I was born in Beirut, Lebanon on April 14th, 1968. I grew up in Ras Beirut, went to school at International College (IC), and graduated in 1985. I also attended the American University of Beirut (AUB), majored in Computer and Communication Engineering, and graduated in 1989.
In 1990, I moved to Toronto, Canada to pursue my graduate studies. There, I attended the University of Toronto and obtained both my M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1993 and 1998, respectively. My research was in the area of programmable DSP architectures, comilers, and tools for embedded DSP applications. I had a great time in Toronto, a beautiful, clean, and safe city with lots and lots to offer to residents and visitors alike. I really cannot do it justice in a few lines, so if you get the chance you should definitely visit it sometime.
In January, 1998, I moved to Ottawa and worked as an embedded software engineer with Nortel Networks while writing my dissertation. Ottawa is alot smaller (and quieter) than Toronto, but is also a very beautiful city. If you love the outdoors like I do, you'll like Ottawa.
After graduating, I moved to San Jose, California, and did what everyone else was doing at the time: I joined a Silicon Valley startup company! From January, 1999, to March, 2002, I worked as a senior software engineer at Improv Systems, a fabless semiconductor company specializing in configurable DSP platforms and tools for the system-on-a-chip market. When I first moved to California, Silicon Valley was buzzing with activity. The culture remains very industreous and enterpreneurial, and if one has a good idea, is willing to see it through, and is able to secure funding (not very difficult at the time), there is a good chance of transforming it into a real product and building a business around it. Alas, all good things must come to an end, and by the time I left, the high-tech sector had taken a real beating as a result of the internet bust and the effects this had on the telecom and semiconductor industries. Still, I am glad I experienced working and living in Silicon valley first hand, and I recommend it to all techies and enterpreneurial types alike. In addition to a challenging work environment, the Bay Area offers a wide range of events and activities to suite different tastes and interests: theatre productions and fine dining in near-by San Francisco, hiking trails and Redwood forests in the surrounding hills and mountains, and spectacular ocean vistas along the Pacific coast.
Today I am back in my native Lebanon pursing an academic career at the American University of Beirut. I returned to Lebanon in the summer of 2002 and have since been busy rediscovering much of the country. In September 2002, I will be joining the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as an Assistant Professor, and pursing my teaching and research interests, which include computer architecture, optimizing compilers, configurable computing, and embedded systems design.
On the recreational side, I enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities: camping, hiking, canoeing, biking, and sailing. I also enjoy photography, listening to music, going to the movies, and reading (Islam and the Middle East being my favourite subjects).