Ali was born in Tehran, Iran where he lived until moving to Tulsa where he attended Tulsa Union High School. He has always loved playing with electronics and engineering devices since he was four years old. In middle school he joined the Robotics and Electronic Club. In high school Ali went on to join the First Robotics Club which won the Dallas Regional and led him to programming.
With a Sooner Heritage Scholarship, Ali joined OU because it was close to home but also for the many opportunities offered by the Computer Science program to get involved in real world projects. He particularly enjoys the atmosphere of Devon Hall, a top-notch facility on campus for CS students.
Since joining the program Ali has been involved in many activities. He and his team won the CS Hackathon (a competition where students have to build a program) and the campus Microsoft coding competition. He has played different roles as a Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth intern: developer intern, senior developer, and team lead. To his credit Ali also carries the distinction of being on both the President’s Honor Roll and College of Engineering: Dean’s Honor Roll.
In Summer 2014 he got the opportunity to participate in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program (REU) and went to the University of California Santa Barbara to study graph compression. The summer prior the same program sent him to the University of Illinois to study parallel computing.
Ali and his group, Siren, was one of the pioneers of the Software Studio: a space for students to develop their own personal projects. Siren is an application to inform truck drivers of incoming weather in real time. This project is so successful that Ali and his team created their own company and several customers are already interested in Siren. Ali is still involved with the Software Studio as a mentor for new projects. He is also a mentor for the Dean’s Leadership Council, which includes teaching a computing section for the College of Engineering and tutoring.
The opportunity to get involved in research is one of the most attractive parts of the program for Ali. He has been part of Dr. Hougen’ s research group, as well as Dr. McGovern’s on artificial intelligence. Ali’s dream is to see an artificial human mind become a reality.
Ali’s interest for research makes him want to pursue more advanced degrees, possibly a Ph.D., and is applying to several schools. Once he is done with his studies he would like to work in research but also continue working on Siren development and commercialization.
Outside of CS, Ali enjoys running, fishing, and playing chess. He is also fluent in Farsi.