I grew up in a nice town in Ankara, Turkey. We had a big yard with 2 big pine trees for perfect climbing and a big mulberry tree perfect for climbing and eating mulberries. In the neighborhood, there were many empty lots where kids could run and play (they are all filled with big buildings now). Our street started with a high slope and eased toward the middle where our house was. It was such a fun place for sledding in the winter and biking in the summer. I learned to skateboard by letting myself go at the top of the street. I still remember where each bump or hole is and how much it hurts when one falls at a particular one.

I have a family that I'm very proud of, including my husband and our two grown children. I have two younger siblings. My brother is a pediatric surgeon and has a PhD in Pharmacology. My sister is a lawyer with a Master's degree (LLM) in international law. My father (deceased) was a civil engineer, and my mother (deceased) was a newsletter editor. My maternal grandmother and grandfather ran clothing shops. They both spoke several languages including Turkish, Tatar, English, French, Japanese, and Russian. My grandfather worked as a translator at Etibank's factory in Seydisehir, Konya. My grandmother never missed the Japanese News hour. My paternal grandmother was a librarian. She was interested in history, wrote several articles to history magazines. She did oil paintings and wrote a book of poems. Her sister was an accomplished artist of oil paintings. Their mother (my great grandmother) was one of the first women who worked outside the home during the early days of the Turkish Republic (1930s). She worked at government offices to help translate for foreign visitors. My paternal grandfather was a lawyer. He worked on several areas including patents. His father was one of the first Turkish physicians of the late Ottoman era.

Careerwise, I wanted to be a psychiatrist when I was a kid. During the summer after high school graduation, my Mom suggested that I might be more interested in computers. I listened (yes!) and studied Computer Engineering at Middle East Technical University. During college, I enjoyed writing Cobol programs and managing databases and systems and wanted to pursue a career in these areas. After interviewing at a few places, I realized that it was not the right job for me and decided to stay at the University. Right after graduation, one of my professors offered me a real job at the Computer Center of Middle East Technical University. I did not write Cobol programs but I did help manage databases and systems. I also got my Master's degree. I went to the University of Pittsburgh for my Ph.D. I now very much enjoy my current position at Michigan Tech.

The most fun part of my job being able to work in research and teaching at the same time. My research areas are Artificial Intelligence Planning and STEM education. I teach both undergraduate and graduate classes with an emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking. My students tirelessly teach me how to be a better professor. It is a win-win for everyone!