Meet one of Psychology’s Newest Faculty Members

September 24, 2013 —  

Dan Mirman

    Dan Mirman

Dan Mirman, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Hometown: Boston, MA (but I was born in Riga, Latvia)
Degree: PhD, Carnegie Mellon University
Research interests: Neurobiology of language

Q: What did you do before coming to Drexel?
A: I was an institute scientist at the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute. I studied spoken language processing in adults who had language disorders as a result of stroke.

Q: What’s your favorite book? Movie?
A: Fiction: “The Princess Bride” by William Goldman (the movie is great, but this book is a work of genius). Nonfiction: "A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again" by David Foster Wallace. Movie: “Brick” (2005).

Q: What’s your favorite food or restaurant?
A: My mother’s crepes.

Q: If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive) who would they be?
A: David Foster Wallace, Margaret Atwood, Ira Glass

Q: What’s one thing you couldn't live without?
A: My family

Q: When is the last time you did something “for the first time”?  What was it?
A: January 2012 – my first child was born.

Q: What was the most memorable class you took as an undergrad and why?
A: Computational Models of Perception and Cognition – it taught me how to study the mind using the tools I had learned in my physical science and computer science classes.

Q: Which current event/issue do you think students should know more about?
A: Civil liberties

Q: What’s one thing students in your courses should know about you?
A: I like it when students ask questions, even in large lecture classes. That interaction helps the student who asked the question, it helps other students in the class (who often have the same question), and it helps me be a better teacher. If you’re too shy to ask in class, talk to me after class or in office hours.

Q: What made you want to become a professor?
A: I love science, teaching, and being part of the intellectual community of a university.

Q: What do you consider to be your biggest achievement thus far in your career?
A: Presenting a talk at the Royal Society of London, which is the oldest scientific organization still in existence.

Q: What course would you be most excited to teach at Drexel and why?
A: Cognitive Neuroscience – how our mind and brain work is so fundamental to our identity, but many students don’t even know that there is a branch of science that studies these things. I’m looking forward to teaching them about it (I’m scheduled to teach this course next spring).

Q: What do you hope to add to the CoAS community?
A: I hope to help build an interdisciplinary cognitive neuroscience community that brings together people from psychology, engineering, computer science, biology and medicine. I think we’ve got the ingredients for very exciting undergraduate and graduate programs and cutting-edge research.

See Mirman in action: CoAS Dean’s Seminar: “The Eye's Mind: Tracking the Eyes to Study the Mind,” Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 3:30PM – 5:30PM, Disque 109.