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Salman Sajid talks about why he chose computer science

A day in the life

Salman Sajid talks about why he chose computer science

I dream of creating a machine intelligence that improves the lives of people who experience the world with various disabilities

Originally born in Pakistan, Salman Sajid was raised and schooled in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He moved to Malaysia to complete a foundation year at Sunway University before joining Dalhousie.

Ever since the age of 8, Salman says he has been fascinated with computers. “Computers have been that one thing that not only excited, but motivated me to master myself in using it.”

He talks about troubleshooting his first computer at the age of 10. Ever since that moment, he has been eager to learn as much as he can about computers at a deeper level. By age 13, Salman had been exposed to artificial intelligence – and that idea that a machine could think and make decisions amazed him.

For years after, he followed the idea of the Turing machine and its concept, along with some modern AI examples, applications, and theories. Once he completed high school, he knew AI was the right path for him, which is what brought him to computer science.

Aspirations in AI

“I dream of creating a machine intelligence that improves the lives of people who experience the world with various disabilities,” Salman explains. “Medical equipment with this kind of artificial intelligence could help speech pathologists, or someone with a new prosthetic limb as much as it could someone with a spinal or muscular injury.”

“It would be about making day to day experiences better for everyone,” he continues. “Along with this, I want to redefine the way modern cyber security systems are set up to prevent any kind of breech or hack. I want to create security systems with the use of AI. For the past year, I have gotten really interested in information security and want to incorporate it into my passion for AI with information security to create some of the best cyber security in the world.”

Life at Dal

When asked what Salman’s most memorable times have been to date, he recalls the proud moment or receiving his Schulich Renewable Scholarship. “Not only was I really surprised, but the reaction I got from my parents made it one of the most memorable things for me.”

After accepting the scholarship and joining the Faculty of Computer Science, Salman notes the level of support he has received as being a pleasant surprise.

“[Professors] have been extremely considerate, helpful, and very supportive whenever I needed their assistance,” he says. “Professors here break the stereotypical norm of being formal and sometimes strict….they are more like friends who are always happy to help us.”

Outside of his focus on school work, Salman spends his time volunteering at events within the International Centre that promote and encourage mutual respect for other cultures. Salman also founded Dalhousie’s Pakistani Students Association.