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.
SID HASTINGS/WUSTL PHOTOS


STEMs for Youth wins $25,000


Allen Osgood (in glasses), a freshman majoring in computer science in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, is congratulated by his teammates following the Youthbridge Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition awards presentation April 10. Osgood, founder of STEMs For Youth, and his team won $25,000 for their program, which encourages under-privileged middle school students to pursue science and engineering through mentoring and use of LEGO robotic applications.
To see a list of the other winners, visit http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/26790.aspx.
SID HASTINGS/WUSTL PHOTOS

STEMs for Youth wins $25,000

Allen Osgood (in glasses), a freshman majoring in computer science in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, is congratulated by his teammates following the Youthbridge Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition awards presentation April 10. Osgood, founder of STEMs For Youth, and his team won $25,000 for their program, which encourages under-privileged middle school students to pursue science and engineering through mentoring and use of LEGO robotic applications.

To see a list of the other winners, visit http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/26790.aspx.

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.

To learn more, plan to join Skandalaris Center Managing Director Ken Harrington in a Google Hangout on at 4 p.m. CST Wednesday, Feb. 19:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cenji1bi6cve915h0l3ab08nov0

For more information on the award, download the Welcome Kit.

"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.

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

Washington University in St. Louis Provost Holden Thorp, PhD, talked with Edward Domain about entrepreneurship and the startup community in St. Louis for the Domain Tech Report, an online show on Techli.com. Watch the video here: http://techli.com/the-domain-tech-report-episode-1-featuring-wash-us-holden-thorp/.
Watch for more videos on the Domain Tech Report featuring Washington University through its partnership with Techli and the School of Engineering & Applied Science and Olin Business School.

Washington University in St. Louis Provost Holden Thorp, PhD, talked with Edward Domain about entrepreneurship and the startup community in St. Louis for the Domain Tech Report, an online show on Techli.com. Watch the video here: http://techli.com/the-domain-tech-report-episode-1-featuring-wash-us-holden-thorp/.

Watch for more videos on the Domain Tech Report featuring Washington University through its partnership with Techli and the School of Engineering & Applied Science and Olin Business School.

Mining Big Data

By Ethan Green and Zachary Berman

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.

IdeaBounce events in New York, San Francisco

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.

For more information or to register, visit http://alumni.wustl.edu/Events/Pages/Event-Details.aspx?eventId=e631f987-5c0b-e311-8984-005056a800bc&type=event.

The WU Club of San Francisco/Bay Area and the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies will host a second IdeaBounce from 6-9 p.m. Nov. 5 at Box. The cost is $10 per person.

For more information or to register, visit http://alumni.wustl.edu/Events/Pages/Event-Details.aspx?eventId=d292fadc-820a-e311-8984-005056a800bc&type=event.

Have a great idea? Take it to IDEA Labs

By Joshua Siegel

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.


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

wustlnews:

A Snapshot of St. Louis Start-Up Culture

A closer look at one of the fastest growing start-up communities in the country. St. Louis is home to the “T-Rex” building which houses 70 businesses under the same roof and is expanded rapidly. This is a look at the people who run those businesses, and how they maintain the overarching entrepreneurial spirit of the city.

Source: vimeo.com