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.
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
Meet Devika Chawla, Engineering Director at Netflix and a music composer and singer. I sat down with her to find out how she developed and nurtured her interests in science, especially computer programming and music from a young age.How did her parents help shape her interests? Why did she elect to study computer engineering at George Town University? What brought her to Silicon Valley in the 1990s?How did she get to work with Hans Zimmer for Apple’s iMovie app? How does she balance her passion for computer engineering and music?
Chawla is trained in Indian classical (Hindustani) music. She has released a handful of music records and worked with various musicians like Bohemia, a San Francisco Bay area rapper and Amaan Ali Khan & Ayaan Ali Khan, sarod musicians from India.
Danielle Applestone is CEO of Other Machine Co., a hardware company that makes desktop milling machine called Other Mill. The company is based in Berkeley and manufactures its desktop milling machines locally in San Francisco Bay area.
We sat down to speak to Applestone on how she developed in interest in math and science from an early age. Her parents encouraged her interest in math and science and she learnt to fix things around the house as a young girl says Applestone. She went to a magnet school in Arkansas and decided to study chemical engineering.
We also spoke about her journey from Arkansas to Boston where she studied chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Turns out she really did not want to study chemical engineering, and her interest was in material science. She then headed south to Texas to get her PhD in Material Science from University of Texas at Austin.
She was interviewing for a job at Tesla in Silicon Valley, when she switched her plans and went to work at Other Machine Co. She has helped raise money for the company and is focussed on building and expanding Other Machine’s footprint.
What advice does Applestone have for young girls? Tune in to find out Applestone’s very practical advice on how to hack the system and become an effective player.
We sat down with Chris Garcia, curator at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View to find out about the evolution of technology and the history and legacy of Silicon Valley.
The Computer History Museum is the place to see those huge computers that used punch cards to the advent of personal computers and smart phones. This is the place to see how technology evolved. What were the inflection points that helped shape this technical revolution and ushered in the Age of Information.
The museum has a treasure trove of artifacts and houses quite a few unusual objects including a 1960s Kitchen Computer, robots, Cray Supercomputers and early versions of Apple computers. We were also curious to find out how Garcia curates artifacts at the museum. What is that process like?
LISTEN: CURATOR CHRIS GARCIA OF COMPUTER HISTORY MUSEUM ON SILICON VALLEY’S HISTORY & CULTURE
Garcia grew up in Silicon Valley and remembers using Apple’s computers as a kid. He shares some fascinating backstories about Silicon Valley’s startup culture. For example, Nolan Bushenell’sAtari Inc helped shaped the startup culture of Silicon Valley like free food and a casual working atmosphere, which is now followed by many startups around the world.
Punit Soni is an engineer, investor and advistor to startups. He is an ex-Googler and the former Chief Product Officer of Flipkart, an Indian ecommerce company.
We sat down with Soni to talk about his journey to America from Mumbai, India. What prompted him to pursue a MBA degree after working as an engineer in Silicon Valley for a few years? He did not succeed the first time around in getting into a MBA program. So, What prompted him to try again and again? What did he do differently that got him into Wharton’s MBA program? Armed with a MBA degree Soni joined Google.
LISTEN: PUNIT SONI ON WORKING IN SILICON VALLEY& COMING TO AMERICA:
Disrupt yourself is a mantra that Soni follows and he credits his mother for instilling that thought in him. After working at Flipkart for a year Soni is back in Silicon Valley.
This interview was originally aired on TV in the USA.