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Nancy Abrams Dreier '86, P'12,'15
Director, West Coast Engagement and Cornell Silicon Valley (CSV)
Cornell University
310.694.0851 nancy.dreier@cornell.edu

 

Christina DePalma '10

Associate Director, West Coast Engagement and Cornell Silicon Valley (CSV)

Cornell University

510.403.1041 christina.depalma@cornell.edu


Stephanie Van Overberghe '15
Administrative Assistant, Cornell Silicon Valley (CSV)
607.254.7147 sav52@cornell.edu

 

Special Guests

Michael Kotlikoff Michael I. Kotlikoff

Provost, Cornell University

Michael I. Kotlikoff, professor of molecular physiology, became the 16th provost of Cornell University in 2015. A member of the faculty since 2000, he most recently served as the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine. As dean (2007-2015), Kotlikoff enhanced the College of Veterinary Medicine's programs in education, animal health care, and research, and he launched an $87 million capital project to upgrade infrastructure and teaching facilities and enable an increase in the pre-clinical class size. Prior to becoming dean, he served as founding chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and chair of the Mammalian Genomics Life Science Initiative. As provost, Kotlikoff continues to maintain his laboratory, which has been continually funded by the NIH for over 30 years and is internationally recognized in the area of cardiovascular biology. Kotlikoff received his BA (literature) and VMD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and his PhD in physiology from the University of California, Davis.

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Sanford I. Weill '55, P '81, GP '13

Chairman Emeritus of Citigroup, CEO of Casa Rosa Ventures, philanthropist

Sandy is Chairman Emeritus of Citigroup and CEO of Casa Rosa Ventures. In 2014, he was named to CNBC's First 25, a definitive list of 25 people around the world who have had the greatest influence in business over the past quarter century. He is a former director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and has served on numerous corporate boards, including Hamilton Insurance Group (Chairman), United Technologies, AT&T, E. I. du Pont Nemours and Company, and Koc Holding in Turkey. Sandy was the recipient of Financial World Magazine's CEO of the Year Award and received the same honor from Chief Executive Magazine. Sandy retired as Chairman of Weill Cornell Medicine after 20 years and is now Chairman Emeritus. He also retired as Chairman of Carnegie Hall after serving in this capacity for 24 years and assumed the role of President. In addition, Sandy is Founder/Chairman of the National Academy Foundation (since 1982); Chairman of Weill Hall and The Green Music Center; Chairman of the Executive Council at University of California, San Francisco; and Chairman of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation. He is a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He and his wife of 61 years, Joan, are recipients of the 2009 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. Sandy graduated from Cornell with a BA in government.

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Featured Speakers

Rosie Adams MS '08 Rosie Adams MS '08

Director, Operations Planning & Design, Stanford Health Care

Rosie is the Director of Operational Planning & Design at Stanford Health Care and leads a team focused on bridging the world of hospital operations and capital facility projects. The team's current focus is repurposing an existing hospital to modernize and optimize the patient/family/staff experience. Prior to this role, Rosie was the Senior Project Manager of Planning for Hoag Healthcare, where she was responsible for strategic planning of all capital facility projects. Rosie has also supported the National Health System of Australia in both the planning of a $1 billion children's hospital and implementation of a lean specialty clinic reform program for the state of Victoria. She also spent time working for Toyota Motor Sales in the Facilities Planning department. Rosie graduated from Cornell with an MS in healthcare facility planning and management. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her 6-month old daughter, cooking, travelling, and reading.

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Subutai Ahmad '86 Subutai Ahmad '86, P '14

Vice President of Research, Numenta

Subutai is the Vice President of Research at Numenta, a company focused on understanding the computational principles of the neocortex and developing technology for machine intelligence based on those principles. Subutai's experience includes computational neuroscience, machine learning, computer vision and building real time systems. He previously served as Vice President of Engineering at YesVideo where he helped grow the company from a three-person startup to a leader in automated digital media authoring. Subutai holds a BA in computer science from Cornell and a PhD in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he wrote a thesis on computational neuroscience models of visual attention.

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Chip Aquadro Charles Aquadro

Professor, Cornell University

Charles "Chip" is the Charles A. Alexander Professor of Biological Sciences in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell, and Director of the Cornell Center for Comparative and Population Genomics. He was named a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow by President Elizabeth Garrett and was awarded the 2012 Russell Distinguished Teaching Award in the College of Arts and Sciences. His research has been funded for over three decades by the National Institutes of Health and focuses on discovering basic principles that determine the amount and functional consequence of DNA diversity in genes that regulate germline stem cells within and between the genomes of organisms, on using genetic diversity to understand how organisms respond to challenges, and on ways to maximize human health by incorporating genetics in medicine. He teaches a class for non-majors, which draws students from across seven colleges at Cornell, and includes genetic ancestry testing for all interested enrolled students. He received a BS in biology at St. Lawrence University, an MS in zoology at the University of Vermont, and a PhD in genetics at the University of Georgia.

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John Balen '82, MBA '86, P '18, P '20 John Balen '82, MBA '86, P '18, P '20

General Partner, Canaan Partners

With more than 30 years in venture capital and technology, John has facilitated investments in many successful technology startups. He currently serves on the boards of Blurb, Cardlytics, SilverRail Technologies, SOASTA, Stayful, Switchfly and UrbanSitter. John's prior investments include three IPOs: Commerce One, eStamp, and Intraware, as well as numerous acquisitions, including: Echopass (acquired by Genesys), Everdream (acquired by Dell), ID Analytics (acquired by LifeLock), Istante (acquired by Oracle) and Rightpoint (acquired by E.piphany). John's engagement with Cornell runs deep, including service as a CSV Advisor and as an advisory council member for the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Entrepreneurship@Cornell, and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. He is the proud father of two Cornell students, John '18 and Danielle '20. John received a BS in electrical engineering and an MBA from Cornell.

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Scott Belsky '02 Scott Belsky '02

Founder, Behance; Venture Partner, Benchmark Capital

Scott founded Behance, the leading online platform for the creative industry, serving as CEO until the company was acquired by Adobe in 2012. Scott then served as Adobe's Vice President of Products, rebooting Adobe's mobile product and marketplace strategies and leading Behance until 2016. Scott actively advises and invests in businesses at the intersection of technology and design. He is a Venture Partner with Benchmark and is an early advisor and investor in Pinterest, Uber, sweetgreen, Periscope, and others. He is co-founder and chairman of a new marketplace product under development. Scott is an advocate for technology and community initiatives that empower creative people and help businesses leverage the creative potential of their employees. He is the author of Making Ideas Happen and founded 99U, a publication and annual conference devoted to productivity in the creative world. Scott graduated from Cornell with a BS from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

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Ann Bowers '59 Ann Bowers '59

Chair, Cornell Silicon Valley Advisors

Ann was the co-founder and Chair of the Board of the Noyce Foundation, which focused on improving math and science instruction and learning in public schools. The foundation closed at the end of 2015. Previously, her career was in human resource management in Silicon Valley. She was the first woman vice president in the valley while at Apple Computer. Throughout her career, she created and implemented human resources policies and practices that fostered the growth of organizational excellence. Currently, Ann is the past Chair of the Board of the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose and member of the executive committee. She is a founding board member of Music@Menlo, a chamber music program, and the chair of the board of Bay Area classical radio station KDFC. She is a Trustee Emerita and Presidential Counselor at Cornell and the chair of the Cornell Silicon Valley Advisors. She received a BA from Cornell and an honorary PhD from the University of Santa Clara.

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Mark Campbell Mark Campbell

Professor, Cornell University

Mark joined the Cornell faculty in 2001 and is the John A. Mellowes '60 Professor and the S. C. Thomas Sze Director of the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. His research interests are in autonomous systems, estimation theory and sensor fusion, control and planning, and human-robot collaboration. He received awards for his publications and teaching. NASA recognized his modeling and control work on the Middeck Active Control Experiment, flown in 1995. He was an Australian Research Council International Fellow, Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Associate Director of the AACC board, Associate Editor for the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems. Mark earned his BS in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and his MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a PhD in control and estimation from MIT.

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Anna Faaborg '03 Anna Faaborg '03

Research & Disease Community Manager, 23andMe

Anna is a manager of people and projects at 23andMe, a personal genetics company based in Mountain View, CA. After seven years of hands-on laboratory experience, Anna transitioned toward supporting cutting-edge research and scientists through project management. Her strengths in deconstructing complex projects, working with cross-functional stakeholders, and driving project execution have made her successful at startups and large companies. Anna graduated from Cornell with a BA in Biological Sciences.

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Julie Granka '08 Julie Granka '08

Manager, Personalized Genomics, AncestryDNA

Julie is a biologist and a statistician, with expertise developing and applying computational tools to genetic data to understand population history, evolution, and human biology. She is currently Manager of Personalized Genomics at AncestryDNA, the direct-to-consumer genetic test offered as part of Ancestry.com. In her current role, she is both an independent scientist and team lead of a group of scientists focused on developing new computational tools for personal consumer insights. Julie began working at AncestryDNA in May 2013 as a Population Geneticist, and has worked on the analysis of AncestryDNA's growing database of DNA samples, novel population genetic research, and development of product content. Julie received a BS in biometry and statistics from Cornell where she worked with Dr. Carlos Bustamante. She then received an MS in statistics and a PhD in biology with Dr. Marcus Feldman at Stanford University.

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Jeff Hawkins '79 Jeff Hawkins '79, P '12

Co-Founder, Numenta

Jeff is an engineer, serial entrepreneur, scientist, inventor, and author. His life-long interest in neuroscience and theories of the neocortex has driven his passion for building a technology based on neocortical theory. Previously, he founded two mobile computing companies, Palm and Handspring, and is the architect of many computing products such as the PalmPilot and Treo smartphone. In 2002, he founded the Redwood Neuroscience Institute, a scientific institute focused on understanding how the neocortex processes information. The institute is currently located at U.C. Berkeley. Jeff's 2004 book On Intelligence outlines Hierarchical Temporal Memory (HTM) and describes progress on understanding the neocortex. Jeff graduated from Cornell with a BS in electrical engineering. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2003.

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Nidhi Kalra Nidhi Kalra '02

Senior Information Scientist, RAND Corporation

Nidhi Kalra spearheads autonomous vehicle policy work at the RAND Corporation. She is the lead author of the 2016 study "Driving to Safety: How Many Miles of Driving Would It Take to Demonstrate Autonomous Vehicle Reliability?" and co-author of the 2016 flagship report "Autonomous Vehicle Technology: A Guide for Policymakers." She has over ten years of experience in autonomous vehicle policy and is committed to using her expertise to further evidence-based policy making. She has testified on autonomous vehicle policy at two congressional hearings and is also a member of the California Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee, which provides guidance to the state legislature on road use charge alternatives to the gas tax. She recently gave a TEDx talk on sound long-term decision making. As a director of RAND's Center for Decision Making Under Uncertainty, her research addresses a variety of long-term transportation, energy, environment, and science and technology policy issues. Nidhi holds a BS in computer science from Cornell and an MS and a PhD in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.

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Mardelle McCuskey Shepley Mardelle McCuskey Shepley

Professor, Cornell University

Mardelle is a professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis and associate director of the Institute for Healthy Futures at Cornell. She serves on the graduate faculty in Cornell's Department of Architecture. Mardelle is a fellow in the American Institute of Architects and the American College of Healthcare Architects. She is LEED and EDAC certified. She has authored or co-authored five books, including Healthcare Environments for Children and their Families (1998), A Practitioner's Guide to Evidence-based Design (2008), and Design for Pediatric and Neonatal Critical Care (2014). To enhance the link between research and practice, Mardelle has worked in professional practice, full-time and part-time, for 25 years. She is founder of ART+Science, design research consultants. Mardelle earned a BA and MArch from Columbia University and an MA and DArch from the University of Michigan.

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Michael Mina Michael Mina

Chef & Founder, Mina Group

With the October 2010 opening of his eponymous signature restaurant in San Francisco, Michael is at the helm at the same location (formerly AQUA) in the city where he first established his culinary reputation 20 years ago. He was a James Beard Foundation "Who's Who of Food & Beverage" inductee in 2013, and his accolades include Bon Appétit Chef of the Year 2005 and San Francisco Magazine Chef of the Year 2005. Michael continues to dazzle the culinary world with bold dining concepts that have contributed to San Francisco's reputation as a world-class epicurean destination and made him an integral part of the dining scene across the country. Michael's culinary and business vision led to the founding of Mina Group, with partner Andre Agassi in 2002. Under the auspices of Mina Group, he has opened nearly 30 operations in major American cities and Dubai including Arcadia, Bourbon Pub, Bourbon Steak, Clock Bar, RN74, Pabu, and his signature Michael Mina restaurant.

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Aaron Nathan '06 Aaron Nathan '06

Founder & CEO, Point One Navigation

Aaron is an entrepreneur and technical leader with over a decade of experience in cutting-edge robotics work, mission-critical software, and hardware development. He is CEO and founder of Point One Navigation, a startup working on a precise location service for robotics applications, including autonomous vehicles. He led multi-disciplinary teams that built and deployed complex systems in financial, defense, and enterprise markets and founded two venture backed startups. He has deep domain experience in sensor fusion, navigation, and embedded systems, specifically in the context of self-driving vehicles. He co-led Cornell's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand and Urban Challenge teams, building two full-scale autonomous vehicles capable of navigating in unrehearsed urban settings. The team was one of six to successfully complete the DARPA Urban Challenge. Aaron holds a BS in electrical and computer engineering and an MEng in computer science from Cornell.

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Ankit Patel MBA '12 Ankit Patel MBA '12

Senior Product Manager, NVIDIA

Ankit Patel is a Senior Product Manager at NVIDIA with over 10 years of experience in managing innovative products in the media and entertainment, virtualization, and visualization industries. Ankit is passionate about building products that allow creative individuals to realize their dreams, whether through storytelling or building machines. Ankit has expertise in CAD, video, embedded systems, physically-based rendering and VR. Most recently Ankit has been working on productizing NVIDIA's rendering technologies, which simulate lights and materials to deliver images that match the quality and characteristics of photographs. This technology visually simulates reality and is used by leading manufacturers to design everything from phones and blenders to cars and buildings. Ankit believes the same technology can be used for the simulation and regression testing of self-driving software. Ankit holds a Bachelor's degree in computer science from Concordia University and an MBA from Cornell.

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Beckie Robertson Beckie Robertson '82

Managing Director, Versant Ventures

Beckie Robertson is a Managing Director at Versant Ventures specializing in early-stage investing in medical devices and diagnostics. Beckie's career encompasses over 30 years of venture capital and operating experience in medical products as an engineer, entrepreneur, corporate executive, and investor. Before co-founding Versant, Beckie was a general partner at Institutional Venture Partners (IVP). From 1994-1996, Beckie served as Senior Vice President at Chiron Diagnostics, a division of Chiron Corporation, where she had responsibility for the $200 million Critical Care business unit. In addition, Beckie was Vice President of Business Development where she led numerous deals in support of Chiron Diagnostics business and technology objectives. Prior to joining Chiron, she was a co-founder and Vice President at Egis, an IVP portfolio company, and held senior management positions in operations and finance at Lifescan, a Johnson & Johnson company. During her seven-year term at Lifescan, the company grew from an early-stage venture-funded company to a worldwide market leader in diabetes diagnostics. Beckie has been a CSV Advisor since the group's inception in 2001. She also serves as Vice-Chairman of the Children's Health Council, is a member of the Advisory Council of the Nancy E. and Peter C. Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, and works as a Senior Executive-in-Residence for Cornell's McGovern Center, an incubator for young life sciences companies. Beckie holds a BS in chemical engineering from Cornell.

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Andrew Smolik '09 Andrew Smolik '09

Product Manager, 23andMe

Andrew co-founded CourseRank, an education startup based at Stanford, in 2009. A year later, CourseRank was acquired by Chegg, where he remained for more than four years, working on product development. Andrew is currently a product manager at 23andMe, a consumer genetics testing company that helps people understand their health and ancestry. There, he focuses on eCommerce and communities. Andrew grew up in Europe and enjoys backpacking in his free time. Andrew graduated from Cornell with a BS in biology and society.

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Shaun Stewart '02 Shaun Stewart '02

Director, Waymo

Shaun is a Director at Waymo, the self-driving technology company that graduated in December from Alphabet's X. Prior to working at Waymo, previously a part of X, he served as the Global Head of Vacation Rentals at Airbnb, where he led the strategy and execution of the vacation rental giant's operations in key leisure markets around the world. Shaun's resume also includes senior roles at various companies including Expedia, TripAdvisor and Jetsetter/Gilt Groupe. Shaun earned a BS from Cornell's School of Hotel Administration.

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Zig Wu MS '11

Senior Program Manager, Space Management, Stanford Health care

Zig is a Senior Program Manager at Stanford Health Care in the Space Management Department. At Stanford, he implemented tools and processes to more effectively respond to space requests in a hospital with limited space and introduced innovative workplace strategies to shift the organization towards an activity-based work environment. At Hoag Hospital, he established a demographically-driven master plan and facility strategy for population health management, resulting in the development of seven outpatient centers. In both roles, he led the implementation of computer-aided facilities management systems to better manage and track real estate and space data. He has spoken widely on healthcare facilities topics and authored articles in peer-reviewed journals on improving patient experiences and corporate real estate practices. Zig earned a BA from Oxford University and he holds master's degrees from both Cornell and Oxford with a background in human sciences and facilities planning and management. Zig is certified in evidence-based design and Lean Six-Sigma.

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