Category Archives: Technology

Wearable Tech LA

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Because I tend to do things just to try them out, I decided to apply to run social media for the Wearable Tech LA conference in Pasadena this week, and got the job! (You can read my posts here)  This meant I ran the twitter for the entire day and tried to build hype and keep people engaged.  It was a pretty exciting experience, and the conference itself was also pretty incredible.

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The concept itself of wearable technology is absolutely fascinating to me, because although we may not be cyborgs with robot arms and bionic eyes, we are most definitely becoming a hybrid of organic and machine.  People have  tethered themselves to their smartphones without even realizing it as they start to perform functions such as data recall and reminders we once relied on our memories for.  Wearable technology is simply a name for the trend that is growing out of the fact that smartphones have made technology natural in our daily lives.  Fitbits, Google Glass, and smartwatches are just the start of wearable technology, and the field is growing as innovative designers figure out new ways to incorporate technology and augment the way we function as humans.

In the future I’ll be sure to include more of my thoughts on wearable technology (trust me, I could talk forever), but in this post I mostly just wanted to show off all the cool stuff that I got to see at the event.  Learning to track the hashtag, reply to everyone, retweet the relevant posts, and keeping our audience engaged was quite the challenge, but I found out that I actually really enjoy livetweeting events.  There were a group of girl scouts who showed off their wearable tech fashion creations, a man who was colorblind and attached a sensor to his brain so he could ‘hear’ colors, wearable tech for fitness, fashion, and relaxation, as well as much more.  It was exciting to see all the panels and watch the excitement build in the room, and I hope it happens again next year.

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Idealab Product Team Intern

First week at Idealab!  For those of you who don’t know, Idealab has been my dream internship ever since I became interested in startup culture, and after two interviews while traveling Europe (and accidentally locking myself out of my hostel room during one of them), I managed to secure it.  A little context: Idealab is a Startup Incubator in Pasadena, meaning they take the very beginnings of business ideas and test them (using lean methodology) to see if they would survive as companies.

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Out of over 100 applications, our supervisors chose a team of 7 (only 6 actually work here now, the 7th one couldn’t get a visa).  We have Amol, a USC student from India who is incredibly clever in terms of questioning things instead of just accepting ‘that’s just the way they are’ ; Harrison, also from USC but originally from Hong Kong who is already working on his own business called Study Bloc; Dana, a phenomenal graphic and UX designer who is also an engineer from Stanford; Adam, a CS major from Vanderbilt; and Andrew, a finance guru from Columbia.

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Our skills complement each other nicely, and I’ve really been enjoying working with them so far.  We’ve just started a project called [name redacted until project complete] where we are trying to get a subscription service for gadgets off the ground.  Basically every month for a small fee you’ll get a box with some cool gadgets inside. We’re just starting off with building a website to see if anyone is interested, and we’ll see how it goes from there.  I’m taking point on the project (essentially becoming the product manager), so I hope it works out!

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Girls in Tech: Los Angeles

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Hey readers!  As you know, I’ve been in Ireland for the past 5 months (you can read my adventures here), but I am now back in LA and ready to start my internship with the startup incubator Idealab in Pasadena.  I don’t actually start until June 9, so I’ve been spending the past week checking out the LA tech scene.  My first event was a dinner hosted by Girls in Tech: Los Angeles, and I was lucky enough to meet a lot of highly intelligent women doing cool things in their fields, ranging from consulting to startups to design innovation.

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I wasn’t expecting to have such fun chatting with everyone about hiking, cooking, and of course technology, and I’m really looking forward to attending more Girls in Tech events, and maybe even helping out!

Channel Manager: YouTube

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So for my internship at Geek and Sundry, I mostly did analytics, but also learned a ridiculous amount about channel management and optimization from my supervisor.  Thus, I have decided to take that and basically become the YouTube pro on campus.  I recently became the channel manager for Claremont Colleges TV (hosted on YouTube), and have also been in talks with Silvousplaits of Game of Thrones hairstyling fame to help optimize her channel next semester (we will be abroad in the same place).  I’m also applying to help run the channel for the Scripps newspaper: The Voice, but have not heard back from them yet.

Claremont Colleges TV is planning on hosting a couple of original series, and Silvousplaits wants to take up vlogging, as well as incorporating more social media into her work, so we’ll see how it goes! (I even designed her a website instead of doing hw http://silvousplaits.geekitout.net/ I don’t know if I’ll end up in the entertainment industry (I just know I like technology), but I figure I might as well hone the skills I developed at Geek & Sundry until I figure out my path!

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Launch of Scripps Professionals Network

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Paul Orlando inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs

So this has been brewing for awhile in the Scripps community, but I and some other Scrippsies have finally pushed it to a boil.  We noticed that although Scripps is phenomenal in terms of the arts and humanities departments, they seem to be lacking in business, financial, and technology.  This makes sense due to the fact that we have CMC, a business school, and Harvey Mudd, and engineering college next door, but what it also means is that there is no community on Scripps campus for these interests.  Scripps Professionals Network aims to change that.  It is currently a coalition formed by Scripps Women in Technology, Innovate @ Scripps (entrepreneurship and business), and Scripps Women in Finance and Consulting. It is meant to be a society/social group sharing resources and knowledge.

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Packed house at the LinkedIn workshop

This past Friday we hosted our first two joint events: a speaker who helped shape the Hong Kong Startup Ecosystem, and a LinkedIn workshop to help Scrippsies learn to use the website better.  We advertised heavily on facebook, and had a larger turn-out then expected (yay!).  Unfortunately the year is wrapping up, which means we probably won’t be doing much more this semester.  I look forward to seeing how it develops next semester, though!

Kairos Society

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I got accepted into the Kairos Society!

The Kairos Society is an international nonprofit organization of entrepreneurs and innovators from the top universities around the world.  

See what Forbes has to say on them – http://www.forbes.com/sites/ricardogeromel/2013/04/02/kairos-society-and-the-worlds-next-generation-of-new-billionaires/

Here’s my application:

Personal Bio:

I’m a technology obsessed individual who’s been playing with innovation and tech since day one.  My father (a founder of a small IT firm in California) encouraged me to push anything I got my hands on to its limits (computers, websites, software, etc.) and explore as many new tech adventures as possible. I’ve dabbled in a diverse set of technologies ranging from html with neopets.com user pages and basic construction of computers when I was very young to basic python, youtube analytics, and wordpress web design more recently.  Nonskill-wise I founded the Scripps College Women in Technology club, which often partners with the Scripps Entrepreneur club, intern for Geek and Sundry, a Commercial Youtube Channel, and design websites.  I love networking with fellow tech savvy individuals and entrepreneurs to hear what the next wave of innovation will be, and discussing new ways to use technology to change how the world currently works and address problems previously unsolvable.

Skills/Expertise:

  • Interpersonal: Management of project teams, Networking.
  • Operating Systems: PC (including Windows 8) and Mac.
  • Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, Powerpoint.
  • Adobe Suite: InDesign, Photoshop, Premiere
  • Google: Search, Calendar, Drive, Gmail, Analytics, etc.
  • Websites: Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube Analytics, Trello
  • Web Design: WordPress.

Interests:

Anything tech related.  Changing the world through technology.  Educating others on technology, creating tech communities, and pushing people to become as tech-savvy as possible.

What would you like to achieve by the time you are 30?:

Unfortunately my answer is fairly vague since I don’t actually know where the tech industry will be in 30 years, but I want to do something big.  I want to fill in the gaps, using emerging tech to make the world we live in better.  I can’t say what technology I will be using to achieve this (30 years ago I’m sure no one could have even imagined we’d have smart phones and ipads), but I know that I want to be at the front of the wave, setting the precedent and forging the path that others will follow, with teams working under me to make sure that change is implemented.

What is your biggest accomplishment to date?

My biggest accomplishment would probably be starting the Scripps College Women in Technology club (there is a veritable vacuum in terms of community around technology on campus, and I aim to change that).  There is a lot of strong talent on campus, and I am looking to pull them together, hone their skills, and help them find their way into the work force.  Scripps prides itself on being more humanities and art oriented, but I’m hoping to expand it to be more inclusive of business and tech.  Scripps is a Women’s College, and I want to make sure that the women who graduate from it are tech-savvy and ready for the business world.

What are your 2 biggest strengths you will bring into this organization?

My two biggest strengths would be my desire to constantly be creating new projects, and my love of helping communities.  I find myself extremely jittery if I’m not working on something I consider ‘productive’, whether that’s educating myself, working on projects for my internship, job, or school, or helping others to succeed.  I constantly want to change myself and my environment for the better, and love finding where the gaps are and filling them in with solutions and ideas so that both I and the world I live in improve.  This leads to my love of helping develop communities, for with communities I am able to educate others and help them succeed, success which they then use to help people they know.  It is a domino effect, and I love being able to watch the people I mentor come into their own, and then use their education and skills to bring others to their full potential.

Historically, some of the most innovative and pioneering entrepreneurs have started by rethinking traditional assumptions and business models. Tell us about an area that you think is ripe for disruption, or about a way to solve new problems with existing technology and resources.

I currently work for a commercial Youtube Channel, which in my opinion is the next disruption in terms of the entertainment industry.  We work daily towards using the resources YouTube and social media sites provide to create new, immersive models of entertainment, which is known in the industry as transmedia storytelling: the technique of telling a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies.  We also work with YouTube to suggest how new innovations could lead to better experiences for the audience.  We address the growing range of sites and technologies used by viewers, and take advantage of the fact that traditional cable channels are barely understanding how to use twitter, let alone vine, instagram, etc.  As a Commerical Channel, we set the standards for other YouTubers to live up to, and decide the path to the future.

Give us an example of how you would be able to contribute your skills and expertise to solving key challenges in either healthcare, education or sustainability.

I would use my knowledge of YouTube and my ability to form communities to reform education.  The fact that YouTube is still emerging as a disruptive technology means that each user can help decide what direction it is going to go.  Commercial Channels are already working towards more diversity and inclusivity in the actors on YouTube, but if I was looking to reform education, I’d love to focus on the programming, specifically on how to use critical media theory learned as a Digital Media Studies major to make sure YouTube programming has meaning, not just entertainment value (although a balance would have to be struck).  As YouTube and digital programming are a new frontier, I would work towards creating communities of channels that are dedicated to educating as well as entertaining.  It would not be a niche market, but rather an underlying principle of all programming.  Social media is already used to digital experiences, so it’d be interesting to see how it’d be possible to use social media for informing the audience and forcing them to think deeper and more critically about the content they are consuming.

I’m super excited to see where this goes!

Women, Pedagogy, and Technology: A Talk at Pitzer College

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The Women, Pedagogy, and Technology talk was an event I heard about in my Feminist Dialogue on Technology class, and I was absolutely thrilled to attend.  It started with Alex Juhasz talking about the need to cross the lines dividing us, including campus lines (this was a 5C event).  Then, the President of Pitzer discussed the need to temper digital interactions with human interactions.  After their speeches, I was lucky enough to sit with President Klawe of Harvey Mudd (a woman who has done wonderful things for women in STEMs and who I look up to as an inspiration).  Some of my first words to her were ‘Something something Lean In, although that’s not a movement I agree with or am fond of’, to which her response was ‘Oh, why?  Sheryl Sandberg is a friend of mine’.  Luckily she honestly wanted to hear my opinion on it (long story short, I don’t think Sheryl Sandberg is radical or deconstructivist enough, and rather supporting and playing into the patriarchy), to which Klawe responded that she was once as radical as I was, and understood where I was coming from.  We talked extensively about education, women in tech, and leveling the playing field.  She seemed interested in my efforts with Scripps Women in Technology, and offered to be a speaker.  She is honestly someone I look up to and would like to emulate in terms of her efforts to works towards increasing representation of women in stems

The next part of the program involved breaking into groups to discuss mentors, networks, or teaching.  I chose the mentor group, where we talked about the pros and cons of serendipitous mentor/mentee pairing, structured pairings, and solutions/compromises between the two.  Serendipitous usually means better dynamics between the mentor/mentee because it’s not forced and controlled, but often leaves out people who don’t have initiative or luck.  Structured gets more of the shy individuals, but even then participants can feel alienated by being forced to meet at certain times, do certain things, even if they don’t particularly mesh with their mentor.  What might be a possible solution is training potential mentors to be more out about their identities/things mentees could empathize with (socioeconomic, sexual orientation, race, culture, etc.) so that mentees can find them, as well as training mentees how to find mentors, and what they should ask from their mentors.  As I am only a junior, I remember all too well what it was like to be a first year, and to feel that everything I did was an imposition, regardless of the fact that the colleges tried to put together so many support options for me.  In our group, we talked a bit about impostor syndrome, which to me seems a very possible reason so many people have trouble finding mentors.  Unless mentors are outright explicit in their desire to mentor, potential mentees may feel like the mentor is just being nice at that moment, rather than the mentor wanting to form a long-term connection.

Finally, we all headed to the Pitzer auditorium to listen to different speeches on various parts of technology and education.  It was a wonderful lunch and discussion, and the powerpoint presentations in the auditorium gave me a lot of food for thought.  I hope Pitzer/the 5Cs continue to create events like these, and look forward to how much more I have to learn.

Pokemon IT-FITS Profile: Learning Flash

I made a thing for my job!  This is my first time ever using flash, so I’m pretty proud of it (clicking the screenshot below will take you to the actual thing).

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Techsparks, Scripps Women in Technology, and Scripps Entrepreneurs

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On Wednesday evening, I drove a car full of college students from Scripps Women in Technology club and Scripps Entrepreneurs to a Techsparks mixer in Pasadena.  There, some of them experienced their first networking event ever, and passed with flying colors.  Techsparks created a comfortable and warm environment above Barney’s with plenty of food, drink, and conversation. We were the youngest group there, but the tech professionals welcomed us with open arms, and allowed us to join their conversations with ease.  I look forward to exposing more club members to events like these, and helping them discover the wonders of the tech world.

Innovation Summit Pasadena

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On October 10, 2013, Christie Kweon and I represented Scripps College at Innovation Summit Pasadena, a Technology and Business conference in Pasadena.  Our day started out with some really awful dead stop traffic from Claremont to Pasadena, meaning we unfortunately missed some of Bill Gross’s (of Idealab) opening speech, but the last part I did hear was absolutely fascinating.  There seemed to be a theme at the summit of failure not being the end, but rather if you keep going you will become stronger.  Go hard, and keep trying seemed to be what most of the speakers agreed on.

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There were a variety of speakers ranging from design to science fields, but each had something to say about the growing tech industry and how innovation is thriving.  The community was eager to learn, and the presenters were engaging, so although the event was around 8 hours, it seemed to blur by.  There was a lunch in the middle where I met the Social Media intern for Mindshare (whose events I hope to be attending in the future), as well as many other cool entrepreneurs in the tech field.  I’m glad I attended, for I learned some invaluable lessons about technology and business, as well as meet some very inspirational figures.IMG_1910