I am originally from Turkey. I graduated from Bogazici University in Istanbul. I came to the US in 1998 for my graduate studies. After obtaining my PhD in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, I moved to Caltech as a postdoctoral scholar. In 2008, I started as an assistant professor at MIT. My lab uses ultrafast laser pulses to understand newly discovered materials such as high temperature superconductors. I greatly enjoy being part of such a diverse and distinguished community of students, postdocs, and faculty at MIT.
I come from Sarajevo, Bosnia, a place historically known as the Jerusalem of Europe. I grew up in an environment where many different cultures and religions coexisted for centuries. That history, but also the systematic targeting of our culture during the 1990s war, informed my life and my work. The war taught me about the power of culture, and the experience of migration taught me to feel at home in many places.
Every day we trudge through the Infinite. We pass peers, professors, and staff, all heading their separate ways. In Campus Life, we cross paths; we learn each other’s names and hear each other’s voices. This year, we heard resilience in struggle and grief in loss, courage under pressure and inspiration in hard work. We heard from our president, from a student EMT, from incredible people in hard places. Now, we return to their stories — we’ll catch a glimpse of their lives before they melt back into the crowd. This is you and me. This is MIT.