VIDEO: WOMEN IN SCIENCE & TECH SERIES – RASIKA KUMAR ON TECHNOLOGY & DANCE

Rasika Kumar is an engineer at Google and an Associate Director at Abhinaya Dance Company of Silicon Valley.

We were curious to find out her story and how she came to combine her twin passions – science and dance and pursue them with equal dedication.  Kumar grew up in a home surrounded by science, dance and music. Her  father is a hardware engineer and her mother is an educator and dancer, who founded Abhinaya Dance Company.

We had lots of questions for Kumar. How did her parents influence and mentor her? When did she develop an interest in math and science? Did she have challenges doing her math homework at high school? How did she decide to study computer science at MIT? What does she have to give up to keep her twin interests in science and dance?  Was she ever torn about giving up one for the other?  Tune in to find out the answers to these questions and more.

This interview is part of our TV series on Women in Science and Tech sponsored by Zoho Corp.

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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.

VIDEO: GENENTECH’S DR. SARA KENKARE MITRA ON DRUG DISCOVERY, CANCER & WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP ROLES

Genetech’s Dr. Sara Kenkare-Mitra talks about drug discovery, cancer and women in leadership role in this TV interview that was aired in San Francisco Bay area. Silicon Valley-based Genentech was founded by a research scientist and a venture capitalist in 1976.

Dr. Kenkare-Mitra is Senior VP, Developmental Sciences and so one of our first questions was about her role at Genentech. Think of it like a translational organization is how she describes her role and the work her group does. What that means is they sit in the middle working with colleagues that do original discovery and clinicians that develop clinical trials. Essentially, she is involved right from the drug discovery to the drug approval phase by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Genntech is a research driven drug company with an emphasis on oncology and immunology . Dr. Kenkare-Mitra has worked extensively with  various Genentch products like Avastin, Tarceva, Lucentis, Xolair, Erivedge, Perjeta and Kadcyla. As an example she explains her  involvement with Kadcyla, a drug for breast cancer. It took them over 10 years to bring the drug to market and her involvment with this particular drug  began with the discovery of the molecule to the approval of the drug by FDA.

Dr. Kenkare-Mitra joined Genentech 18 years ago as a research scientist after doing graduate and post-graduate work at Univerity of Austin, Texas and University of San Francisco , California. How did she go from being a research scientist to a leadership role?  What skills are crucial for leading a team? Are women hesitant to ask?  Tune in to find out what she has to say.