As a member of the HYPE! mime troupe at Tufts, I was involved in acting, writing and directing skits. I greatly enjoy miming as a medium for story-telling because it demands that the plot be broken down into the most basic form of human expression; gestures and body language. Therefore, it aspires to transcend beyond barriers of language and culture into something that is universally human. I believe miming to be the origin of my interest in semiotics.
Physical storytelling is also an extremely interesting challenge to tackle. When a story is made purely out of the perception of physical actions, each and every one of them counts. And so optimizing it to deliver depth without losing meaning requires a lot of thought and prediction about the audience’s collective imagination as it evolves with the story.
A playlist containing some of the skits I have been involved with can be found here.
I started fencing sophomore year of college without any prior experience. Fencing is fascinating to me for its fast-paced strategy and quick decision making. Though I am still very much a new-comer to this sport, I have had the opportunity to participate in some tournaments on behalf of the Foil Squad at Tufts Fencing Club.
International Mathematical Olympiad 2016
During highschool I was heavily involved in the world of contest math. This culminated in getting selected for the national Pakistani team for the IMO 2016. The selection and training was an intense, grueling process but overall it was a great learning experience about mathematical problem solving and analysis. The camps and the competition are also a source of some of my longest-standing friendships.
Books, Movies and Art
My favorite movie is Cloud Atlas. If there is a reasonable answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything then it is definitely in there somewhere. My bet is on this quote: “Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”
Electric Sheep is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. It is crowd-sourced art powered by genetic algorithms that iteratively evolves based on feedback from the users. I am completely mesmerized anytime I watch any of the sheep.
I am a big fan of the written works of Bulleh Shah, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchet. I greatly appreciate their unique and whimsical approach to life and humanity. I also enjoy the irony that there is way more in common between Bulleh (a devout Sufi) and Douglas (an equally devout atheist) than one would expect.
Some books I am making my way through at the moment:
- A Theory of Computer Semiotics by P. B. Andersen
- The Robot’s Rebellion by Keith Stanovich
- Mind, Self and Society by George Herbert Mead