On June 19, 2007, Professor Parhami's UCSB ECE website moved to a new location. For an up-to-date version of this page, visit it at the new address: http://www.ece.ucsb.edu/~parhami/virtual_retirement.htm
This page first appeared in 2003 as an April fools' joke. Some people, however, took it seriously and sent Professor Parhami their best wishes on the occasion of his retirement. Alas, no gold watch or other gifts were received from these well-wishers!
Professor Parhami began his academic career at UCLA, immediately after graduation from its PhD program in March 1973 (see list of positions held by B. Parhami or his CV). Therefore, April 1, 2003, marked the end of 30 years of continuous service in academia for him. He has no plans for actual retirement in the near future; therefore, consistent with the spirit of April Fools' Day, the retirement has been designated as "virtual." A variety of gatherings and special activities with family and friends marked the occasion.
Here are some words of wisdom (not to be confused with words spoken by Norman Wisdom) and a few memories from 30+ years in academia.
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Top Ten Pleasant Career-Related Memories, 1973-2003
10. Teaching the first course (1973).
9. Graduating the first PhD student (1994).
8. Publishing the first issue of Computer Report as its founding editor (1979).
7. Having the first textbook published (1984).
6. Having the first English graduate-level textbook published (1999).
5. Graduating with PhD degree from UCLA (1973).
4. Being elected Fellow of the British Computer Society (1995).
3. Being elected Fellow of IEEE (1997).
2. Joining UCSB after an extensive job search and 1.5-year visa process (1988).
1. Returning home to Iran, with great hopes and an academic job offer (1974).
Top Ten Unpleasant/Scary Career-Related Memories, 1973-2003
10. Being interviewed by FBI regarding technical contacts with some Iranians (1997?).
9. Receiving anonymous threatening notes for "offenses" that included wearing neckties (1979-83).
8. Being reprimanded by a group of students for allowing women to present their research projects in class (1980?).
7. Learning of revised bylaws for universities in Iran stating that only Muslims could hold academic leadership positions (1983?).
6. Being denied a passport to go on a scheduled sabbatical leave (1984).
5. Signing (as Secretary of the Faculty Council) a declaration of undergraduate student admission in defiance of direct orders from the Ministry of Higher Education that Arya-Mehr University of Technology, known for its politically active students and faculty, was to be permanently closed.
4. Suspension of classes at Iranian universities under the banner of "Cultural Revolution"(1980-83).
3. Decision not to return to Iran in view of overt human rights violations and social injustices.
2. Scrambling to find a one-year academic position in Canada after it became clear that US visas will not be issued in time for the fall 1987 starting date of the offer of employment by UCSB.
1. Discarding or abandoning academic files from 12 years of teaching/research in Iran, not to mention forfeiting all retirement contributions and three years worth of salary, and starting over from scratch (1986).
Top Ten Benefits of Getting Older (from various anonymous sources)
10. When you call in sick, your boss actually believes you.
9. Your investment in health insurance is beginning to pay off.
8. Your dentist has finally given up and does not pester you about flossing.
7. Your eyes won't get much worse.
6. Things you buy now won't wear out.
5. Kidnappers are not very interested in you.
4. In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.
3. No one expects you to run into a burning building.
2. Your supply of brain cells is getting down to a manageable size.
1. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.
“The years between 50 and 70 are the hardest. You are always asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.” T.S. Eliot