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Best practices and teamwork for student competitions

Latest Members of the MathWorks Student Competitions Team!

In the past we have introduced new team members via blog posts (see parts 1, 2, and 3). Our team has continued to grow the last couple of years, and we now have members in the US, India, UK, Japan, and China. Today’s post will introduce some of our newer members!

Our team helps equip students around the globe with software, training, and mentoring to tackle the same technical issues as professional engineers. Check out the competitions we currently support here.

Liping

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#coolMum #LearnEveryday #WorkHardPlayHard

What is your role in the student competitions team? What competitions are you focusing on?

I am responsible for supporting our student competitions held in China, and also for creating technical and marketing content for student competition teams worldwide. The competitions that I am focusing on include China Graduate Electronics Design Contest (GEDC), Formula Student China (FSC), Contemporary Undergraduate Mathematical Contest in Modeling (CUMCM) and etc.

What big project are you currently working on?

I have been working on the project for updating the Computer Vision Training along with Maitreyee and Neha. Compared with the old contents, the new trainings will use variety of dataset from different student competitions (Robotics, Automotive, Deep Learning, AUVs, etc.) to add more information on how to design and deploy computer vision algorithms using Simulink.

Which recommendation would you give students thinking about student competitions and career paths?

Student competitions provide an efficient way for students to use project-based learning approach in which they can actively explore real-world problems and challenges to acquire a deeper knowledge for their future career. Therefore, I would encourage students to actively participate in student competitions so that they can improve their hands-on ability and acquire a solid knowledge for their career development.

Why do you like working in education and collaborating with student teams?

I have been a student for many years, and I believe students are the most easygoing, most energetic, and most motivated customers. Frequent contact with student teams makes me feel younger and full of energy.

Fun Facts

  • I have two PhDs and two kids but only one husband 😊
  • I like cooking, reading, and traveling

Owen

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#Mechatronics #FloridaMan #AnimeLover #HomeChef #TuckerThePitador

What is your role in the student competitions team? What competitions are you focusing on?

I primarily work on the Student Ambassador Program here at MathWorks but also run the Simulink Student Challenge every year.

What big project are you currently working on?

I am working on developing content for ambassadors to present at their universities. I recently finished a deep learning workshop to identify poker cards and will begin working on the next workshop shortly.

Which recommendation would you give students thinking about student competitions and career paths?

Absolutely get involved in student competitions and organizations while you can! Getting this experience will open doors to opportunities and jobs that you wouldn’t expect. My first hands on experience with working on robots was for an ASME competition. This gave me a lot of experience and began my love-hate relationship with mechatronics.

Why do you like working in education and collaborating with student teams?

I was given many great opportunities because I was a MATLAB Student Ambassador so it’s great to go full circle. Now that I develop the program, I help provide opportunities to students worldwide. Shameless plug but learn about the program here.

Fun Facts

  • I was in band for 9 years and used to march the tuba
  • Like going on runs with my dog Tucker
  • I have a lion tattoo

Akshra

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#Netflix #SheLovesMatlab #ConnectedVehicles #ADAS #BestHalloweenCostume

What is your role in the student competitions team? What competitions are you focusing on?

As a Student Competitions Technical Evangelist, I develop competition specific trainings for students and deliver them at workshops and webinars. I help with ADAS, automated driving, and connected vehicles related content for all the automotive student competitions.

What big project are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on the MathWorks Simulation Challenge training for SAE AutoDrive. I’m working on MATLAB and Simulink integration with RoadRunner, HERE HD maps, and Unreal Engine using the new Automated Driving Toolbox features in the R2020b release.

Which recommendation would you give students thinking about student competitions and career paths?

Engineering is all about coming up with efficient solutions for practical problems. Student competitions provide opportunities to do just that. You will get a chance to get trained on and work with state-of-the-art hardware and software. Teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, leadership, technical writing, technical presenting, etc. are some of the skills you will develop when you work in a student competition team—skills that are highly valued in the industry and by the competition sponsors. They know they are getting highly motivated candidates who have already proved themselves in pressure situations, and have the technical skills needed to make any project a success.

Why do you like working in education and collaborating with student teams?

Students are always eager, competitive, and willing participants when it comes to learning and the student competitions. They build onto, innovate, improve, and adapt the trainings to yield pretty amazing results.  Since I was a student competitor in a student competition myself (EcoCAR Mobility Challenge), I wanted to be on the other side of the table, and give back to this community that has, effectively, changed my life.

Fun Facts

  • I share my birthday with Carrie Fisher and Alfred Nobel
  • I rode the tallest rollercoaster in the world, at Singapore, and kept my eyes open the entire time
  • I love swimming. I’ve been swimming once a week for about 12+ years now.

 John

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#upbeat #talkative #musical #jokester

What is your role in the student competitions team? What competitions are you focusing on?

My role on the team is to establish the sponsorship agreements for student competitions each year, so I focus on all of them! I also work on the competition pages and software offers related to each of the competitions that MathWorks sponsors.

Which recommendation would you give students thinking about student competitions and career paths?

Student competitions are a great way to gain exposure in different industries, so try as many of them as you can! You may be surprised by what areas catch your interest, which can help you hone your career path. Many student competitions also provide great networking opportunities with well-known companies in the industry, so it is a great place to start making connections for your future!

Why do you like working in education and collaborating with student teams?

For me, working in education at MathWorks allows me to focus on the area that our company shines the most. The goal for education is to have software available and accessible to all ages, so students can learn and develop their skills in engineering as early as they would like to. This gives students an opportunity to explore their interests early on and can help them find what they enjoy the most!

Fun Facts

  • I’ve been with the company for over 5 years. MathWorks was my first job out of college!
  • I went to Bridgewater State University.
  • I enjoy playing music in my free time.

Nobu

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#Japanese #Brake #space elevator

What is your role in the student competitions team? What competitions are you focusing on?

I mainly work on Japanese robotics and automotive competitions, and mainly focusing on Formula Student Japan.

What big project are you currently working on?

My big project is Suspension Design App. This will help students to get necessary parameters when they design suspension system of vehicle.

Which recommendation would you give students thinking about student competitions and career paths?

Do not hesitate to start something new. The feeling you want to put off or the scariness of failure in advance shouldn’t stop your passion. Let’s start something new.

Why do you like working in education and collaborating with student teams?

I would like to see the future technologies that students are going to create.

Fun Fact

  • I worked at a Japanese vehicle brake company, and at that time I had designed the space elevator with CAD modeling

Tanya

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#Foodie #MakeItHappen

What is your role in the student competitions team? What competitions are you focusing on?

I work on Mathematical competitions for high schools and I primarily focus on the MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge.

What big project are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a project to create technical content for the M3 Challenge and deliver some fun hands-on webinars to help students get started with MATLAB. This will help students understand how MATLAB can be very useful for math modeling.

Which recommendation would you give students thinking about student competitions and career paths?

Student competitions are a great platform to understand one’s interest and aptitude that leads to the right career paths. Exposure to student competitions will help with independent thinking, collaboration, and communication – the skills that employers look for in a future employee.

Why do you like working in education and collaborating with student teams?

Working with students is exciting as they are the innovators and leaders of tomorrow. Helping them succeed will be a rewarding experience.

Fun Facts

  • I had a chance to try sky diving last year—something that was always on my bucket list.
  • I love exploring new restaurants and trying different cuisines.

Sam

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#CarNut #CrazyCatGuy #SimulinkDieHard

What is your role in the student competitions team? What competitions are you focusing on? 

My work on the student competition team primarily focuses on supporting automotive competitions with their use of MATLAB and Simulink. While my background is in mechanical engineering, I have a lot of experience in both physical modeling and software design for code-generation.

The main competition I support is the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, but I also focus on our support of Formula Student competitions in North America and Europe.

What big project are you currently working on? 

I just wrapped up moving our Code generation tutorials to Github! These videos were made before I had joined the team, but as I was making some updates to the files anyways, it seemed like the perfect time to move the resources to the MathWorks Github page.

What recommendation would you give students thinking about student competitions and career paths? 

When I was a student, I participated in EcoCAR 3, the previous competition to the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge. I think student competitions give you an amazing opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in your coursework to a real problem. Beyond just getting to apply what you learn, competitions give you a very different way to learn new things through experience. When you’re working to solve a problem or meet a competition requirement, you run into challenges and situations that normally you wouldn’t see until you work on a project in industry. Participating in a competition and learning the tools and methods used by professionals in your field can really help kickstart your career.

Why do you like working in education and collaborating with student teams? 

Helping students learn through practical work or helping them finally break-through a problem they’ve been stuck on is a really rewarding experience. Plus, as a former student I know how meaningful it can be to have resources in industry to reach out to.

Fun Facts 

  • I drive a Chevy Volt after working on hybrid vehicles in school
  • I have 2 cats: one shy and one insanely social
  • I’m an absolute coffee and tea nut
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