This week we will be learning about the fundamentals of computer programming. In this lesson you’ll understand how computers understand you! An algorithm is a detailed, step-by-step process followed in order to accomplish a specific task or to solve a specific problem. Computer algorithms can appear complex, but the underlying concept is approachable for both adults and kids. In this weeks lesson you’ll also learn about for loops. Loops allow programmers to easily repeat code; in particular, for loops let programmers repeat code a specific number of times. Click the button “Start Week 1” to start the lesson.
The Milky Way Tech for Good Pitch Out gives early stage startups an opportunity to pitch in front of their community, compete with their peers for funding and for the Milky Way Tech Hub community to rally around early stage startups.
Date and time:
Come enjoy an amazing pitch competition featuring tech start-ups in the Milky Way Tech Hub during Startup Milwaukee Week!
This pitch competition will bring leading entrepreneurs to The Milky Way Tech Hub – Milwaukee’s diverse tech ecosystem with the goal of supporting, empowering, and providing new and equitable funding opportunities to these entrepreneurs.
The event will be held November 16th at 88nine Radio 6pm-8pm. The Seven finalist will pitch their ideas to the judges and the crowd, competing for first, second and third place. First prize winner will be awarded $10,000 and consulting from Morpheus Advisors LLC.
Hope’s AI powered technology makes it easy for women to connect with doctors, counselors or holistic wellness practitioners and helps them each step of the way. Through messenger, Hope befriends and subtly educates, empowers and supports victims of abuse. https://www.hopewithyou.com/
StyleQ is a mobile marketplace that connects users to beauty and wellness professionals, instantly. Using StyleQ, users request services from a selected professional with one tap of a button. https://www.bookstyleq.com/
Minorities to Majorities is a mobile app based platform designed to help under-represented students calculate and fill their financial needs by connecting them with opportunities, without the barriers. http://minoritiestomajorities.com/
DisasterMed is a software platform that identifies acute medical needs of disaster victims in real-time and by location. This is accessible by relief agencies and government entities simultaneously, allowing for efficient logistical decisions.
Traditional outreach has depended upon grassroots volunteering, which can be inconsistent. Businesses with large sales teams have expensive overhead costs to hire employees to get the results needed. Our solution connects people to causes using crowd sourcing and reduces overhead costs for businesses by using the app to pay canvassers to go to neighborhoods and businesses.
Secure Bridges is a security app to collect human trafficking data as well as city to city resources and youth profiles to end the local sex trade of children in the Milwaukee area. Secure Bridges raises awareness and promotes advocacy through strategic partnerships.
LifeTagger is a messaging platform that allows you to share content based on your proximity to any person, place, thing, or idea. LifeTagger allows you to add more context to your message by leveraging all the signals your phone is currently detecting. The platform allows you to send messaging in the best context (time, location, audio, bluetooth, wifi) for your intended recipient.
Big Thank you to Presenting Partner of The Milky Way Tech Hub American Family Institute for Corporate and Social Impact for making this event possible.
There were many notable events last week that featured tech, entrepreneurship and networking. Several of which were in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I was able to attend the “Hack the Dream” event Hosted by i.c.Stars. and had an amazing time!
Hack the Dream was an incredible event that aimed to highlight the work of the Office of Violence Prevention and bring non-profits and technologist in the city together to ideate solutions for the city’s problems. I had the opportunity to participate in the pitch contest and thoroughly enjoyed my experience.
At the beginning of the event we were greeted by the Mayor who encouraged everyone in the room to continue putting forth efforts to making Milwaukee a tech hub. I was happy to hear him give Jet Constellations Milky Way initiative a shout out! Following a presentation on OVP from director Reggie Moore, representatives of the non-profits were grouped with technologist to quickly develop a solution to a problem presented by the non-profits earlier. I was paired up with Urban Underground to develop a way to leverage technology to communicate stories of disenfranchised people. After about an hour groups pitched their ideas. Judges William CaraherMelanie Cannon BrownAdam Gabornitz & Reggie Moore chose a local grass roots organization, Program the Parks to be the winner!
This was an inspiring event and a great way to spend MLK day. I’m looking forward to participating in similar events in the future.
Yesterday I attended a talk on deep learning and genomics by Pi-Chauan Chang, a software engineer at Google. Pi-Chauan gave a high level overview of deep learning and how her team formulates a problem in genomics to successfully apply deep learning techniques. She also discussed DeepVariant – a software built by Google to enable community efforts to progress genomic sequencing.
What is deep learning?:
Deep Learning is a subfield of machine learning concerned with algorithms inspired by the structure and function of the brain called artificial neural networks.
Deep learning is playing a huge role in advancements in genomic research such as high processing of sequencing techniques. This information era where we continue to be presented with an outpouring of data has truly began to challenge conventional methods used in genomics. While deep learning has succeeded in a variety of fields such as vision, speech, and text processing it is now presented with the unique challenge of helping us to explore beyond our current knowledge to interpret the genome.
Pi-Chauan Chang shared that genome sequencing is a core technology in biology.. It allows us to ask how can we personalize medicine based on genome?
What is a Genome?:
A genome is an organism’s complete set of genetic instructions. Each genome contains all of the information needed to build that organism and allow it to grow and develop.
There are 23 chromosome we inherent from our parents.
Most of our DNA is similar.. 99.9% of our DNA are the same– this makes us human..
Its the .1 pecent that makes us unique.
The Human Genome Project was a milestone of genome sequencing . This was the massive international collaboration to map the complete human genome. This project outputted a genome dictionary ~ 3.2 million characters.
A decade ago it was expensive to sequence people..now it cost ~$1000 to sequence an individual. This creates much opportunity for precision medicine.
There is, however, a trade off.
The new sequencing technology has errors! From blood draw computational biologists get raw data(characters of ACTG) which are really short snippets of the whole genome.. much like puzzle pieces. They try to map the puzzle pieces but are faced having to find the variants.
Variant calling is the process by which we identify variants from sequence data.
Typically variant calling consist of a three step process:
Carry out whole genome or whole exome sequencing to create FASTQ files.
Align the sequences to a reference genome, creating BAM or CRAM files.
Identify where the aligned reads differ from the reference genome and write to a VCF file.
The audience was informed that it is pretty common that computational biologists regularly inspect genomic data..
The question at hand is can we teach machines to perform the same task? Can we teach a machine to detect the variants?
This is where deep learning steps in.
DeepVariant is a deep learning technology to reconstruct the true genome sequence from HTS(high-throughput sequencing) sequencer data with significantly greater accuracy than previous classical methods. DeepVariant transforms the task of variant calling, as this reconstruction problem is known in genomics, into an image classification problem well-suited to Google’s existing technology and expertise.
DeepVariant is now an open source software to encourage collaboration and to accelerate the use of this technology to solve real world problems!
Yesterday I attended Grace Hopper’s inaugural PitcHer contest. The goal of this pitch competition is to support, encourage, and provide new funding opportunities to women entrepreneurs. The top ten finalist competed for a grand total of $65,000. I was elated to find that the first place prize went to my personal favorite, Shakeia Kegler. Her business idea accompanied by her amazing stage presence sealed the deal! After chatting with her at the end of the event it was clear that she is a brilliant and down to earth woman with much to offer to the startup community. I was lucky enough to get a selfie with her at the end of the event! I’d love to invite her to Startup Milwaukee Week this year or next! Below are bios/business summaries of the winners.
Shakeia Kegler – First Place!
Shakeia Kegler is from Saint Petersburg, Florida, and is the eldest of five girls. After graduating from high school in 2011, she joined the U.S. Navy. While enlisted, she gained experience in purchasing, compliance, and quality assurance while earning a bachelor’s degree in business management and her Lean Six Sigma Certifications.
After her honorable discharge, Shakeia worked as a compliance and contract specialist in the government, contracting department of a pharmaceutical company. Her experience in both the Navy and government led her to found GovLia in 2017. GovLia is a cloud-based platform that simplifies state and local government procurement processes to help increase small business participation in order to foster economic opportunity and growth for diverse companies and communities.
Hannah Meyer – Second Place
As COO of Pie for Providers, Hannah builds tools that aim to measurably and significantly strengthen small childcare businesses and empower the entrepreneurs that operate them. She is committed to not only building a profitable and scalable business, but doing so in a way that leads to better outcomes for women business owners, parents, children, and their communities.
Hannah holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and was awarded the Tarrson Fellowship for social entrepreneurs by the University of Chicago. She was also a Summer Associate at Ashoka in the Social Financial Services Department. Prior to coming to the University of Chicago, Hannah earned an MPPA from Northwestern University.
Charu Sharma – Third Place
Charu Sharma is the Founder & CEO of NextPlay.ai. While working at LinkedIn, Charu started a mentorship program for women at the company as a passion project. This eventually inspired her to start NextPlay and to create meaningful mentorship relationships, especially for women and underrepresented minorities. NextPlay’s investors and advisors include 500 Startups, LinkedIn’s SVP Engineering, Techcrunch’s former CEO, and Microsoft’s former Chief Design Officer.
Companies like Square, Lyft, Asurion, and Splunk use the NextPlay mobile app to build sticky and measurable mentorship programs. After six months of using NextPlay’s app, mentees felt that their preparedness to achieve their goals at their companies had doubled, and mentors reported that they significantly developed their critical leadership and coaching skills. Collectively, the number of employees who strongly recommended working for their companies increased by 25%.
Charu previously built two startups. She has educated one million women on how to start their own businesses through her nonprofit, books, and documentary film “Go Against the Flow.”
Samantha J. Letscher – Audience Favorite
Sam Letscher is the Co-founder and CEO of Bossy, a platform that connects feminist consumers with women-owned businesses to drive revenue to women entrepreneurs. She launched Bossy in Chicago in the spring of 2017 while pursuing her bachelor’ degree in Integrated Engineering Studies at Northwestern University.
Sam is inspired by products, services, experiences, brands, and workplaces built by women, for women, and from which women profit. She is now a recent college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in human-centered design and entrepreneurship.
Sam lives in Chicago where she is building and bootstrapping Bossy while working part-time in local politics. She strives to always stay curious and optimistic.
Its important to not only be consumers of technology but producers as well.
“A new study released Friday sheds light on this issue. The State of Black America 2018, a report published annually by the National Urban League, compares how black and white people fare in a number of areas, including housing, economics, education, social justice, and civic engagement.
This year’s report pays particular attention to black Americans’ access to jobs in the tech industry and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. The study reveals that while black people are one of the racial groups most likely to use smartphones and have created thriving communities on platforms like Twitter, those high rates of usage haven’t translated into employment.”