Meet the new faculty member in the School of Public and Global Affairs

This academic year, across multiple disciplines and schools, more than 20 new faculty members joined the University. Here’s a little bit about who’s new in the School of Public and Global Affairs!

Portrait of a female professor

FDU: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you like to live and why?

Afsaneh Javadi: North America always had been my long-term goal, so I like the area in which I live now, in Canada. My career is what has the most important role regarding this decision.

FDU: What is a smart city and how important are they to city planning, infrastructure and quality of life? How did you become a proponent?

AJ: I became interested in smart cities in my PhD research, when I found computer networks, analytics and data processing have been integral to urban development and management.

A smart city — known as a utopian vision for 21st-century cities — is a modern city that by using of cutting-edge digital technology and data analysis, tries to optimize city activities, promote economic growth and increase people’s quality of life and provide them with improved services.

I am a proponent of smart cities because I believe they will be cleaner, more accessible, even more democratic as other proponents say. The COVID-19 crisis has exposed how important digital infrastructure, data and updated regulations have become for cities. While smart cities help to achieve an urbanist idealism, two dilemmas still facing smart cities are privacy and digital governance — who will control the data?

In their simplest form, smart cities can transform the workplace by streamlining manual procedures and providing people with more ways to fulfill their full potential This could include programmable streets for autonomous vehicles, underground tunnels for self-guided delivery trolleys and public spaces that residents and merchants could reconfigure, using apps designed by startups.

The infrastructure of a smart city can be considered as a physical-cyber system that can provide an integrated and effective management. It uses different types of technological tools, such as electronic methods, voice activation methods and sensors to collect, compile and analyze data to meet efficiency, sustainability, productivity and safety objectives. So from facial recognition and 5G networks to cheap sensors — these are the essential components of a smart city infrastructure.

FDU: What changes in your role as you transition from an adjunct professor to a full-time faculty member?

AJ: As an adjunct professor, I just was responsible for teaching a few courses and developing curriculum. Now as a full-time professor, I believe my duty is much more than just teaching students in a classroom. There’s research, writing, publishing original research and analysis in books and academic journals; the advising and supervision of students and administrative tasks, such as serving on academic and administrative committees that review and recommend policies. I also have some new ideas to improve our programs and help our students reach their goals faster.

FDU: What brought you to FDU?

I was truly interested in computer security and forensic administration specialization in FDU’s Master of Administrative Science program. When I joined FDU in 2018 as an adjunct professor, it was the only university, not only in Vancouver, but across the British Columbia, that offered this program. Cybersecurity is one of the hottest and most in-demand topics of today’s digital world. As a scientist in telecommunication and an expert in network security, I believe that I possess highly transferrable skills for our students.

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