CSUF News Service
Meet Naser Nikandish
Assistant Professor of Management Keeps Focus on Student Needs
Dec. 3, 2014
Naser Nikandish, assistant professor of management, studies supply chain, inventory management and capacity analysis.
You could say that teaching is in Naser Nikandish's blood. After all, his father taught physics, and his mother was a school principal. And the signs were clear by the time he was in college.
In his fourth semester as an undergraduate majoring in industrial engineering and operations research at Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran, "I was explaining concepts to friends," says the scholar who became a teaching assistant for the classes he was attending, graduating in 2003.
"Since then I've always been involved in teaching — 13 years," says Nikandish, who joined Cal State Fullerton's Department of Management this fall.
The assistant professor has research interests in capacity analysis, supply chain and inventory management. He has published papers on how to determine the appropriate number of disabled parking spaces for a parking lot and is currently working on a study to determine capacity for Amazon's locker delivery.
But it is being an educator that has become his passion. While there are days where he may feel physically tired, "mentally — never. Teaching is very refreshing."
Nikandish taught graduate students preparing for their entrance examination while he was completing his own master's degree at Tehran's Sharif University of Technology. After graduation, he joined an engineering and construction company, "but I found that working was a deviation from what I really enjoyed."
So, he left his native country to earn a doctorate in business at Cornell University.
"It was a big change from Tehran," Nikandish says about the cold winters and small community of Ithaca. "But after the first year, I started loving it, and I miss it now. I learned a lot and will always appreciate that experience."
In his last two years at Cornell, he began teaching 500-level courses on managing operations and was able to use his work experience in the classroom.
"I asked myself, if this was the only course they took, what do they need to learn?" Nikandish recalls of the experience. "These people invest a lot of money in their education. What can I teach them that will help them? I always have in the back of my mind : how can I change my teaching to benefit my students the most?"
When Nikandish started looking for faculty positions, "I chose Cal State Fullerton because of the effect I can have on students."