Across Disciplines. Across the World.

The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis aspires to discover the unknown, educate students and serve society. Our strategy focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, and security. Through innovative partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — we will contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.

Washington University in St. Louis is dedicated to challenging its faculty and students alike to seek new knowledge and greater understanding of an ever-changing, multicultural world.
Photo courtesy of Techli.com
A team of Washington University students won the $50,000 first prize in the GlobalHack hackathon Jan. 31 at Union Station in St. Louis.
The team, called The Force, consisted of Eric Elias, a WUSTL alumnus; Kristy Okada, a senior Arts & Sciences student; Leslie Ding, a fine arts student; Du Zhang, a freshman Engineering student; SeungJu SJ Lee, a junior Engineering student; Daniel Borstelmann, a sophomore architecture student; and Fangzhou Xiao, a sophomore Engineering student.
Teams began at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, and finished Sunday, Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. Every team was given the same problem to solve, and all the teams were judged by the same specifications. The project had to integrate with the Salesforce platform. The title sponsor, TopOPPS, offered $50,000 in cash as an acquisition offer to the winning team for the prototype they developed during the weekend-long event. A second-place team won $10,000.

Photo courtesy of Techli.com

A team of Washington University students won the $50,000 first prize in the GlobalHack hackathon Jan. 31 at Union Station in St. Louis.

The team, called The Force, consisted of Eric Elias, a WUSTL alumnus; Kristy Okada, a senior Arts & Sciences student; Leslie Ding, a fine arts student; Du Zhang, a freshman Engineering student; SeungJu SJ Lee, a junior Engineering student; Daniel Borstelmann, a sophomore architecture student; and Fangzhou Xiao, a sophomore Engineering student.

Teams began at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, and finished Sunday, Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. Every team was given the same problem to solve, and all the teams were judged by the same specifications. The project had to integrate with the Salesforce platform. The title sponsor, TopOPPS, offered $50,000 in cash as an acquisition offer to the winning team for the prototype they developed during the weekend-long event. A second-place team won $10,000.

Above, from left: Chris Sims and David Karandish, founders of Answers.com.
Q&A with David Karandish, founder and CEO of Answers.com

David Karandish earned computer science degree with honors from the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis in 2005. In 2006, he and longtime friend Chris Sims, also a computer science alumnus, started AnnounceMedia with the goal of better organizing the online consumer’s retail experience. AnnounceMedia blossomed into Answers.com, a plain-language search engine and information source used by more than one-third of all Internet users. Profitable since its first year, the company has grown into a global enterprise with offices in the technology hotbeds of Silicon Valley, New York and Beijing. He spoke at the Olin Cup Competition finale Jan. 30.
Q. You are co-founder and CEO of Answers.com, a question and answer website headquartered here in St. Louis. What’s been happening with the company recently?
Three years ago, my company acquired Answers.com, one of the top Q&A destinations on the web. Since then we’ve grown Answers.com as a website and as a platform.  This week, we officially announced the creation of two distinct divisions at Answers Corp. to better reflect the company as it stands today: Answers.com and Answers Cloud Services. 
Answers Cloud Services is the consolidation and integration of all Answers’ category-leading SaaS businesses: ForeSee, pioneer and provider of customer experience analytics; Webcollage, a cloud-based platform for managing and publishing rich product information; Easy2 Technologies, provider of online and mobile interactive merchandising content for manufacturers and retailers; and ResellerRatings, a trusted resource for shoppers looking for ratings and reviews of online merchants. Over the next year, we’ll be focusing a lot of effort on augmenting our integrated offerings to provide clients with an even more powerful platform to serve their needs, be it customer acquisition, conversion, brand engagement or customer experience.
At the same time, we’re going to keep investing in community and content for Answers.com, making the site a richer, more informative, trustworthy and stellar experience for the 170+ million monthly users who visit the site. It will also be interesting to explore how we can leverage the unique community engagement of the site to add value to our client offerings.
Stay tuned for truly exciting things to come.
Q. As a graduate of the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University, how did your education prepare you for your career?
I consider myself extremely fortunate for my educational experience at Wash U.  The Computer Science & Engineering department helped me refine the process of problem solving - specifically the idea of taking a really hard problem and breaking it into smaller pieces.  
The Entrepreneurship program helped me put the pieces together for how to write a business plan, raise capital and get off the ground.
Q. Any advice for current entrepreneurial WUSTL students?
You learn entrepreneurship by doing.  The first seven businesses I tried - failed.  The experience I received from trying and failing allowed me to learn the pros and cons of various business models, how to strike partnerships and how to market a product.  We have a philosophy at Answers that any one person rarely knows the answer for how to make an experience great but through lots of experimentation you can course correct and get there.
Q. You run an internship program for students where they get to act as a “mini-CEO” at Answers.com for a summer. What do student interns do and how can interested students apply?
Our internship program continues to be a vital pipeline for budding talent in St. Louis. We took a breather from the “mini-CEO” format to give interns broader access to the business, from engineering to marketing to editing. Answers’ work groups are small and entrepreneurial by design, and student interns become an integral member of the team—getting their hands dirty while reaping recognition and rewards. We’ve had interns launch businesses within Answers that generate seven figures of revenue.
Anyone interested in our Summer 2014 internship should shoot their resume over to internship@answers.com. 

Above, from left: Chris Sims and David Karandish, founders of Answers.com.

Q&A with David Karandish, founder and CEO of Answers.com

David Karandish earned computer science degree with honors from the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis in 2005. In 2006, he and longtime friend Chris Sims, also a computer science alumnus, started AnnounceMedia with the goal of better organizing the online consumer’s retail experience. AnnounceMedia blossomed into Answers.com, a plain-language search engine and information source used by more than one-third of all Internet users. Profitable since its first year, the company has grown into a global enterprise with offices in the technology hotbeds of Silicon Valley, New York and Beijing. He spoke at the Olin Cup Competition finale Jan. 30.

Q. You are co-founder and CEO of Answers.com, a question and answer website headquartered here in St. Louis. What’s been happening with the company recently?

Three years ago, my company acquired Answers.com, one of the top Q&A destinations on the web. Since then we’ve grown Answers.com as a website and as a platform.  This week, we officially announced the creation of two distinct divisions at Answers Corp. to better reflect the company as it stands today: Answers.com and Answers Cloud Services. 

Answers Cloud Services is the consolidation and integration of all Answers’ category-leading SaaS businesses: ForeSee, pioneer and provider of customer experience analytics; Webcollage, a cloud-based platform for managing and publishing rich product information; Easy2 Technologies, provider of online and mobile interactive merchandising content for manufacturers and retailers; and ResellerRatings, a trusted resource for shoppers looking for ratings and reviews of online merchants. Over the next year, we’ll be focusing a lot of effort on augmenting our integrated offerings to provide clients with an even more powerful platform to serve their needs, be it customer acquisition, conversion, brand engagement or customer experience.

At the same time, we’re going to keep investing in community and content for Answers.com, making the site a richer, more informative, trustworthy and stellar experience for the 170+ million monthly users who visit the site. It will also be interesting to explore how we can leverage the unique community engagement of the site to add value to our client offerings.

Stay tuned for truly exciting things to come.

Q. As a graduate of the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University, how did your education prepare you for your career?

I consider myself extremely fortunate for my educational experience at Wash U.  The Computer Science & Engineering department helped me refine the process of problem solving - specifically the idea of taking a really hard problem and breaking it into smaller pieces.  

The Entrepreneurship program helped me put the pieces together for how to write a business plan, raise capital and get off the ground.

Q. Any advice for current entrepreneurial WUSTL students?

You learn entrepreneurship by doing.  The first seven businesses I tried - failed.  The experience I received from trying and failing allowed me to learn the pros and cons of various business models, how to strike partnerships and how to market a product.  We have a philosophy at Answers that any one person rarely knows the answer for how to make an experience great but through lots of experimentation you can course correct and get there.

Q. You run an internship program for students where they get to act as a “mini-CEO” at Answers.com for a summer. What do student interns do and how can interested students apply?

Our internship program continues to be a vital pipeline for budding talent in St. Louis. We took a breather from the “mini-CEO” format to give interns broader access to the business, from engineering to marketing to editing. Answers’ work groups are small and entrepreneurial by design, and student interns become an integral member of the team—getting their hands dirty while reaping recognition and rewards. We’ve had interns launch businesses within Answers that generate seven figures of revenue.

Anyone interested in our Summer 2014 internship should shoot their resume over to internship@answers.com

Washington University entrepreneur and undergraduate student Blake Marggraff discusses his two startups, WUTE and more on “The Domain Tech Report” on Techli.com.

Happy Holidays from Dean Quatrano and Mrs. Quatrano!

The New Year is two weeks away! Get a 2014 calendar featuring fascinating research images from School of Engineering & Applied Science faculty. Get a pdf here, or download a desktop calendar at engineering.wustl.edu/calendar2014.
Happy New Year!

The New Year is two weeks away! Get a 2014 calendar featuring fascinating research images from School of Engineering & Applied Science faculty. Get a pdf here, or download a desktop calendar at engineering.wustl.edu/calendar2014.

Happy New Year!

Vertigo 2013 allowed Engineering students to use what they learn in the classroom to ensure that the highlight of the event — a wireless, computer-controlled dance floor made of 32 modules, 1 billion colors and 32,000 lumens of LED lights — was ready for the 1,600 dancers. Take a look at this year’s event.

WUSTL Engineering alumnus Andrew Brimer appeared on “The Domain Tech Report” on TechliTV with Edward Domain this week talking about his startup Sparo Labs. Also in the show were Cliff Holekamp, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship in the Olin Business School, and Leigh Hunt Farah, a student in the MBA program.

Above: Watch a video announcement from OSCC Chair Vibha Vemana.

OSCC reveals challenge for 2014

By Laura Fogarty

On-Campus dining will be the focus of the 2014 Olin Sustainability Case Competition, open to all Washington University undergraduate and graduate students.

The OSCC encourages interdisciplinary student teams from across the Washington University campus to develop creative solutions related to sustainable on-campus dining solutions.

The Olin Sustainability Case Competition (OSCC) began during the 2009-2010 academic year as a way to increase awareness and expand educational opportunities about sustainable business practices at the Olin Business School. The case competition provides participants with a chance to learn about practical, real-world applications of corporate responsibility and sustainability concepts, so that they can make an impact in the world around them.

The OSCC is presented by the Olin MBA Programs office in conjunction with the Olin Strategy and Consulting Association (OSCA) and the Washington University chapter of Net Impact.

Designed as a traditional business case study, the competition is based on a current business problem and prepared with the assistance of leading experts in the field of sustainability and Olin faculty.

Any student enrolled in any academic program at Washington University may participate. Teams can be made up of two to five students from any school.

Please contact the OSCC Committee at oscc@olin.wustl.edu with any questions or comments.

— Laura Fogarty is associate director of MBA Student Affairs at the Olin Business School.

Above, from left: a stack of Vertigo dance floor tiles ready for use; testing a Vertigo dance floor tile.

Seeing lights: Vertigo LED Dance Floor
By Jeffrey Hsu 
The LED Dance Floor really sets the stage (sorry, I had to) for the intensity of Vertigo, but also for the Engineering students.
I like to think about it this way:
Students go to class (mostly).
Students learn in class (mostly).
Students want something cool (definitely).
Students imagine the concept of an LED Dance Floor (shiny!).
Students use what they learned in class to make something awesome.
The Dance Floor features many types and levels of engineering such as:
·      Designing bright and efficient LED circuits
·      Coding how data is handled and sent between modules
·      Constructing a stable frame that can handle a dancing student horde
·      Learning how to get components from industry sources
·      And making it simple enough to build in bulk (there are over 30 modules for the Dance Floor!)
The Dance Floor is one of the many student projects that show our education coming back full circle and resulting in something awesome for everyone’s benefit.
So this Saturday on the LED Dance Floor:
get pumped by the music,
get excited by the lights,
get inspired to do awesome things,
and of course, Get Dizzy!
— Jeffrey Hsu is a junior majoring in systems science & engineering with minors in mechatronics and robotics. He is president of IEEE, the student organization that maintains the dance floor.

Above, from left: a stack of Vertigo dance floor tiles ready for use; testing a Vertigo dance floor tile.

Seeing lights: Vertigo LED Dance Floor

By Jeffrey Hsu

The LED Dance Floor really sets the stage (sorry, I had to) for the intensity of Vertigo, but also for the Engineering students.

I like to think about it this way:

Students go to class (mostly).

Students learn in class (mostly).

Students want something cool (definitely).

Students imagine the concept of an LED Dance Floor (shiny!).

Students use what they learned in class to make something awesome.

The Dance Floor features many types and levels of engineering such as:

·      Designing bright and efficient LED circuits

·      Coding how data is handled and sent between modules

·      Constructing a stable frame that can handle a dancing student horde

·      Learning how to get components from industry sources

·      And making it simple enough to build in bulk (there are over 30 modules for the Dance Floor!)

The Dance Floor is one of the many student projects that show our education coming back full circle and resulting in something awesome for everyone’s benefit.

So this Saturday on the LED Dance Floor:

get pumped by the music,

get excited by the lights,

get inspired to do awesome things,

and of course, Get Dizzy!

Jeffrey Hsu is a junior majoring in systems science & engineering with minors in mechatronics and robotics. He is president of IEEE, the student organization that maintains the dance floor.

Using engineering for service

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 peace@wustl.edu.