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.
People of Engineering & Applied Science: Meir Friedenberg, rising sophomore, University of Maryland



Student in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program in Computer Science & Engineering in the labs of Kunal Agrawal, PhD, and Chris Gill, PhD
Q:  What did you like most about the summer research experience?
A:  About research in general, I think I learned a lot more than I would in a classroom. Because in a class, when you’re working on a problem set, you know that you’ve learned the exact set of things needed to answer this, so you just apply them. As opposed to research, where you have no idea where the solution is supposed to be, and you don’t even know what to look up, so you’re learning loads more than you actually need. You end up with a lot more information than you would from a class.

People of Engineering & Applied Science: Meir Friedenberg, rising sophomore, University of Maryland

Student in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program in Computer Science & Engineering in the labs of Kunal Agrawal, PhD, and Chris Gill, PhD

Q:  What did you like most about the summer research experience?

A:  About research in general, I think I learned a lot more than I would in a classroom. Because in a class, when you’re working on a problem set, you know that you’ve learned the exact set of things needed to answer this, so you just apply them. As opposed to research, where you have no idea where the solution is supposed to be, and you don’t even know what to look up, so you’re learning loads more than you actually need. You end up with a lot more information than you would from a class.

People of Engineering & Applied Science: Alicia Sun, rising junior, Washington University in St. Louis



Participant in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program in Computer Science & Engineering in the lab of Kilian Weinberger, PhD
Q: What do you like best about working with Kilian Weinberger?
A: Kilian is really nice. I’ve never taken his class, but I feel like he might be one of my favorite professors. He’s easy to get along with. He has all of this fun stuff in the lab. We need to learn how to juggle, and I’ve learned a little bit. It’s pretty fun. Sometimes if I need to have a rest from working, I just go juggle.

People of Engineering & Applied Science: Alicia Sun, rising junior, Washington University in St. Louis

Participant in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program in Computer Science & Engineering in the lab of Kilian Weinberger, PhD

Q: What do you like best about working with Kilian Weinberger?

A: Kilian is really nice. I’ve never taken his class, but I feel like he might be one of my favorite professors. He’s easy to get along with. He has all of this fun stuff in the lab. We need to learn how to juggle, and I’ve learned a little bit. It’s pretty fun. Sometimes if I need to have a rest from working, I just go juggle.

"The Domain Tech Report" features IDEALabs

Joe McDonald, Avik Som and Josh Siegel of IDEALabs, a bioengineering design and entrepreneurship incubator composed of a group of Washington University Engineering and Medical students, sat down with Edward Domain on “The Domain Tech Report” to discuss how the group’s members work with physicians and researchers to solve problems seen in clinical care. IDEALabs 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.

To see the longer version of the interview, visit: youtube.com/watch?v=JC4qVQ9XLBM.

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

Happy Holidays from Dean Quatrano and Mrs. Quatrano!


What I learned in Pre-O IdeaBounce
By Du Zhang
The most useful skill I learned at Pre-O is definitely pitching. How do you deliver all your passion, ideas, dreams, worries and needs in such a short 2-minute time period? I was shocked the first time I saw the guideline for elevator pitch — I never thought communication could be this effective and entertaining. During the Pre-O program, we had several practice pitching competitions and the last day of our IdeaBounce competition was the finale of the entire experience — everyone was really passionate using this last chance to pitch their ideas that got voted down by their peers. I pitched my ingenious solution to the problem of Freshman 15: starting a pledging for weight-maintenance club at the beginning of the school year. People would put money into the club when their freshman year (or any year) just started, and every pound they gained during the school year means losing 1/15th of the initial pledging fund. At the end of the school year, the club would give back the money based on how much weight they gained during the freshman year. During the school year, all the funds would be safely invested and the profits from that will be awarded to the manager of the club, which is me.
Of course, the idea was labeled gambling and got voted down by my teammates.
But it was after the Pre-O that I found this kind of experience most valuable. People are pitching all the time in their lives — trying to find a workout buddy, trying to convince others to join the party or trying to ask a girl out.
The most troubling aspect of post-IDEA syndrome is now every time I am with someone alone in the elevator, I just want to do an elevator pitch.
— Du Zhang is a freshman majoring in computer science.
To read more about the Pre-0 program through the Skandalaris Center, go to https://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/25829.aspx

What I learned in Pre-O IdeaBounce

By Du Zhang

The most useful skill I learned at Pre-O is definitely pitching. How do you deliver all your passion, ideas, dreams, worries and needs in such a short 2-minute time period? I was shocked the first time I saw the guideline for elevator pitch — I never thought communication could be this effective and entertaining. During the Pre-O program, we had several practice pitching competitions and the last day of our IdeaBounce competition was the finale of the entire experience — everyone was really passionate using this last chance to pitch their ideas that got voted down by their peers. I pitched my ingenious solution to the problem of Freshman 15: starting a pledging for weight-maintenance club at the beginning of the school year. People would put money into the club when their freshman year (or any year) just started, and every pound they gained during the school year means losing 1/15th of the initial pledging fund. At the end of the school year, the club would give back the money based on how much weight they gained during the freshman year. During the school year, all the funds would be safely invested and the profits from that will be awarded to the manager of the club, which is me.

Of course, the idea was labeled gambling and got voted down by my teammates.

But it was after the Pre-O that I found this kind of experience most valuable. People are pitching all the time in their lives — trying to find a workout buddy, trying to convince others to join the party or trying to ask a girl out.

The most troubling aspect of post-IDEA syndrome is now every time I am with someone alone in the elevator, I just want to do an elevator pitch.

— Du Zhang is a freshman majoring in computer science.

To read more about the Pre-0 program through the Skandalaris Center, go to https://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/25829.aspx

Freshmen engineering students learn their way around the engineering complex at Enquest, a scavenger hunt organized by EnCouncil. View more photos on Facebook.

10 Things I wish I knew as a freshman Engineering student

By Sumeet Shah
1. Never go to Subway unprepared – Trust me on this one.  The Subway at Wash U runs like a high-performance sports car – smooth, fast and efficient. Make sure you have your order ready, or else you might grind the gears.
2. You can never have too many friends – Coming into college you meet a lot of people in a very short period of time, and it can be overwhelming at first. But who knows who might make a good study buddy in that really hard class you’re taking?
3. Engineering students might be classified as nerds, but it is a well-known fact that we are among the best of the best at Wash U. Don’t worry, everyone knows it, but that doesn’t mean they like to hear it.  So the next time one of your friends starts rambling on about how great they are because they study this or that, just smile and nod.
4. St. Louis is a really fun city – St. Louis is a city full of things to do!  Be on the lookout for anything from concerts to sports games to food festivals.  They’re happening all the time, and you don’t want to miss out!
5. There’s help available all around you – Everyone coming into Wash U is really smart.  However, even smart people need help sometimes.  Wash U is full of resources to help you ace that really tough course you’re taking.  Go visit Cornerstone!
6. Work hard, Play hard is a lot better than Play hard, Work hard – Work hard, Play hard is somewhat of an unofficial student motto at Wash U, and with good reason.  Study hard and get your work done so that you can relax and enjoy yourself later.  Don’t fall into the trap of relaxing now and telling yourself you’ll finish your work later. Besides, if you get your work out of the way, you don’t have to stress about it during your fun time.
7. Keep yourself in shape – Everyone dreads the freshman 15.  Luckily, exercising at Wash U is easy.  The Athletic Complex has an amazing set of athletic facilities, and for convenience, there’s a gym on the South 40, too.  You can also take part in sports at the varsity, club or intramural level depending on your interest.
8. Take advantage of registration – When it’s time to register for classes, have a list of everything you have to take and anything you want to take.  Go ahead and register for 21 credits.  Attend them all for the first week or so, and then drop the courses you don’t really want to take.  By being registered, you keep a spot in the class open for yourself and give yourself some flexibility in your schedule.
9.  Professors are people too – Try going to office hours with your professors.  Apart from the fact that you’ll get a lot of help with any questions you have about academic material, you’ll also get to know your professors better.  They’re nice people, and have many interesting stories to tell.  I have yet to meet a single professor at Wash U that hasn’t been absolutely fascinating to talk to.
10. Take your studying in the library to the extremes – By this I don’t just mean “study hard.”  I literally mean the extremes of the library.  The middle regions of the library will likely be populated by people, meaning extra distractions.  If you really want a quiet space to get some serious work done, head to the top or bottom floors.
— Sumeet Shah is a senior majoring in biomedical engineering. 

Freshmen engineering students learn their way around the engineering complex at Enquest, a scavenger hunt organized by EnCouncil. View more photos on Facebook.

10 Things I wish I knew as a freshman Engineering student

By Sumeet Shah

1. Never go to Subway unprepared – Trust me on this one.  The Subway at Wash U runs like a high-performance sports car – smooth, fast and efficient. Make sure you have your order ready, or else you might grind the gears.

2. You can never have too many friends – Coming into college you meet a lot of people in a very short period of time, and it can be overwhelming at first. But who knows who might make a good study buddy in that really hard class you’re taking?

3. Engineering students might be classified as nerds, but it is a well-known fact that we are among the best of the best at Wash U. Don’t worry, everyone knows it, but that doesn’t mean they like to hear it.  So the next time one of your friends starts rambling on about how great they are because they study this or that, just smile and nod.

4. St. Louis is a really fun city – St. Louis is a city full of things to do!  Be on the lookout for anything from concerts to sports games to food festivals.  They’re happening all the time, and you don’t want to miss out!

5. There’s help available all around you – Everyone coming into Wash U is really smart.  However, even smart people need help sometimes.  Wash U is full of resources to help you ace that really tough course you’re taking.  Go visit Cornerstone!

6. Work hard, Play hard is a lot better than Play hard, Work hard – Work hard, Play hard is somewhat of an unofficial student motto at Wash U, and with good reason.  Study hard and get your work done so that you can relax and enjoy yourself later.  Don’t fall into the trap of relaxing now and telling yourself you’ll finish your work later. Besides, if you get your work out of the way, you don’t have to stress about it during your fun time.

7. Keep yourself in shape – Everyone dreads the freshman 15.  Luckily, exercising at Wash U is easy.  The Athletic Complex has an amazing set of athletic facilities, and for convenience, there’s a gym on the South 40, too.  You can also take part in sports at the varsity, club or intramural level depending on your interest.

8. Take advantage of registration – When it’s time to register for classes, have a list of everything you have to take and anything you want to take.  Go ahead and register for 21 credits.  Attend them all for the first week or so, and then drop the courses you don’t really want to take.  By being registered, you keep a spot in the class open for yourself and give yourself some flexibility in your schedule.

9.  Professors are people too – Try going to office hours with your professors.  Apart from the fact that you’ll get a lot of help with any questions you have about academic material, you’ll also get to know your professors better.  They’re nice people, and have many interesting stories to tell.  I have yet to meet a single professor at Wash U that hasn’t been absolutely fascinating to talk to.

10. Take your studying in the library to the extremes – By this I don’t just mean “study hard.”  I literally mean the extremes of the library.  The middle regions of the library will likely be populated by people, meaning extra distractions.  If you really want a quiet space to get some serious work done, head to the top or bottom floors.

Sumeet Shah is a senior majoring in biomedical engineering. 

Share your Engineering Orientation experience on Instagram!
Post photos from Engineering Orientation on Instagram and use #wustleng2017 and @wustlengineers. The winning image will be selected Tuesday, Aug. 27 and shared on Engineering social media. The winner will also receive a special prize!
Contest entries will be accepted starting Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. All entries must be posted by Monday, Aug. 26 at midnight.
The winners will be announced on Tuesday, Aug. 27.
Questions? Email Bridget Wiegman at wiegmanb@wustl.edu.

Share your Engineering Orientation experience on Instagram!

Post photos from Engineering Orientation on Instagram and use #wustleng2017 and @wustlengineers. The winning image will be selected Tuesday, Aug. 27 and shared on Engineering social media. The winner will also receive a special prize!

Contest entries will be accepted starting Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. All entries must be posted by Monday, Aug. 26 at midnight.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

Questions? Email Bridget Wiegman at wiegmanb@wustl.edu.

Why Heather Shohet chose our Dual Degree Program
"As I was nearing graduation with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from my previous school, I was nervous about which steps to take next. I didn’t have a job lined up, and I also couldn’t see myself starting grad school without a clear purpose or future direction in mind. Although I had always thought about going into “Engineering,” I still wasn’t quite sure what that meant. It seemed like one of those words that people use all the time, even though no one really knows what it means except for the actual engineers.
While making my decision, I spoke with a previous Dual Degree student who highly recommended the program, and I also consulted with my professors and a few professionals in the field about some other options I was considering. After realizing that everything else seemed uninteresting in comparison, I decided to transfer to Washington University in St. Louis to pursue my second degree in Chemical Engineering. 
Although it was a challenging transition at first, it is definitely one of the best decisions that I have ever made. The classes are engaging, the staff is always there to help, and every student in the program genuinely wants to succeed and go on to do great things. The schedule has been extremely demanding, but definitely worth it for the knowledge and experience I have gained that will help me in my future career as an engineer. In addition, because of connections I made through Wash. U. and also with the help of the Career Center, I was able to line up an internship with one of the major oil companies, and recently received an amazing offer for a full-time position after graduation.”
Heather ShohetYear: Class of 2013Major: Chemical EngineeringAffiliated School: Williamette University
Learn more about the Dual Degree Program at Washington University in St. Louis.

Why Heather Shohet chose our Dual Degree Program

"As I was nearing graduation with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from my previous school, I was nervous about which steps to take next. I didn’t have a job lined up, and I also couldn’t see myself starting grad school without a clear purpose or future direction in mind. Although I had always thought about going into “Engineering,” I still wasn’t quite sure what that meant. It seemed like one of those words that people use all the time, even though no one really knows what it means except for the actual engineers.

While making my decision, I spoke with a previous Dual Degree student who highly recommended the program, and I also consulted with my professors and a few professionals in the field about some other options I was considering. After realizing that everything else seemed uninteresting in comparison, I decided to transfer to Washington University in St. Louis to pursue my second degree in Chemical Engineering.

Although it was a challenging transition at first, it is definitely one of the best decisions that I have ever made. The classes are engaging, the staff is always there to help, and every student in the program genuinely wants to succeed and go on to do great things. The schedule has been extremely demanding, but definitely worth it for the knowledge and experience I have gained that will help me in my future career as an engineer. In addition, because of connections I made through Wash. U. and also with the help of the Career Center, I was able to line up an internship with one of the major oil companies, and recently received an amazing offer for a full-time position after graduation.”

Heather Shohet
Year: Class of 2013
Major: Chemical Engineering
Affiliated School: Williamette University

Learn more about the Dual Degree Program at Washington University in St. Louis.

Why Mitch Hain chose our Dual Degree Program
I chose the Dual Degree Program at Wash. U. because I liked physics and math, but wanted to study subjects that were more practical for today’s working world. I chose to study mechanical engineering because it is a discipline with many different focuses in which to choose, and applies many concepts from physics.
Wash. U. has a much larger campus than my previous institution, and has a much more professional atmosphere. Right away, I felt comfortable with the other Dual Degree students because we were all in the same situation of being transfer students at a new school.
In my opinion, studying and living with the other Dual Degrees is the best part of the program; you instantly have multiple friends and colleagues with which you have things in common. I have truly enjoyed collaborating with each of them in class and on major projects. I would recommend the Dual Degree Program to students who want to further their education in engineering and have a great experience along the way.
Mitch HainYear: Class of 2013Major: Mechanical EngineeringAffiliated School: Nebraska Wesleyan University
Learn more about the Dual Degree Program at Washington University in St. Louis.

Why Mitch Hain chose our Dual Degree Program

I chose the Dual Degree Program at Wash. U. because I liked physics and math, but wanted to study subjects that were more practical for today’s working world. I chose to study mechanical engineering because it is a discipline with many different focuses in which to choose, and applies many concepts from physics.

Wash. U. has a much larger campus than my previous institution, and has a much more professional atmosphere. Right away, I felt comfortable with the other Dual Degree students because we were all in the same situation of being transfer students at a new school.

In my opinion, studying and living with the other Dual Degrees is the best part of the program; you instantly have multiple friends and colleagues with which you have things in common. I have truly enjoyed collaborating with each of them in class and on major projects. I would recommend the Dual Degree Program to students who want to further their education in engineering and have a great experience along the way.

Mitch Hain
Year: Class of 2013
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Affiliated School: Nebraska Wesleyan University

Learn more about the Dual Degree Program at Washington University in St. Louis.