Neuroscience DSA Shahriar Akhavan Tafti

Shahriar Akhavan Tafti

Hometown: Tehran, Iran
Major: Computer Science
Minors/Concentration: Psychology, German, and Neuroscience
Best Adjective to Describe You: Adventurous

In 20 words or less, what is the best thing about being part of this department?
Being perhaps one of the most, if not the most interdisciplinary department on campus.

What is your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores about getting connected to this department?
Get curious, find a sense of awe for your existence, and get ready to dive deep into the intriguing realm of life’s biggest questions. This is the spot to do it, the place where you can let your curiosity run wild and explore the mind-boggling nature of our reality. We’re talking philosophy, religion, psychology, neurology, and even throwing in some computer science to crack the code. It’s all about figuring out how our mind and the world interact, whether it is dealing with complex neurological diseases or grappling with the questions of consciousness, or how our mind creates reality. We’re here to dig into every nook and cranny, connecting the dots and uncovering mind-blowing answers. So buckle up, get ready to embark on this exhilarating adventure, and let’s unravel the enigmas that make life so fascinating.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is the power of perseverance and the importance of continuously pushing boundaries for personal growth. Learning how to be comfortable sucking at something and persisting has helped me come a long way.

What has been your favorite class at K?
My favorite class was Cognitive Science. It combined my interests in neuroscience and psychology, and sparked thought-provoking discussions about human consciousness. Perhaps the most meta class I’ve taken.

How have you taken advantage of the open curriculum or experienced breadth in your education?
The arts! Taking an acting class, and learning how to sign and read music are crossed off my bucket list.

What experiential education opportunities have you participated in?
Throughout my journey, I’ve been fortunate to take on diverse roles within various organizations. I’ve had the privilege of serving as the President of the ECO, founding the ALD Student Organization, and working as a TA for multiple classes. Additionally, I’ve been actively involved as an Interfaith Leader and Peer Advisor for study abroad programs, while also contributing as a research assistant in our esteemed rat lab.

I’ve had some other incredible opportunities, including engaging in Neurology research at UMich, immersing myself in a summer German Language Program, and gaining valuable experience at a vibrant start-up.

What is your SIP?
Epilepsy research

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
Grad school!

What is a random fun fact about you?
I embarked on a solo trip to India that forever changed me.