Bahman 5 1401 - January 25 2023
Book: Necessary Illusions

We use the toolbox of the mind to uncover the secrets of existence, the meaning of life, and our purpose and place in the universe. What tool do we have to investigate the nature of the mind; surely not the mind itself. Can the mind be its own witness to testify for its legitimacy? What judge would consider such testimony convincing enough to vindicate the claimant? - Kambiz Zarrabi 12/31/21

Afghanistan's academics despair months after Taliban takeover

Four months after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, academics say they feel marooned, and abandoned by the international community. With limited prospects for research, many scientists have left or are still trying to find routes out, so they can continue their careers. -Nature 12/17/21

Iran is 'leapfrogging our defenses' in a cyber war 'my gut is we lose': Hacking expert Kevin Mandia

To Kevin Mandia, the CEO of cybersecurity firm Mandiant, Iran's success in the hacking realm is no surprise, as the nation has been upping its cyber-offensive capabilities for years to take advantage of U.S. weaknesses. Iran has progressed well beyond the first few stages of cyber evolution - defending its government in cyberspace and targeting its closest geographic foes, the immediate threats, which in Iran's case would include the back and forth between itself and Israel in the cyber realm. -CNBC 11/22/21

5 Women at the Forefront of Next-Gen Innovation

Iranian-American landscape designer Nahal Sohbati is building something beautiful using technology. After earning her interior design degree in Dubai, she left the Middle East, a place famous for its spectacular natural landscapes and impressive architecture, to experience what the U.S.-specifically Santa Barbara, California-had to offer a young landscape designer. -Architectural Digest 11/19/21

Iranian woman Soraya Motaharnia nominated for Global Teacher Prize 2021

Soraya Motaharnia, an Iranian teacher, has been placed among the top 10 nominees for the Global Teacher Prize 2021. Motaharnia, an outstanding teacher of mathematics, Persian language, art, science, and theology, has been praised in Iran for helping the most vulnerable students in rural parts of the country. She helps students in need of medical treatment and multiple special surgeries and provides financial assistance to hundreds of poor students. 11/4/21

The impact of sanctions on medical education in Iran

Iran has been targeted by waves of unilateral and multilateral economic sanctions for four decades. While in recent decades these have exempted humanitarian transactions, a well-established body of research shows that the sanctions have gone well beyond the intended economic impact on targeted industries to affect various aspects of livelihood. -Orkideh Behrouzan & Tara Sepehri Far, Johns Hopkins University 10/27/21

Iran awards scientific prize to 2 US-based physicists

Iran on Thursday awarded a prestigious prize in the study of science and technology to two physicists based in the United States. Harvard University physics professor Cumrun Vafa received The Mustafa Prize in the field of "All Areas of Science and Technology." Vafa is an Iranian-American. The award, he said, reminds him "that there is no border for science and technology and they belong to all human beings." -AP 10/22/21

University of Toronto and the Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation Announce Innovative Multiyear Partnership

Heralding a dynamic era for Iranian Studies, the Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation announced today an innovative multiyear partnership between the University of Toronto and the Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation. This new alliance will be dedicated to sharing with the world exciting new research in two key fields - Iranian Women Poets and Iranian Cinema. 10/13/21

'I've wasted 18 months of my life': Canada has left these students in study-permit limbo

Few graduate students have the experience and know-how in radiation and computer engineering that University of Saskatchewan professor Li Chen needs for his research. In January 2020, through a network of academics in his field, he recruited Peiman Pour Momen, who had a master's degree and appeared to be a perfect fit. Momen was in Iran. -Toronto Star 10/7/21

Afghanistan's terrified scientists predict huge research losses

When the fundamentalist group last held the country, in 1996-2001, it brutally enforced a conservative version of Islamic Sharia law, characterized by women's-rights violations and suppression of freedom of expression. But after it was overthrown in 2001, international funding poured into Afghanistan and universities thrived. -Nature 8/27/21

Preparing for a safe return to the classroom

For the past 40 years, Iran has generously hosted millions of Afghan refugees, most of them living among the Iranian population rather than in refugee camps or settlements. The refugees enjoy access to basic services, such as education. -Norwegian Refugee Council 8/17/21

Iran planning to build 'Maryam Mirzakhani' supercomputer

According to an official with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, plans are underway to build a supercomputer in memory of prominent Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani. According to Ehsan Aryanian, manager of IT platforms at ICT Research Institute, initial calls for researching and designing 'Maryam Supercomputer' have been made. 7/22/21

DNA from 1,600-year-old Iranian sheep mummy brings history to life

A team of geneticists and archeologists from Ireland, France, Iran, Germany, and Austria has sequenced the DNA from a 1,600-year-old sheep mummy from an ancient Iranian salt mine, Chehrābād. This remarkable specimen has revealed sheep husbandry practices of the ancient Near East, as well as underlining how natural mummification can affect DNA degradation. 7/14/21

Iranian astronomers fear their ambitious observatory could become a 'Third World telescope'

For Sepehr Arbabi, the ceremony last week to inaugurate the Iranian National Observatory (INO) on a mountaintop in central Iran should have been a proud moment. The astrophysicist spent 13 years surmounting obstacles to help put the world-class optical telescope on a sound technical footing, including obtaining its primary mirror from Germany. "I felt this was like my baby, my child," says Arbabi, who left the project 5 years ago and is now at the University of Wurzburg. -Richard Stone, Science 7/13/21

Philanthropists donate $1.4b to construct schools nationwide in Iran

School building benefactors have allocated $1.4 billion to construct educational spaces over the past four years. Over the past year, some 50 percent of the country's schools have been constructed either entirely charitable or in partnership with the government and charities 7/8/21

Fraudsters Use SpaceX's Starlink to Scam Desperate Internet Users in Iran

Desperate for Starlink? Well, watch out for fake websites pretending to offer the service. The massive demand for SpaceX's satellite internet system is starting to attract scammers out to exploit the need for high-speed broadband. A look-alike Starlink website written in Persian has gone up at the domain Starlinkiran[.]com, which was noticed by users on Twitter and Reddit. -PC Magazine 7/7/21

Photos: Iran conducts first remote surgery with domestic device

First remote surgery in Iran was performed using 100% homegrown system in Iran Advanced Clinical Skills Training Center based in Imam Khomeini (RA) and Sina hospitals of Tehran. The surgery was performed on a dog (vasectomy operation) by Dr. Talebpour at Sina Hospital of Tehran. 6/29/21

Iranian National Observatory inaugurated

The Iranian National Observatory (INO), which is said to kick off a big movement in the area of astronomy in the country, was inaugurated near the city of Kashan, central Isfahan province, on Monday. The main activities of the national observatory include designing, construction, monitoring, and operating the 3.4-meter INO340 telescope, its instruments, and infrastructures. 6/29/21

How Europe's biggest start-up hub shifted its support online

Working remotely has been good for Roxanne Varza. But the coronavirus pandemic brought a new management challenge: how to turn Paris-based tech hub Station F, centred around a physical building, into a remote support service. Six years ago, Varza received an email out of the blue from French billionaire businessman Xavier Niel that led to him offering her the job of running Station F... -Jonathan Moules, Financial Times 6/28/21

Where is the Middle East in the Quantum Race?

The quantum race, like the space race before it, is a technological marathon with major implications for international relations. This defining quality sets the stage upon which the race is run, presenting competitors with an opportunity to demonstrate their economic and technological prowess to the rest of the world. -Gabriella Skoff, Project Q Sydney 6/17/21

'Ferocious Kitten': the cyberspies preying on Iranian web users

For years "Ferocious Kitten" has been harvesting information from Iranian web users, while remaining undetected by cybersecurity firms. Its espionage tools are ideally suited for domestic surveillance, according to a report by security experts. The malware is concealed in a seemingly innocuous phrase, a bait presumably intended for critics of the Islamic Republic. -France24 6/17/21

Iran leads the way to revive MENA commitment to knowledge

According to a latest study titled The Changing Research Landscape of the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), Iran has even left Israel and Turkey behind as the largest producer of research papers among 19 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT), with its world share of the Web of Science literature - just 0.2% in 2000 - surging to 2.3% in less than two decades. -University World News 5/28/21

Attracting foreign students to Iran more than projected: Official

"Some 57,675 foreign nationals from 133 countries are studying in Iranian universities, 30,600 of whom are studying in universities affiliated with the Ministry of Science, while 25,000 others are receiving education in Azad University, and about 2,000 in medical universities." 5/27/21

Iran to open fertility research center in Algeria

Iran is opening a fertility research center in Algeria. The move is part of a yearslong warming of ties between the Islamic Republic and the North African country. The Royan Institute, which studies male and female infertility, embryo development and stem cells, will open a branch in Algeria, the semi-official Mehr News Agency reported on Tuesday. 5/26/21

Iran unveils its strongest domestic supercomputer

Iran has unveiled a supercomputer - its strongest till date - developed domestically by Tehran's Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT), according to the state-run news website IRNA. The supercomputer - named Simorgh after a mythical Persian bird - has a performance capacity of 0.56 petaflops at the moment and will reach one petaflops in two months. -Al Jazeera 5/17/21

Photos: Dedicated Iranian teacher holds classes on prairies during pandemic

Kolsoom Faqiri, 39, is a teacher who works in an elementary school in Chaharchenar village, suburb of Gorgan, the capital of northern Golestan province in Iran. Since the outbreak of coronavirus and despite suffering from heart disease, Faqiri has held classes on vast plains and prairies near her house on a regular basis. This dedicated teacher is standing on her feet for long hours, against the advice of physicians, since her students cannot afford buying smartphones or tablets to attend classes online. 5/7/21

#31DaysIBPOC: In Pursuit of Asymmetry and the Collective

The Persian kilim rug where I sit cross-legged with my toddler each morning is handwoven and colored with vegetable dyes in Shiraz, where my mother is from, where the dusty Zagros mountains tower above her childhood memories. Years ago, this kilim was folded thrice and smashed into a battered suitcase, lugged across three continents from plane to plane amid pouches of spice mix my great-aunt blends in her sweltering Bahraini kitchen. The artifacts we keep tell a story. -Nawal Qcasiano, NQC Literacy 5/7/21

Fourth national festival of Maryam Mirzakhani to be held in June 2021

The 4th National Festival on Women and Science will be held in the fourth Iranian calendar month Tir (starting June 22), commemorating the late Iranian mathematician, Maryam Mirzakhani. The event is to be held to honor exemplary women who are active in scientific and social sections. 4/22/21

Two leading international congresses in Iran in the era of COVID‐19

21st royan international twin congress, 4th international and 16th Iranian genetics congress. In this report, we look at the challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID‐19 and how the Executive Board of these two congresses succeeded in overcoming those challenges and holding two congresses. Leila Montazeri, et al, Wiley Online Library 4/8/21

Is Clubhouse boosting democracy in Iran?

Iran's FM Mohammad Javad Zarif made headlines last week when he made a late-night appearance in Clubhouse, the increasingly popular group audio-chat mobile app. Even though hours into the conversation he said it was past his bedtime, the country's top diplomat stayed longer to discuss issues that ranged from Iran's recent controversial 25-year cooperation accord with China, to its nuclear deal with world powers, to again denying he has aspirations to become president, to his bedtime routine. -Maziar Motamedi, Al Jazeera 4/8/21

UNESCO celebrates 1,750th anniversary of Iran's Gundi-Shapur University

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azulay has expressed delight over the 1,750th anniversary of the University of Gundi-Shapur, which has long been a major forum for science. "Since its creation, this university, the intellectual capital of the Sassanid Empire, has been a major center for producing knowledge, a truly universal forum for science. It is this idea that we celebrate today," Azoulay said in a written message, addressing the 3rd international congress on Gundi-Shapur 3/9/21

An Interview With Pardis Mahdavi, ASU Dean of Social Sciences

]Pardis Mahdavi is the dean of social sciences in Arizona State University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The author of six books, most recently Hyphen, she is an Iranian-American anthropologist whose scholarship covers gendered labor, migration, sexuality, human rights, transnational feminism, and public health. -Zocalo 3/8/21

Iran Web and Mobile Festival Selects Outstanding Startups

The 13th Iran Web and Mobile Festival wrapped up on Friday by introducing Iran's top startups and entrepreneurs. Unlike previous years, the event was held online due to Covid-19. Iran's startups and knowledge-based companies competed during IWMF, which is organized by the private sector, the festival's website reported. -Financial Tribune 2/22/21

Women's share in research, development up to 39% in Iran

The participation of Iranian women in higher education's research and development projects has increased from 27 percent in 2000 to 39.6 percent in 2017, Science Minister Mansour Gholami has said. In all levels of education, the share of women has risen from 5.3 percent in 1978 to over 50 percent or even 60 percent during the past seven years, he noted, IRNA reported on Sunday. 2/16/21

Toward a 'knowledge-based' socio-economic growth

The law for promoting and supporting knowledge-based companies was approved by the Majlis (Iranian parliament) in 2010, paving the way for a jumpstart in the march toward scientific progress. Over the past couple of years, the concept of 'knowledge-based company' has changed to 'knowledge-based society', meaning that supporting knowledge-based companies will lead to many social and economic advantages for the public. -Mehdi Garshasbi, Tehran Times 2/15/21

ConsenSys Grants Help Iranian Women Learn Solidity

Seven female coders from Iran got scholarships and graduated from a bootcamp of ConsenSys Academy, Ethereum startup incubator's educational branch. The scholarships, a part of ConsenSys' global program to help developers start coding on the Ethereum blockchain, might provide additional opportunities for people in the country largely cut off from the international tech community. -Anna Baydakova, Coindesk 2/15/21

Tehran hosting national festival of creative, entrepreneur women

Iran's first national festival of creative and entrepreneur women opens on Tuesday in Tehran both in person and virtually, according to the National Innovation Fund. Coinciding with National Women's Day, the two-day event is held aiming to emphasize the successful presence of women in the development of a sustainable economy in recent years and honor those who are working toward a sustainable economy. 2/2/21

Sanctions, visas, and the pandemic: One Iranian student's bumpy path to SF State

Visa interviews at consulates surrounding Iran - which has no United States embassy of its own - are hard to come by during the pandemic, but Hasti Jafari Jozani managed to nab one in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in October, in a process that required her to quarantine there for two weeks. So when her visa was granted to study at San Francisco State University this spring, after she had already deferred fall admission and a prestigious scholarship, she jumped with joy. -Ida Mojadad, San Francisco Examiner 1/25/21

The Persian poetry of mathematics: From Omar Khayyam to Mirzakhani - Iran's beautiful minds

Presenting a more nuanced vision of their common homeland, Iran, to Western imaginations, kindred spirits Omar Khayyam and Maryam Mizrakhani stand out against the twenty-first century backdrop of anti-Iranian sentiment and Islamophobia. -Hamid Dabashi, 1/21/21

2020 Isaac Newton Medal and Prize: Professor Nader Engheta

Professor Nader Engheta for groundbreaking innovation and transformative contributions to electromagnetic complex materials and nanoscale optics, and for pioneering development of the fields of near-zero-index metamaterials, and material-inspired analogue computation and optical nanocircuitry. 1/20/21

Advancing developer freedom: GitHub is fully available in Iran

All developers should be free to use GitHub, no matter where they live. At the same time, GitHub respects and abides by US law, which means government sanctions have limited our ability to provide developers in some countries the full range of GitHub services. Today we are announcing a breakthrough: we have secured a license from the US government to offer GitHub to developers in Iran. -Nat Friedman, GitHub Blog 1/6/21

Iranian Villager Nominated for Prestigious Children's Literature Award

Abdolhakim Bahar whose voluntary activities to promote book reading have won him a reputation, lives in a remote village in Iran's southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan. It has been ten years now that the Ramin village is known for the library built by Mr Bahar, not for its fishermen and fabulous tourist attractions. -IFP 11/24/20

Five successful Iranian online start-ups

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the concept of Startups and low-investment high-profit businesses has spread rapidly throughout the world. As the Internet became more pervasive, a new platform was established for providing products and services that were not limited by location and time which made it easier than ever to reach a limitless global audience. 11/23/20

Iranian teacher spends $290,000 inheritance on educating deprived students

Hossein Asadi, a teacher in Iran's Khuzestan province, has spent nearly $290,000 that he inherited from his father to educate students in deprived areas. Asadi has provided 153 tablets for financially struggling students to prevent them from being out of school, and he plans to provide another 200 tablets in the coming week. 11/20/20

State's Online Schooling During COVID-19 Is a Privilege Only for the Well-Off in Iran

A new online schooling program created by the government to allow virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic will effectively remain a luxury for the well-off in Iran, as Education Ministry officials have shrugged off the inability of many students in Iran's poor regions to afford the technology necessary to access the program. -CHRI 11/16/20

Iranian Women Entrepreneurs Recognized for Innovative Activities

Top Iranian women entrepreneurs working in the domains of job creation and creating added value have been recognized in appreciation of their services. -IFP 11/12/20

Iran launches outdoor 5G trial as internet reaches more villages

A first outdoor network to provide fifth generation of internet technology (5G) has been successfully tested in Iran as telecoms minister vows the country would expand the internet coverage to all villages with over 20 households by March 2021. The official IRNA news agency said that Iran's second mobile operator MTN Irancell had launched its first outdoor 5G trial in a site in downtown Tehran earlier on Wednesday. -Press TV 11/12/20

Iran to send humanoid robot to space within a year

In order to gain the knowledge of sending living creatures to space, a humanoid robot will be sent to space in the early next [Iranian calendar] year (to start March 21, 2021), before the final stage of sending a human, the head of Iran's Aerospace Research Institute (ARI) said. 11/11/20

Difficulties of Online Learning in Iran's Remote Areas

While millions of Iranian students do not go to schools and attend their classes remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic, a huge number of kids in the remote areas have to travel along hard paths to find a place where there is celluar coverage. -IFP 11/11/20

Iran's National observatory to come on stream by mid-June 2021

The national observatory of Iran, which is being built near the city of Kashan, central Isfahan province, will be put into operation by mid-June next year. "All the components of the telescope and the control systems, except the mirror, are produced domestically," said Sourena Sattari, the vice president for science and technology, IRNA reported on Wednesday. 10/29/20

Photos: Squirrel, parrot receive eye treatment in Tabriz, Iran

A parrot and a five-year-old squirrel had cataract surgery on Sunday, October 11, in Tabriz after being diagnosed with the disease. It is the first time in the world that a squirrel receives an eye treatment. The eye surgery of the parrot is also the first such treatment for parrots in Iran. -Maryam Ebrahime, ISNA 10/15/20

Iranian biotechnology ranks 12th in world, first in West Asia

Iran is ranked 12th in the world and first in West Asia in terms of biotechnology, as 9.5 percent of the income of knowledge-based companies and more than 60 percent of their exports are related to biotechnology. Foreign exchange savings of $1B per year by producing 22 biopharmaceuticals, gaining the first rank in biotechnology products and vaccines in West Asia, and the presence among the top five biotechnology producers in Asia are among the country's achievements... -Tehran Times 10/13/20

Locked out: Clash of Clans latest title off limits to Iran gamers

October is poised to be a brutal month for Iran based fans of the massively popular mobile games Clash of Clans and Clash Royale, after the company that developed the games set in motion policies that will effectively ban Iranian accounts. -Maziar Motamedi, Al-Jazeera 10/7/20

Mother of Iranian Astronomy: In Commemoration of Alenoush Terian

The 100th birth anniversary of the late professor Alenoush Terian, the mother of Iranian astronomy, will be celebrated on October 29. Concurrent with World Science Day for Peace and Development, the ceremony will take place in Tehran. Setting up the first solar physics observatory, launching the first solar telescope, Offering solar physics and astrophysics courses for the first time in the country, and dedicating her house to students are some of the most notable contributions of Terian to the growth of astronomy in Iran. 10/6/20

Iran's mobile penetration rate at over 144% in June: Regulator

Iran's Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) says penetration rate for mobile services in the country increased in the first three months of the current calendar year to stand at 144.14 percent. Figures by the CRA published in the ISNA news agency on Monday showed that the number of active SIM cards in Iran had reached 121,092,232 by June 20. -Press TV 9/29/20

NIAC Statement on New Visa Restrictions on Iranian Students

Jamal Abdi, Executive Director of National Iranian American Council Action (NIAC Action), issued the following statement on new restrictions proposed by the Trump administration that would target international students, including a 2 year maximum visa for Iranian students and other nationals of countries whose governments have been designated by the U.S. as state sponsors of terrorism 9/25/20

Academics Against Sanctions

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) joins dozens of prominent academics in calling on the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to reform overly broad sanctions that hamper academic exchange. The letter comes amid disturbing reports of Iranian students being dropped or deferred by U.S. universities amid new COVID-19 restrictions. -Medium 9/24/20

Iranian PhD scholarship recipients granted Australian student visas after waiting on average a year for response

Hundreds of Iran's brightest minds have been waiting for more than a year to take up their university scholarships in Australia but after enquiries from SBS News, many have now been granted their visas. -Catalina Florez, SBS News 9/11/20

Massiah Foundation challenge gift to fund UCI chair in Zoroastrian studies

The University of California, Irvine has received a $1.5 million challenge commitment from the Massiah Foundation to establish the Ferdowsi Presidential Chair in Zoroastrian Studies - the first of its kind in the United States. Additionally, the University of California will support the chair with up to $500,000. The Massiah Foundation was founded by Fariborz Maseeh, Ph.D., an Iranian American businessman and pioneer in the field of microelectromechanical systems who lives in Newport Beach. 9/11/20

Iran begins new school year under strict health protocols

Over 15 million students attended schools nationwide on Saturday for the new school year under strict health protocols to protect teachers, staff, and students against the coronavirus pandemic. The opening bell of the new academic year was rung symbolically by President Hassan Rouhani at a girls' high school in downtown Tehran. 9/7/20

Iran is pioneer in biotechnology, ICT, and artificial intelligence in region: VP

Iran is playing the leading role in the region in the fields of fintech, ICT, stem cell, aerospace, and is unrivaled in artificial intelligence, Sourena Sattari, the vice president for science and technology, told the Tehran Times in an exclusive interview on Saturday. He went on to say that in terms of biotechnology Iran is at the forefront by producing 24 biomedicines. -Ali A. Jenabzadeh & Faranak Bakhtiari, Tehran Times 9/2/20

Afghan girl who waited years for school refuses to let her enthusiasm wane

A few months ago, mornings at Vahdat Primary School when the children arrived were full of enthusiasm and energy. Bags bouncing on their backs as they ran through the gates of their primary school, a group of girls skidded to a halt in front of the main building, waiting for assembly. At the back of a line of sixth-graders stood Parisa, the oldest in her class at the age of 16 - her classmates were on average only 12 years old. -Farha Bhoyroo, UNHCR, Isfahan, Iran 9/2/20

Why are Iranians facing such long waits to take up their Australian PhD scholarships?

Hundreds of Iran's brightest minds have been waiting for more than a year to take up their university scholarships in Australia, with academics warning Australia's future research capability is at risk due to the delays in student visa approvals. -Catalina Florez, SBS 8/26/20

Iran mobile operator launches second 5G mast in capital Tehran

An Iranian mobile operator has launched a second antenna for providing superfast internet based on the so-called fifth generation technology (5G) in the capital Tehran. Iran's telecoms minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi took to his Twitter page on Thursday to announce the launch while sending a picture that showed the system was operating smoothly on a mobile phone. 8/21/20

Photos: Konkour kicks off in Iran

Iranian students took part in the first day of the university entrance examination of the year 1399, also known as Konkour, on Wednesday, August 19, in different cities of Iran. Over 113 thousand students of art group sat for the entrance examination today while following social distancing guidelines, and health protocols. -ISNA 8/21/20

Momeni Foundation announces the Recipients of 2020 Scholarships

Momeni Foundation is dedicated to providing scholarships to graduating high school students and full time college students of Iranian descent anywhere in the world. Award Recipients for year 2020 (Total awards = $20,000 USD). Scholastic Achievement Scholarships (Total = $5,000 USD) 8/12/20

Iranian hacker group becomes first known APT to weaponize DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH)

An Iranian hacking group known as Oilrig has become the first publicly known threat actor to incorporate the DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) protocol in its attacks. Speaking in a webinar last week, Vincente Diaz, a malware analyst for antivirus maker Kaspersky, said the change happened in May this year when Oilrig added a new tool to its hacking arsenal. -Catalin Cimpanu, ZDNet 8/5/20

Iranian startups help deal with impacts of coronavirus pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak in Iran has turned out to be technology's time to shine. The available technology to help fight the virus is not anything new, but the National Innovation Fund and startups are using just that to slow the transmission of the disease. This includes using smart phones to report sickness and mapping local clusters. -Press TV 7/21/20

Stuckeman School graduate student awarded Scientific Merit Award

Nastaran Tebyanian, a Penn State Stuckeman School doctoral candidate in architecture with a focus on landscape architecture, recently won a Scientific Merit Award from the Journal of Digital Architecture for her article titled "Application of Machine Learning for Urban Landscape Design: A Primer for Landscape Architects." -Pennsylvania State University 7/14/20

70 million Iranians using high-speed mobile internet: Regulator

The number of Iranians with access to high-speed mobile internet services has increased exponentially over the past seven years to reach a total of 70 million, says the country's telecoms regulator. The official IRNA news agency cited figures by CRA as saying that coverage of third and fourth generation of mobile internet had increased from 12 percent of the population in 2013 to nearly 83 percent this year. -Press TV 6/26/20

Iran to open second largest data center over weekend: Minister

Iran's telecoms minister says a second large-scale data center meant to improve security and sustainability in the cyberspace would come online later this week. Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said in a tweet on Wednesday that Iran's first mobile phone operator MCI would launch the data center in the northwestern city of Tabriz on June 28. -Press TV 6/25/20

Sa'adi Foundation runs virtual course on Persian language teacher training

A Tehran-based organization that promotes the Persian language abroad has launched a virtual teacher training course. Sa'adi Foundation said the virtual training course is aimed at promoting the Persian language, supporting the Persian language centers across the world, enhancing the quality of Persian language teaching and facilitating teachers and enthusiasts' access to such course. 6/18/20

Posthumous degrees for U of A students killed in Iran plane crash a reminder of talent lost, says graduate

As the COVID-19 pandemic cancels graduation ceremonies around the world, the University of Alberta has awarded posthumous degrees to five students killed in the Ukrainian Airlines flight shot down by Iran in January. Asal Andarzipour, the president of the university's Iranian Students Association, called it an act of "remembrance" for her five peers, and the hopes and dreams they had. -CBC 6/18/20

Iran's Knowledge-based companies to raise annual sales to $35 billion

Knowledge-based companies in Iran sold products worth 1,200 trillion rials (about $28 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials) in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended on March 19), while the figure is projected to rise to 1,500 billion rials (about $35 billion) in the current year, said Sourena Sattari, Vice President for Science and Technology. 6/11/20

Iranian Medical Students To Be Required To Study Traditional Medicine

Iran's Health Ministry has announced that students of medicine, dentistry, and pharmacology will be required to take two courses in traditional medicine, Iranian media reported on June 8. In recent weeks, a number of self-proclaimed experts in Islamic medicine created controversy by promoting unproven and potentially dangerous coronavirus treatments. Health officials have warned about fake coronavirus remedies, including illegal herbal products sold online. 6/10/20

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