Salar Mohtaj

Who are you and what do you do? Who are your partners?
My name is Salar Mohtaj and I am a research assistant at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and a PhD student at the Technical University of Berlin. At the DFKI I am working on NLP based approaches for automated fact checking and claim detection. I work on my Software Campus project in cooperation with The Holtzbrinck Publishing Group as the industry partner.

When did you join the Software Campus and why are you in the programme?
I was accepted into the program in 2020. The most important reason for choosing Software Campus is the opportunity to improve personal and professional skills via the seminars. Moreover, the cooperation with the industrial partner gives me a better understanding of the research questions and a realistic setting.

What do you expect from the Software Campus?
By the end of the program, I would like to have acquired new, efficient working methods and improved my leadership and social skills. By working with my industry partner, I want to have developed a solution with industrial relevance that opens up new perspectives for both sides and that ideally leads to a fruitful cooperation. By the end of the program, I hope to improve my leadership and social skills.

What is the content of your IT project and how could it be applied in the future?
The goal of my project is to investigate if there is any common symptom or structure in the everyday publishing of fake news by harmful websites. The main objective is to reduce human effort in detecting fake stories.

What fascinates you about computer science?
The most important aspect of computer science for me is the ability of creation. Programming is like writing, where you create your own world and users play their roles in your story.

Which app/technical invention is indispensable for you?
For me web search engines are the most indispensable application.

Has a personality from computer science or management particularly impressed you?
Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Do you think there is “the” quality you think a top manager has to have today to be successful?
I think “the” key quality for a top manager is flexibility against external changes.

What has been the biggest challenge you have had to face so far in your IT career?
For me the biggest challenge in my career was negotiating to get resources from managers. It is very difficult to convince managers to invest money in a project, while there is a risk of failure.

What does your heart beat for – besides job and Software Campus?
My heart beats for my family, and also for making the world a better place to live for everyone, using the potential of technology.