Student Hackers in Silicon Valley

May 2011 Students announced

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2011 at 6:52 am

After combing through an overwhelming number of awesome applications we were able to select 4 students to attend our May, 2011 session of 4 days in the valley.

Without further ado, our inaugural session will include the following kick a#$ students from the University of Alberta.

Liang Shi

Liang Shi

Bio: Liang Shi – 25% musician, 25% painter, 25% coder and 25% researcher. Mixing the beauty of art and the awesomeness of technology is my life goal. Holding a bachelor in Electrical Engineering and doing my master in Computing Science, I work in diversified areas with focuses in Computer Vision, Graphics and Augmented Reality. My passion is to bring cutting edge research into industrial products. One of my work in Video Re-targeting was commercialized by Nokia in 2009. Currently, I am the Lead Engineer at Scope Technologies, developing brand-new gaming platform. In the recent Start-up Weekend Edmonton, I established Sizmio, a geo-based audio sharing site. My role is to oversee the development and innovation of mobile and social strategy, design and infrastructures. For my spare time, I do everything involving making mess.

What do you want to get out of the weekend? Inspiration. It’s a great opportunity to be involved in the most fast-growing startup community. Meeting amazing people, learn from their stories; watching pioneer companies, feel their culture and passion.  And finally, hacking at a startup event.

Adam Metcalf

Adam Metcalf

Bio:  I am currently finishing off the thesis requirement of the Masters
program at the U of A while starting up a company.
For my thesis, I constructed a framework for artificial intelligence
on a physical pinball machine. This project mixes a high performance
vision system with a custom hardware controller to create artificial
players. In my spare time I always learn with projects and my current
focus is on Android development. So far the projects have been transit
helper apps (ETSStops), games (Missile Defense), and wallpapers (Game
of Life Live Wallpaper). The atmosphere of valley is something that
seems special and I am excited to check it out and hopefully learn
something to bring back to help with my own future startup.

What do you want to get out of 4days in the valley?  I want to get a feel for what the valley is like and see how it
differs from Edmonton. I also hope to learn something that will assist
my future startup when it launches. Lastly, I want to have a lot of
fun with other startup people!

Derek Dowling

Derek Dowling

Bio:  I am a second year computing science student. I am highly enthusiastic, passionate about learning, and love to network and administrate large projects and people. In my free time I like to watch NFL, learn new programming techniques, work on my websites, and contribute to a number of extra-curricular groups. This summer I am working as a student intern for a Company called INVIDI, which specializes in Marketing. In the summer I also plan to do a lot of road biking, and get a working prototype of ready for one of my hopefully future products.

I am very proud to be a co-founder of the Video Game Artwork and Design club at the U of A, which was started in March and has grown to 17 members, and the website I contributed towards making in February in 48 hours at Start-up Weekend. Another project I am very proud of was the small game that myself, as lead designer, and 5 others created in a course at the U of A. We spent well over 100 hours each, and have been nominated for best artwork and design. Finally, it was very flattering to be one of the four chosen out of 60 to go on this great trip to California.

What do you want to get out of 4 days in the valley?

ANY tips that experienced entrepreneurs would share in taking ideas from the imagination to production state.  How they got started with their own ideas. The best way to assemble a quality team and to push through to create a profitable product.

Stephen Baden

Stephen Baden

Bio: As a 4th year computer science student I’m pretty new to this local developer scene, so I still have a lot to learn. Recently me and 3 friends won first place in a national competition to build a windows phone 7 game in 48 hours. We are using the winnings to open up our own game studio to keep making great games. You can check us out at www.bitshiftgames.com.

What do you want to get out of the weekend?  I hope to meet some great people and learn about how startups are made and the process involved in building one. Any insights into turning an idea into a business.  Also to have fun. That would be cool too:)

Enrique Fernandez

Enrique

Bio: I hold a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from ITESM, Campus Guadalajra (Mexico, 2003), and I’m curently pursuing Ph.D. studies in the Engineering Management program at the University of Alberta. Additionally, I am actively involved in the design and development of a knowledge management application with a couple of friends, whom I serendipituosly met in one of the PhD-level courses. We are very excited because we strongly feel there is a huge need for people and companies to effectively codify, utilize and share knowledge.
I also have some experience building companies. My first two attempts (retail in 2003 and education in 2004) were big flops. Things turned out much better during my third attemp in 2005, when I co-founded Apliatec, a company to provides automatic inspection solutions (using machine vision systems) to the automotive industry in Mexico. The company is still operating and is doing pretty well. Although I’m currently thinking of cashing out since I’m looking forward to move to Edmonton, or the Bay Area… which brings me to the next section.

What do you want out of the weekend?

I am eager to visit the place which Paul Graham refers to as being full with “rich people and nerds.” The Valley is a unique ecosystem. I expect not only to visit awesome companies and talk to smart founders and VCs, but also to be friends with and learn from the other 4DitV participants, all of them bright and hands-on entrepreneurs. It’s all about the networking, and I believe this experience will be very valuable in that regard.      

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