PODCAST: MEET DR. VINITH MISRA, TECHNICAL CONSULTANT FOR HBO’s SILICON VALLEY

Vinit Misra

Vinit Misra

 

Ever wondered who created the compression algorithms and all the technical stuff  in the startup world that you see in HBO’s Silicon ValleyWe talk to the character behind the technology. Meet Dr. Vinith Misra, the technical consultant, who worked with Mike Judge and his team on the series.

He was working on his PhD with Prof. Tsachy Weissman at Stanford, when they were contacted by the creators of Silicon Valley to help them with the technical aspects of the TV series. And that is how Dr. Misra got involved in the show, which he describes as a dark comedy set in the world of startup, unicorns and Tres Comma Club.

Dr. Misra is very familiar with Silicon Valley’s startup and tech culture since this is where he grew up and went to school except for a brief foray to the East Coast to study at MIT. He now works in Silicon Valley.

Judge and his team’s requirement for the show were deeply authentic points out Dr. Misra. They just did not want authentic technology, but also one that bordered on being provocative and that was an interesting challenge for him. He helped create the technical world and all the deep compression technology that is at the heart of the show.

We talk to Dr. Misra on how he landed up working on Silicon Valley, and how he balanced his research work at Stanford and working on the project.  Tune in to find out Dr. Misra has to say on HBO’s Silicon Valley.

LISTEN: DR. VINITH MISRA, TECHNICAL CONSULTANT FOR HBO’s SILICON VALLEY

Judge was a test engineer and spent time working in Silicon Valley before he migrated south to Los Angeles to work on films and television.

This interview was originally aired on TV in San Francisco Bay area. You can watch the TV interview on our YouTube channel.

 

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VIDEO: STEFFI PAEPCKE OF OPEN SOURCE ROBOTICS FOUNDATION

We speak to Steffi Paepcke, Lead Designer and Co-Founder of Open Source Robotics Foundation. Located in Silicon Valley this non-profit organization is focussed on help promote open source software in the field of robotics.

This interview with Paepcke is part of our Women in Science and Technology series. Paepcke is the only non-engineer in her organization. We spoke to her about how she developed an interest in robotics, the role of a mentor and women in science and technology.

This interview was aired in San Francisco Bay area and was sponsored by Zoho Corporation.

PODCAST: STEFFI PAEPCKE ON ROBOTS, ROBOTICS & STEM EDUCATION

Steffi Paepcke

Steffi Paepcke

 

Meet Steffi Paepcke, lead designer and co-founder of Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF), a non-profit organization based in Mountain View. OSRF is a spin off from Willow Garage, a robotics startup in Menlo Park.

OSRF’s mission is to support the development and distribution of open source software in robot research, education and product development points out Paepcke. OSRF has two products: Robot Operating System (ROS) and Gazebo, which is a a physics based robotics simulator.

Paepcke’s journey into the field of robotics is an interesting and an unusual one. She studied psychology as an undergraduate and had no idea that she would end up working in the robotics industry. Her interest in robots and robotics was kindled when she interned at Willow Garage  and worked with Leila Takayama, who went on to become her mentor. Takayama encouraged Paepcke to pursue a masters in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at Carnegie Mellon University. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, she headed straight back to Silicon Valley and got involved with OSRF.

We spoke to Paepcke about robots, the DARPA Challenge and how robots will change our world. Will robots take away our jobs?  She is the only non-engineer at OSRF and we wanted to find out if you have to be an engineer to be part of science and tech? What are her thoughts on women and STEM education and mentorship? Tune in to find out what Paepcke has to say.

LISTEN TO STEFFI PAEPCKE ON ROBOTS, ROBOTICS & STEM EDUCATION

This interview was aired on TV in the San Francisco Bay area. This is part of our Women in Science and Technology Series and sponsored by Zoho Corporation.

PODCAST: LAWRENCE KASDAN ON STAR WARS, GEORGE LUCAS AND FILMS

Lawrence Kasdan

Lawrence Kasdan

Lawrence Kasdan is a writer, producer and director. He is the co-writer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens that opened today in the US.  Kasdan c0-wrote other Star Wars films.

He wrote and directed The Big Chill. Earlier this year Kasdan was recognized for his work by Silicon Valley’s Cinequest Film Festival, which ia where we got to speak to him about Star Wars, George Lucas and writing screenplays.

I wondered what winning an award meant to Kasdan.  “So, when there is an external sign that someone values what you have done …it is a nice relief from a normal, lonely process,” he responded. That answer by Kasdan reminds you that we often forget that writing is a lonely and demanding process.

LISTEN TO LAWRENCE KASDAN ON STAR WARS, GEORGE LUCAS AND FILMS

There is an interesting story of how Kasdan became a writer and how Arthur Miller “the playwright” of the day as he puts it influenced his decision  to go to University of Michigan (U of MI). Kasdan joined U of MI  to study under Professor Kenneth Thorpe Rowe, who was Miller’s teacher.

Kasdan has worked extensively with George Lucas. Why were Lucas and Steven Spielberg drawn to Kasdan’s writings? They both read Continental Divide and probably responded to the slightly Hawksian relationship between the heroine and the leading man he says. When Lucas and Spielberg read the script they wanted that tone, which  was a hallmark of Howard Hawks films points out Kasdan.

Tune in to find out what Kasdan has to say about writing for films, Star Wars, George Lucas and if he is an iPhone or an Android user.

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIDEO: HOOKED ON FILMS WITH TIM SIKA

Tim Sika

Tim Sika

Tim Sika is hooked on films, and therefore it should come as no surprise that he is the host of Cellouloid Dreams, a radio show from San Jose and also contributes to 810 AM KGO radio station and is the President of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle. As if he did not have enough on his plate he also heads the Camera Cinema Club located in Silicon Valley.

We sat down to talk to Sika about how he got hooked to films growing up in Ohio. His mother was a dancer, and she was hooked to films. It was not uncommon for Sika to be whisked away to a local cinema by his mother to catch the latest picture. His addiction to film developed over the years and when he moved to the San Francisco Bay area he became involved with the radio show and the film critics circle and the rest is history.

We also wanted to find out from Sika about some of the films that resonated with him this year like Brooklyn, Trumbo, Spotlight, Love & Mercy and others. Tune in to find what are some of the films that make it to Sika’s 2016 Oscar list.