In this episode of the “People Behind the Science” podcast, Kurt Thoroughman, PhD, associate professor and associate chair for undergraduate studies in the Department of Biomedical Engineering as well as director of undergraduate studies of the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, talks about his research and what he does when he’s not in the lab or classroom, including improv theater.
As I hinted at with the picture at the end of my last post, this past weekend I hiked to Mt Ngauruhoe, which is better known as Mt Doom! For those of you who aren’t as familiar with the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) series, Mt Doom is the giant, intimidating volcano in the land of “the enemy”. While…
Kia Ora (hello/welcome) ! The past week of my adventures has taken me across the Able Tasman track, into Moari culture, and around Auckland, the most populated city in New Zealand.
Amazing scenery and stunning views make up New Zealand. It is covered with hikes and trails, nine of which have…
Follow Sara Fletcher, a Washington University student majoring in mechanical engineering, as she studies abroad this semester at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. We’ll share her blog posts here as we get them.
Up to $50K available for ventures with global impact
Have an idea for a business venture that would create social change? That idea could win you up to $50,000 through a new awards program through the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.
Alumnus Suren G. Dutia and his wife, Jas K. Grewal, have established a global impact award to assist promising entrepreneurs and high-growth entrepreneurial ventures to catalyze social change.
The award is open to current WUSTL students, postdoctoral researchers and alumni who have graduated in the past five years. The application deadline is noon March 24; the first award will be presented in September.
Have you ever thought about using your engineering skills and education to help others in developing countries or in impoverished areas of big cities in the United States? From 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, representatives from the Peace Corps, City Year and Teach for America will hold a joint panel session to provide more information and to answer questions about service corps opportunities. The panel session will be held in Mallinckrodt Multipurpose Room on the lower level. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Imagine it’s your first day at a new job. Your boss drives you out to a 50-acre field of grass, hands you a single blade of grass and says, “Find all the blades of grass that are just like this one.” What do you do?
Even an expert would say, “I can find all of the similar blades, but it will take at least a week,” but your boss says you don’t have a week. That’s where simMachines comes in.
What is simMachines? simMachines may be the fastest similarity search engine in existence. While standard search engines, like Google, look for specific keyword matches, similarity search takes in an object, such as a picture, and returns other objects that share characteristics with the first object.
Arnoldo J. Muller-Molina, the brain behind simMachines, has a simple idea – find objects that are similar and find them faster than anyone else.
When we first talked with Arnoldo, he showed us a demo of how his search engine could take a picture of a shoe and find other shoes exactly like it – the same color, heel and style. But similarity search can do much more than find a pair of shoes.
What can big data do? Similarity search can recommend a new song, discover what a customer might buy next or even analyze data from rockets shot into space. Data scientists all over the world are analyzing larger amounts of data than ever before, and as the problems get bigger, finding the solutions takes longer.
As a user listens and votes on more songs, Pandora gets better at recommending new titles; but the more data Pandora has, the longer the search for a new song could take. Arnoldo and his team have created a number of different similarity searches that are faster than ever before, and now he is building a company with his solutions.
The CELect Project As part of the CELect Entrepreneurship Course, we – Ethan Green, Austin French (MBA ‘14) and Zachary Berman – have gotten the chance to work with simMachines. We are conducting a message audit and performing a full market analysis to help Arnoldo take his incredibly fast similarity search engine to the world of big data. We want to make sure simMachines’s message accurately depicts the value simMachines can provide to its customers through its products. In order to market such sophisticated products, understanding the customers’ needs is critical.
Final Thoughts After our meeting with Arnoldo, we were blown away by just how much similarity search can do, and how much he has accomplished. We believe that with the right structure and market positioning, simMachines will be extremely successful in bringing its proprietary similarity search to companies across the globe.
— Ethan Green and Zachary Berman are both seniors in the BS/MS program in computer science in the School of Engineering & Applied Science with second majors in entrepreneurship through the Olin Business School.
Washington University in St. Louis alumni in the New York City and San Francisco areas can present their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of judges for feedback at two upcoming IdeaBounce events.
In addition to the opportunity to present entrepreneurial ideas, the events also allow alumni, friends and parents to connect and network. All audience members and participants must register to attend.
The WU Club of New York and the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University will host an IdeaBounce event from 6-9 p.m. Oct. 29 at AppNexus. The cost is $25 per person and includes a networking reception with appetizers, beer and wine.
IDEA Labs is a bioengineering design and entrepreneurship incubator founded in 2012 by Avik Som, an MD/PhD student. It is a joint venture of the School of Medicine, School of Engineering & Applied Science and the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences (DBBS). Teams of undergraduate, medical students and graduate students work together to create solutions to real clinical problems. We bring clinicians in to share clinical problems and ideas and give students the chance to work in teams to develop innovative solutions. Teams of three to four engineering students and three to four medical or graduate students then brainstorm, research, design, implement solutions and develop prototypes. We provide teams with funding, lab space, and guidance from clinical mentors and technical advisers. Teams present final designs at Demo Day to a panel of judges from the St. Louis entrepreneurial and medical communities. Our objective is to nourish a culture of innovation at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
We were fortunate to receive an outpouring of support from the Skandalaris Center and other contributors that made our inaugural year successful beyond our expectations. Multiple project teams from last year continued development after Demo Day. Teams have gone on to seek venture capital and win monetary prizes in other engineering design competitions. We are excited to kick off our second year with Problem Day at 7 p.m. Oct. 11, 2013, in the Connor Auditorium at the Farrell Learning & Teaching Center at the School of Medicine. Visit our website ideas.wustl.edu to learn more and fill out an application by Oct. 1.
— Joshua Siegel is a third-year MD/PhD student at Washington University School of Medicine.
Entrepreneurship programs at Washington University in St. Louis rank among the best in the country, according to a new list released today by The Princeton Review.
WUSTL’s undergraduate programs ranked No. 8 among the top 25 U.S. entrepreneurship colleges and business schools, while graduate programs ranked No. 12. The top 25 were chosen from among 2,000 entrants.
The Princeton Review surveyed school administrators with 60 questions covering their schools’ levels of commitment to entrepreneurship inside and outside the classroom; the percentage of faculty, students and alumni actively and successfully involved in entrepreneurial endeavors; and the number and reach of their mentorship programs. Schools also provided information about scholarships and grants for entrepreneurial studies and projects and their support for school-sponsored business plan competitions. In all, more than 30 data points were analyzed to tally the final list of top ranking programs and schools.
At the School of Engineering & Applied Science, entrepreneurship is a long-standing priority. While the school continues to emphasize advances in theoretical knowledge, it also actively promotes the application of new discoveries by enhancing the climate of entrepreneurism through competitions such as the Discovery Competition and partnering with the Olin Business School in a variety of initiatives.