Ann (BASc 1986): I’m a boat person from Vietnam. When the Communists took over the South, they sent my father to a re-education camp for 13 years and my mother had no job. My mother paid to send my siblings and me away on a little boat when I was 15, and I ended up in a refugee camp in Indonesia. I came to Canada and I quickly realized that I would need an education to get ahead so I went to U of T. When I finished university and got my very first job, I bought a class ring to represent my hard work. I always planned on giving it to someone truly special in my life, but I never felt a strong enough connection to offer anyone the ring. Then I met Paul again at our 25-year class reunion. He’s such a gentleman, and he does everything straight from his heart. I offered him the ring, and he was thrilled to accept it. He tells everyone about it. I realize now that he’s the only one who can wear it.
Paul (BASc 1986): I didn’t really know Ann at university. She was very studious back then, and I just wanted to pass and get my degree. She was always sitting in the front of the class and I was always sitting in the back. Unlike her, I was in a position to take things for granted – but I did go on to use my engineering degree to open my own consulting company. When I saw Ann again at our reunion on April 8, 2011, I fell in love with her right away. I was living in Newfoundland, but a month later, I came to Toronto and we started dating then. I moved here to be with her a year later. She really supports me. I’m very proud of her and what she’s done with her life. We’re getting married on September 20, which is also my 50th birthday.
By bringing artificial intelligence into chemistry, Prof. Aspuru-Guzik aims to vastly shrink the time it takes to develop new drugs – and almost everything else