As you read this, Udacity’s Intersect 2017 conference is officially happening! The event has been sold out for weeks. Hundreds of people are filling every available space in Mountain View’s Computer History Museum, a fitting location for this historic occasion. More than 30,000 people are joining via the event livestream. A remarkable day is planned, with keynote speeches, panel discussions, breakout sessions, and an employer showcase.
Two New Nanodegree Programs
Among the many exciting things taking place are some very important announcements from Udacity. To begin, we are debuting not one, but two new Nanodegree programs!
Each breaks significant new ground for Udacity, and together these programs fully embody the theme of our conference: Learning for the Jobs of Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond.
Intersect 2017 takes place on March 8, 2017, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. All conference attendees are invited to attend the Employer Showcase, which will be open from 1-4pm PST. The Employer Showcase is a key part of our Intersect 2017 conference, and in this post, we’re going to walk you through what it is, why it’s important, and provide suggestions for how to get the most from your experience.
I remember the day my boss told me I would never be an engineer. I was sitting on an itchy gray wool sofa in a glass-walled conference room, hands under my knees, eyes on the floor. I looked up startled at the words: “You want to be an engineer, don’t you? Well, you’re never going to be one.” The possibility had actually never crossed my mind, which made the accusation more intriguing than insulting, so I just laughed and shrugged it off. Looking back, I see the young woman on that couch. And while I hardly recognize her, I know now that she is a future engineer.
Our goal for Intersect 2017 is to make this conference one of the most valuable experiences of your life and career. We want to support every attendee’s commitment to lifelong learning and the pursuit of rewarding employment to the full measure of our abilities.
To that end, we’ve focused very closely on selecting speakers that we know will deliver genuine value and inspiration. We want every guest to be moved, lifted, and motivated by the words and ideas on offer.
This is why we are so excited to have Dr. Steve Abrams as one of our speakers!
Our Intersect 2017 conference is but a few weeks away now, and as we draw closer to the big event, we continue to think through the implications of the theme we’ve chosen: Learning for the Jobs of Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond. As detailed in a previous post, we’ve found ourselves thinking quite a bit about our Self-Driving Car Nanodegree program students in particular, as in many ways their paths seem emblematic of what this theme is all about, especially the “jobs of tomorrow” part.
As it turns out, however, Self-Driving Cars as an employment field is very much a “jobs of today” space, as evidenced by how many of our current students are already finding jobs! We’re honored to highlight a number of these stories and share them with you, and today we feature Caleb Kirksey.
A passion for learning has informed the life and career of Dr. Ashwin Ram for nearly 30 years. He wrote his Ph.D. dissertation at Yale on “Question-Driven Understanding.” He has co-authored books on “Goal-Driven Learning” and “Computational Models of Reading.” He has founded startups focused on social learning and artificial intelligence. He is currently Senior Manager of AI Science for Alexa, the intelligent agent that powers Amazon Echo and other devices. He leads the Alexa Prize, a $2.5M student competition to advance Conversational AI.
Is it any wonder we’re ecstatic to have him as a speaker for Intersect 2017?
When we chose Learning for the Jobs of Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond as our Intersect 2017 conference theme, we were thinking about the journey from learning to a job at a fairly high level, as we wanted to embrace something that would resonate through every aspect of the conference.
Once the planning stages were largely behind us, we were able to really start looking at the meaning of this theme at eye-level, and thinking about what it means to each individual student.
We found ourselves in particular thinking about our Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program students, as in many ways they are preparing themselves for an industry that is still in the imagination stages! Self-driving cars are coming. We know this, as do our students. But the roles they’re now preparing for truly are the jobs of tomorrow.
Or are they?