year NSERC-Applied Research Rapid Response to COVID19 project with partner organization ‘Intransigense Corporation’, and with another as a co-investigator: two-year NSERC ARD Research Project in collaboration with ‘Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Regional Jet (formerly Bombardier). Here is a little more about the COVID19 Project:

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COVID-19 Response: Canadian Hospital Simulator For Management of COVID19 Cases and Contact Tracing

The project analyses COVID19 data by incorporating a mathematical model to predict the resources a hospital in a particular city/region in a province requires to deal with anticipated new and existing COVID19 cases. The simulator makes use of several parameters which are adjustable by hospital staff in making these predictions. Using the simulator data, hospital administrators can manage staffing needs (nurses, physicians) and equipment requirements (masks, ventilators, ICU beds, etc.) on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

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We know you want to get to know Shahdad a little better; here are 4 things you didn’t know about him, in his words:

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1. When I’m not at work, I enjoy my time with the family; and I’m constantly thinking about my next class.

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2. A book that inspires me would be the one I just got done with: ‘A Promised Land’ by Barack Obama – a truly inspirational leader.

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3. Websites I visit most often: LinkedIn and Facebook.

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4. Coffee or Tea: Tea, always.

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“Research, to me, is about constantly improving and building on something discovered earlier,
making it better, making it usable and continuously searching and re-searching.”
– Shahdad Shariatmadari

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To get involved with Research & Innovation, visit:https://www.humber.ca/research/get-involved/