Research and Projects

Science- Visualization Research

This research project was looking at ways to better science visualization for any audience. This made me start thinking about how in-accessible some technical conversations can be because of lack of relatable information. We used Unity, an opensource gaming engine and Leap, an affordable finger tracker that would allow us to control a simulation view with a hand. We created a fly-through of the Unity simulation that could be controlled with a hand wave.

The next part of this project was an augmented reality app, powered by Unity and Vuforia, which allowed us to create two part visualizations, using a marker on top of my research posted (shown on left).

Cultural Bias In AI

In summer of 2016 I wrote an article talking about Diversity in Machine learning and the real effects that a lack of diversity can have on product experience. Later that year I received a request from Capital one to appear at their Humanity.ai confernece in San Francisco and deliver a keynote address based on the article. Within that room was the conference organizer for the 2017 National Non-Profit Technology Conference which is was also invited to and delivered my first speech in Washington DC to 2000+ people. I also updated the article in 2017 titled, Recognizing Cultural Bias in AI.


After these two opportunities I continued to take requests to give the talk and evolved the keynote presentation itself. This past March I made my first international presentation in Budapest at Reinforce, an AI conference.

Reinforce Conference

Budapest, Hungary

03/2019

Open Source Conference

Portland, Oregon

08/2018

Lesbians Who Tech

San Francisco, Ca

03/2018

Minneapolis Non-Profit Technology Conference

Minneapolis, Minnesota

03/2018

Tech Intersections (Racial Equality Conference)

Mills College \\ Oakland, Ca

(02/2018)

GetCONF (Gender Equality Conference)

Omaha, Nebraska

(03/2019)

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Data N Bots Podcast

With my colleague Alivia, we launched a podcast that has featured 3 conversations around education and technology. With Alivia working as a Data Scientist and myself as a Robotics engineer, our conversations lend towards advanced technology with a societal lens.

In our episodes we aim to have a conversation with a guest. So far we have hosted an AI expert and a behavioral health professional.

Professional Interview Series

On a couple of trips outside of Idaho I was fortunate to have a few moments to interview technical experts about their experiences. Listen through their words, about the opportunities for our audience members to participate in the learning process, build a network and find inspiration.

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Michelle Thaller

At a NASA JPL event I interviewed a NASA communicator about Juno's arrival to Jupiter

(Pasadena, Ca)

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Khalia Braswell

At the National Society of Black Engineers Conference, March 2017, I talked with this founder of inTECH, a STEM camp for girls and the impact of programs like NSBE.

(Kansas City, Missouri)

Daniel Adeyanju

At the start of the National Society of Black Engineers Conference in March 2017, I talked with my good friend and colleague about the benefit of attending conferences.

(Kansas City, Missouri)

I also interviewed professionals and interns on my personal website, in order to learn from them and showcase their experiences.

Angelica Willis

Angelica started as a software engineering intern at Apple and went on to become a research at Google Brain.

Tracy Drain

Tracy is a systems engineer for NASA and worked on the Juno Spacecraft that orbited Jupiter

Katie Dunne

Katie is a self made student and amazing networker who started a lucrative internship experience at NASA before starting her undergraduate career at UC Santa Cruz

CMEMS REsearch

In this undergraduate research position, I developed multiple manufacturing process for ceramics, using Solidworks and various laboratory equipment. The end result was a variety of projects in micro-fluidic pumps, space antennae and thermoelectric generators. We presented this research at the Boise State Undergraduate Research Conference Spring 2014.

Abstract:

Thermoelectric generators (TEG) directly convert thermal energy into electricity without any moving parts. Currently the TE module package accounts for a significant portion of the total cost. Our research is investigating the use of LTCC with silver vias and traces as an innovative packaging solution. An LTCC package has been designed and fabricated to demonstrate this approach. TE elements are bonded to the LTCC using copper traces that also form electric connections between the elements. The device has a maximum operation temperature of 600°C. Finite element modeling was employed to optimize the design to achieve minimum thermal resistance through package and to maximize heat flow into the TE elements. Preliminary simulation results predict that the LTCC packaging can significantly enhance device performance when compared to the traditional package. LTCC packaged TE module prototypes were also fabricated. Four substrate patterns will be described along with the modeled and experimental thermal resistances of each design. Our ongoing work is focused on optimizing both the package design and the fabrication process in order to achieve the highest performance and reliability. The cost reduction in TE module packaging will open a great deal of opportunities in waste heat recovery applications using cost-effective thermoelectric generators.

NVIDIA Internship

In this 6 month internship I sat on the Mechanical Engineering team working autonomous cars. I was responsible for developing a automotive sleeve 3D printed with rubber. I designed and tested the product and it was reviewed by the functional and primary manager on the team.

The internship culminated in a research poster presentation.

Google X Internship

Photo to the left features myself and other interns with Google X CEO Astro Teller.

During my 8 month internship in Mountain View, Ca, I invented various mechanical apparatus including sensor mounts, stands and fixtures both integrated and external to robot operations.

The end result was full completion of my project which I had, designed, fabricated and managed external business relationships for the outsourced manufacturing. I also kitted and gave demos to engineers on how to install the fixture.

Robotics and Program Management Learning Outcomes:

Also maintained quality control and sensor calibration using web-based IDEs and Linux.

Designed, built and fabricated prototypes in several materials including wood, metal and plastic.

Designed precision mounting in order to provide repeatable and reliable alignment, stable mounting surface and 15 degree pitch.

Debugged and flashed brushless motor drivers and computers.

Ordering, verifying and communicating with outside vendors.

Process analysis for the product functionality.

Presentations and team and manager meetings.


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HP Internship

Photo in top-left is with HP CTO Shane Wall

This was a 2 year long internship as a Mechanical Engineering Intern. My projects were robotics and Machine Learning. I worked in the CTO office in Palo Alto, Ca.

I learned how to use the Robot Operating System (ROS) to simplify the process of making a smart robot. This system works with Linux, C++ and Python to make writing algorithms for robots easier. My goal was to work with robotic arms and navigation systems to allow a robot to navigate across an office floor freely.

Robotics Learning Outcomes:

- Designed a five fingered robotic hand including mechanics, servos, wire paths and joints

- All designs were completed in SolidWorks and converted to STL for 3D printing

- Learned how to design for 3D printing

- Learned how to work 3D printing software

- Completed Machine Shop Training

- Introduced and integrated novel technology such as the Intel RealSense Camera which controls the robotic hand

- Collaborated with engineers on various aspects of the project to meet goals needed by the robotics group

- Showcased the robotic hand at the 2015 Intern Fair and in Palo Alto for the CTO office

- Traveled with robot ‘SID’ to New Mexico sales event

- Using Python, HTML and CSS, I designed User Interfaces for implementation with the robots

- Participated in the HP Makers Robotics Lab video that was released online

- Was featured in the Innovation Journal Vol. 2 that was also released online

- Interviewed at HP for the ‘ISAS: Where are they now’ video


African Americans and Native Americans: Striving for educational excellence admist an history of oppression.docx

Paper: African Americans and native americans striving for EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE AMIDST an history of OPPRESSION

In this academic research paper that was reviewed by Dr. Anal Frenz, I talk about the history of education as it was introduced to Native Americans and African Americans that were recently enslaved. I paint a picture of where they started and how it has not really shown as much of benefit within their populations as of yet.

Introduction

The oppression felt by American Indians and African Americans have shaped how students of this descent perform in education at both a primary level and secondary level. Both African American and Native Americans have seen a lot of brutality over the years. And it is this intimidation that follows students still into their education process. American Indians have survived genocide and African Americans the harsh realities of slavery. Genocide eroded American Indian identity and reduced their numbers from 8,000,000 to 10,000. The dominant White culture engulfed the American Indians and forced them into assimilation. Slavery took away the ability of Blacks to make decisions about daily life and career choices, it also left a distrust in the educational system. The African Americans have since struggled to identify themselves as smart and independent as evidenced by the jobs they take and the careers they seek.

According to poll by Aud et al. (2011) the high school dropout rate for Native Americans was 13.2% and the dropout rate for Black students was 9.3%. Native Americans also have the lowest college completion rate at 4 year institutions. It was at 38.3% for all Native American tribes. What some African Americans and Native Americans face is the inability to have pride in their race and identify as strong leaders in academics and society. We need to encourage on the individual level race self-acceptance and the acceptance of other races. Educators and school policy makers should be aware of the difficulties minorities have adjusting to life at college but some educators do not know or have fallen into the trap of racism and discrimination themselves or the act of trying to assimilate minority cultures into the dominate White culture. For the next half of this paper I will try to outline some history on why this is so.