Faculty Spotlight on Milod Kazerounian

Assistant Teaching Professor Milod Kazerounian speaks to the Department of Computer Science about his research interests.
Assistant Teaching Professor Milod Kazerounian

Assistant Teaching Professor Milod Kazerounian joined the Department of Computer Science at Tufts University this past fall. Kazerounian earned his PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park, studying programming languages under the guidance of Professor and Department Chair Jeff Foster, who previously taught at the University of Maryland and continued to advise his PhD students after coming to Tufts. Kazerounian earned his BS in Computer Science and a BA in Cognitive Science from the University of Connecticut.

This interview took place with the Department of Computer Science.

CS: What attracted you to computer science?

Kazerounian: I entered undergrad as a non-CS major. I think, like many people, I didn't really understand what the field was—I thought it was just about building websites and software. I ended up taking an Intro to CS class and I loved it. It was taught by Alex Russell at University of Connecticut. It used the programming language Scheme, a fairly small, minimalist language, which is often used for educational purposes, and which puts a heavy emphasis on the use of recursion. I really enjoyed it—every homework problem was like an interesting new puzzle to solve. I owe a lot to that course. I'm not sure I would have ended up going down this career path without it.

CS: Tell us more about your research that you did for your PhD.

Kazerounian: Broadly speaking, my PhD research was in the area of programming languages. In particular, I studied type systems, a mechanism for proving the correctness of programs and catching bugs in an automated way. Ideally, type systems make it easier for programmers to write bug-free code. I was first attracted to this area because it relies heavily on proofs and logic, subjects which I was always interested in.

CS: Why did you choose to come to Tufts?

Kazerounian: I've actually been in the Tufts orbit for a while now. I've lived in Somerville for the last few years, I worked with the folks in the Tufts Programming Languages group (TuPL), and I taught CS 11 twice during the summer here. I really like the department. The faculty members are incredibly warm and welcoming, which can be hard to find in academia. I also like that the department puts a lot of focus and resources into teaching and education. On top of all that, my partner and I love living in this area, so overall Tufts was an easy choice. 

CS: Tell us something about yourself that is unrelated to CS.

Kazerounian: I have a lot of fairly unremarkable hobbies. I love to cook. I've been trying to pick up more Persian recipes from my parents. I also enjoy pickling things. I’m big fan of hiking and biking, and I've gone on a number of trips along those lines over the last few years. I love NBA basketball. I live with my wife and cat, who are both wonderful!

Computer Science