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Student Profile: Parsa Rajabi
Computing Science master's student in the Faculty of Applied Sciences
I'm currently a Master's student with an interest in computer science education, computational thinking and human-computer interaction (HCI). During my spare time, I love to cook, travel, ski and volunteer in the community/on-campus!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
The opportunity to participate in cross-disciplinary research at the intersection of computer science and education was a major factor in my decision to attend SFU. As such, I am fortunate to be collaborating with amazing researchers on innovative projects to transform the teaching and learning practices in post-secondary education.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
Broadly speaking, my research tackles the challenges that educators and students face in the world of computer science education. I am particularly interested in investigating the methods by which students learn computer science, as well as the techniques employed by educators to enhance this learning. My thesis project is aimed at understanding how an introductory level computer science course influences students' critical thinking and problem solving skills i.e. computational thinking.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
The SFU research community has been instrumental in my ability to take on innovative and challenging projects. Their unwavering support and encouragement have been invaluable. Being part of a community of dedicated and passionate computer science students and faculty has afforded me the opportunity to expand my understanding and skills in various areas of computer science, particularly in fields beyond my expertise. Additionally, as the only interdisciplinary graduate student within the school of computing science and faculty of education, I have been able to use my unique background to serve as a graduate representative for the Senate Committee on University Teaching and Learning. This role is particularly rewarding as it allows me to provide valuable insight on campus-wide initiatives related to teaching and learning.
HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.
I'm grateful to have received the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship - Master's award to support my research studies. Paired with the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from SFU's school of computing science, these awards have enabled me to concentrate on my studies while simultaneously advancing my research projects.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM/POSTDOC POSITION TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM OR POSTDOC POSITION?
The journey of graduate school can be unpredictable, but ultimately, each person will forge their own path, making the experience uniquely their own. The Master's program in computer science at SFU offers a supportive environment that fosters innovative research ideas, particularly for students seeking to expand their knowledge beyond their area of expertise. I strongly recommend that prospective students reach out to potential supervisors or current students to learn more about the current research at SFU and explore potential collaboration opportunities.