Meet Shireen Santosham, Chief Innovation Officer in Mayor Sam Liccardo’s office of San Jose. We sat down to speak with her about her role as a Chief Innovation Officer about building a smart city. How do you harness technology to improve the lives of denizens of this Silicon Valley city? How do you improve digital infrastructure of the city? How do you deal with connected cars and autonomous vehicles that are fast becoming a reality? How do you build San Jose into a smart, sustainable and innovative city by 2020?
Santosham is acutely aware on how technology can help improve the lives of people. Previously she was with a telecom organization and worked on how to bridge the divide for women globally. Women are less likely to use and own a mobile phone she points out.
Santosham grew up in an Indian reservation in Arizona where both her parents served as doctors. She thought she would follow her parents footsteps, but opted to study finance for her undergraduate and got an MBA from Harvard University.
We sat down to speak with Amy Guittard of Guittard Chocolate Company to find what it takes to run a 150 year old chocolate company that runs 24/7 and produces over 200 chocolate products. Guittard Chocolate Company is one of the best kept secrets of San Francisco. The company was founded by Etienne Guittard in 1868, who came from France during California’s Gold Rush.
Amy Guittard is a fifth generation member of the family and the first woman to work in the chocolate company. She wears many hats and one of them is director of marking and she also works quite a bit with the sustainability aspect of the company. We also talk about her parents and how she came to write Guittard Chocolate Cookbook that is based on her family recipes.
Guittard studied English literature and cultural anthropology at Barnard College in New York. She worked at Clif Bar and Company before joining her family’s chocolate company.
Meet SuzanneFrey, Director, Trust, Security, Privacy, Google Apps at Google. Frey has a liberal arts degree from Wellesley College and ended up working in the technology sector. After working for a few years, Frey decided to get an MBA from MIT and was on her way to becoming an entrepreneur when she got an offer from Google. She joined Google over 10 years ago and is a founding member of Google’s global Women@ leadership organization. Frey is also on the board of Motley Fool.
We sat down to speak with Frey about her journey from her home state of Pennsylvania to Silicon Valley. What was her journey like? How did her father’s hard work influence her? How did she go from a liberal arts background to working in the tech industry? Tune in to find out.
How did she do it? What was her journey like to working in the tech industry? How did she do it?
We sit down to talk to Nicole Lazzaro,CEO of XEO Design about the fun and emotion of games and why we play them. This is part of our Women in Science and Tech series.
Lazzaro talks about her fascination with designing and creating games and about Virtual Reality (VR). Lazzaro has been designing games for over 20 years and she has a VR game called Follow The White Rabbit that is inspired by her childhood memories of wonder and awe and traveling.
Wha advice does she have if someone is interested in designing games. Her reply was – learn to code and read lots of science fiction books.
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Shalini Govil-Pai is an engineer and author of two books on computer graphics. She fell in love with computer graphics as a teenager. Unsurprisingly she went on to get her under-graduate and graduate degrees in computer engineering. And with persistence and single-minded focus she got a job at Pixar Animation. As technical director at Pixar she worked on Toy Story and A Big’s Life. In 2005 she joined Google and now works for Google/YouTube.
In this interview we talk to Govil-Pai about how she discovered her love for computer graphics when she worked on a SGI graphics computer in her father’s lab. What was the first piece of code she wrote? What was it like to be the only female undergraduate student in a class of 35 at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay? How did she land her dream job at Pixar Animations? What is her advice to young girls who want to study engineering? Tune in to find out.
Meet Danielle Applestone of Other Machine Company that makes desktop milling machine. Applestone talks about how growing up in Arkansas and discovering her love for math and science and how she decided to study engineering. She went to MIT to study chemical engineering and discovered that what she really wanted to study was material science. She got her PhD in material engineering. She headed to Silicon Valley,which is where she wanted to learn the ropes for starting a company. Tune in to find out how she did it.
LISTEN: DANIELLE APPLESTONE ON ENGINEERING AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Nicole Lazzarois CEO of XEO Design, a San Francisco Bay area company. She has over 20 years experience designing and developing games for various platforms.
Here are highlights from an upcoming interview from our Women in Science and Tech series where she talks about the joy of wonder and developing games for virtual reality. What advice does Lazzaro have for those who want to develop and design games? Learn to code and read lots of non-fiction work is her advice.
For the past 2 years we have produced a special TV series on Women in Science & Tech. Our sense was that this series would resonate with our audience in the San Francisco Bay area. Happily we got very encouraging feedback from viewers and programming folks from various TV stations. And then we expanded our footprint and ventured outside of our comfort zone in SF Bay area. Happily we got very encouraging feedback from the programming folks from various markets in the USA. All this encouraging feedback means that need to produce more episodes in 2017.
Guests featured in this series share their story of how they got interested in math and science, and how their parents helped develop their interest. Not all of them had an easy time at school and a couple of them did not pursue math and science in college, and yet they ended up working in the tech industry. Tune in to find out their stories.
This series on Women in Science and Tech is sponsored by Zoho.
We caught up with Oscar nominee Theodore Melfi of Hidden Figures inSan Francisco. Melfi directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Alison Schroder. We talked to him about the making of Hidden Figures, how he got attached to the film. the math boot camp for his actors and the music by Pharrell Williams and Hans Zimmer.The film won 3 Oscar nominations: best picture, best supporting actress and the best adapted screenplay.
LISTEN: OSCAR NOMINEE THEODORE MELFI ON HIDDEN FIGURES & MATH BOOT CAMP:
Hidden Figures is a true story based by a book by the same name by Margot Lee Shetterley. The film is about 3 African-American math teachers, who worked in NASA’s Apollo project in the 1960s. The film highlights how these women overcame racism and prejudice in the workplace. Interestingly, the stories of these African-Americans and their contribution to NASA has largely remain hidden until now.
In December 2016 Melfi and Olivia Spencer, who acts in the film were in San Francisco to receive The Sloan Science in Cinema award. The award is given by the San Francisco Film Society and The Sloan Foundation.