Lydia Saad

Lydia Saad

Where did you grow up and what’s your background?
I grew up in North York, in the Don Valley Village area, where all pre-adolescent socialising revolved around the Fairview Mall. Both of my parents are from Kafr Bir'im, a small northern village in former Palestine.

What is your program of study?
Double major in Biology and Neuroscience.

What is your main research project?
To train an artificial neural network to classify images using supervised learning and feedback alignment, and to test the accuracy and levels of generalisation achieved by visually observing what the network has learned.

Why science? If not science, then what?
I remember reading about the theories for the origins of life on Earth in grade school and being filled with awe and wonder. I quickly discovered that delving deep into these questions and understanding the mechanics underlying how they work actually enhanced, rather than diminished, my appreciation for life and the universe. If not science, I would have pursued a career as an author, or in the education or technology sectors. I like working in a team to create, innovate and improve how systems work; and I like to impart what I have learned to others.

The best restaurant in Scarborough is...?
Morningside Park. Yes, I realise that's not a restaurant, but I have certainly enjoyed many picnics and barbecues there with family and friends over the years.

Your favourite place in Toronto is…?
A toss-up between Rouge Valley and High Park. I like walking aimlessly along rivers, among the trees.

Your favourite place on the inter tubes?
Google, for the numerous ways it has improved my life; from helping me to avoid humiliation by providing instant dictionary definitions, to notifying me when I'm headed in the wrong direction on my way to a job interview.

Best song of all time?
The Song That Never Ends, as made famous by Lamb Chop's Play Along.