Featured Eyewirer: @hiigaran

A behind the scenes look at the Eyewire community.

Meet the Eyewirers who are mapping the brain. Today’s featured Eyewirer is @hiigaran.

Introduce yourself!

Howdy fellas! Name’s Karim. I’ve got an Arabic first name, Hungarian last name, grew up in Australia in a Greek and Korean community nestled between Chinese and Lebanese suburbs, with a love for Indian food, and spent seven years in Sweden!

I’d like to think of myself as multicultural. I love to meet people from different walks of life. This, combined with an almost fanatical love for aviation, landed me my current job as a high-altitude chicken and beef dispenser (aka, flight attendant), which bases me in Dubai.

I’m also a private pilot, saving up the cash to go commercial. At the moment, I just fly the little single props for fun, and I’ve indulged in a few flights on gliders

Why do you play EyeWire?

Well, for several reasons!

I am a big fan of anything even remotely related to citizen science. Whether that is distributed computing, such as the almost endless number of projects through BOINC, or something with direct involvement, like the equally endless projects from Zooniverse. My involvement had eventually led me to create a community to unite many people and get more folks involved in the different projects floating around on the internet. Today, it is one of the more productive groups out there, and I’m proud to advance science alongside my fellow teammates.

That said, while most citizen science projects have that competitive appeal to them, at the end of the day, I find a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that the time I spend on them, as opposed to gaming, can be put to good use and benefit others. It also brings upon me this feeling of guilt whenever gaming, as I could be submitting additional cubes instead!

Of course, that’s not to say I don’t indulge in a multi-hour gaming binge every now and then…

How did you discover EyeWire?

There really isn’t much of a story behind this. I merely brought up citizen science with a friend in a discussion about computers, mentioning a few projects, and my friend asked me if I had heard about EyeWire.

Needless to say, I was rather shocked that such a well established project had slipped under my radar for so long. As soon as I got home, I searched for EyeWire, and before I knew it, I had been infected with the infamous One More Cube syndrome!

Share a story that helps the world get to know you.

I’m generally known for only two things: Aviation, and DIY. Though I’ve touched on the former, I’m also tech-oriented, and I’m able to quickly pick up on most things related to electronics, power tools, and loud things that go boom.

So, I also like to build things, and set projects for myself which require me to learn how to use a new tool, or basically do something I’ve never done before. My first big project was building a recumbent trike, which I put together after amassing a heap of scrap bikes and learning how to use a MIG welder. The result was…well, it worked, but I didn’t trust my skills enough to take it down a steep downhill bike path.

At present, I am working on a massive project that combines a wall-mounted computer with an aesthetic design. Due to my irregular working hours and chaotic rosters, the project has so far been almost a year and a half in the making, and could probably take another four to six months to complete. For anyone interested, here’s the worklog:


I also have plans to build a jet engine out of a turbocharger in the future, just for the fun of it.

Anything Else you’d like to add?

Naturally, I fly around the world, and in most cases, get to stay for at least a day wherever I land. While I’m not much of a tourist in the sense that I’m interested in seeing landmarks, I always welcome the opportunity to meet new people. Feel free to message me if you’re ever bored! If you live in a major city, I probably fly to it!

See you guys around, and may the turbulence be with you!

…What? Turbulence is fun! Don’t look at me that way!

Would you like to be a featured Eyewirer? Submit your own responses here: Featured EyeWirer Questionnaire

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