Community, Connection, and Student Success at Intersect 2018

Student Success - Udacity - Intersect 2018

Intersect 2018 was many things, but above all else, it was a celebration of our extraordinary students. Shiza Shahid perhaps summed it up best, when she tweeted these words after leaving the stage to a standing ovation following her keynote speech:

“The best education I receive is from conversations with people living lives entirely different from my own. Thank you Udacity, for the opportunity to speak at Udacity Intersect with your inspirational learners! May we all embrace the intention of becoming lifelong learners.”

Every second of the conference shone a light on our students—not just what they’ve achieved so far, but also what they’re going to accomplish next. Every conversation, from the most informal to the most professional, was pregnant with a sense of potential. The energy running through the halls, across the stages, up and down the stairs, was transformative—people were literally alive to the experience of being together, and feeling one another’s strength, and conviction.

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Udacity at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference

Udacity’s Robotics and AI teams present “Learning Robotics on the Jetson TX2”—an opportunity to build a robot, and use reinforcement learning to make it perform!


Udacity - NVIDIA - Robotics - Lights Out Robot

Members of Udacity’s Robotics and AI teams were invited to present a session at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference on Wednesday. The session, entitled “Learning Robotics on the Jetson TX2,” provided attendees with the opportunity to actually wire up and run a real robot! Here’s the official session description:

Learning Robotics on the Jetson TX2

Are you ready to learn how to use your Jetson TX2 for robotics applications? Join AI and Robotics instructors from Udacity in this lab which will teach you how to get started using your TX2 to apply AI to your robotics application. You will get the chance to build a simple “Lights Out” robot that will use reinforcement learning to push buttons and turn out corresponding LEDs. We will cover how to wire up, program, and run the robot. Additionally, we will discuss the basics of applied reinforcement learning.

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Announcements from Intersect 2018

Announcements from Intersect 2018

As world-changing new technologies continue to emerge and develop, each with the potential to advance our world in ways we can hardly yet imagine, Udacity’s mission to deliver the best learning experience possible for every aspiring learner on the planet takes on a new depth of purpose, and a greater breadth of focus.

Announcements at Intersect 2018

When Udacity CEO Vish Makhijani took the Intersect 2018 stage to welcome attendees to the conference, he had exciting Udacity news to share. He highlighted new and expanded industry partnerships—and the creation of the KUKA Udacity Robot Learning Lab at KIT—that will enable our global robotics students to run their code on real robots in a real robotics lab. He introduced Udacity Universe, a large-scale simulated world where students can move beyond single-vehicle autonomy, and start exploring systems thinking, fleet management, and smart city planning. He presented the new School of AI, which offers a comprehensive learning experience covering everything from Python programming and algorithm fundamentals to computer vision and natural language processing specializations. And he announced the launch of a new WeChat Nanodegree Program where students can master the skills to build “mini-programs” on the WeChat platform. Tencent will provide 1 million RMB in scholarship funds for students in China who wish to take this program.

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Udacity Alumni VIP Event at The Google Garage

Scenes From The Alumni VIP Intersect 2018 Pre-Event at The Google Garage!

Sebastian Thrun addresses Udacity Alumni VIPs at The Google Garage
Sebastian Thrun addresses Udacity Alumni VIPs at The Google Garage

It’s 4:30 pm on a sunny Northern California afternoon. I’ve just arrived on the Google Campus, and as you might expect, it’s bustling with busses, share bikes, and pedestrians. In one grassy courtyard made especially beautiful by a playfully percolating fountain, white tent tops catch the sunlight as the shadow line slowly approaches. This is my destination.

4:45 pm

People are starting to congregate, and the low hum of conversation is subtly rising in volume. The individuals gathered are members of Udacity’s Alumni community, here to experience an incredible Alumni VIP event on the eve of Intersect 2018.

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Building An App That Can Save Lives

Melinda Kostenszki and her team of Google Developer Scholarship recipients used their Udacity learning experience to build the BloodDroid app!

Udacity -BloodDroid -App That Can Save Lives

Melinda Kostenszki is a quintessential lifelong learner. Not only that, she has a knack for surrounding herself with other individuals who share similar traits. Lifelong learners are proactive. They don’t just wait for opportunities; they create success for themselves. They may suffer doubts about their own potential just like anyone; but then they push themselves to get the skills they need. Lifelong learners don’t fade away when faced with challenges, they remain the protagonists in their own life stories.

Above all else, they keep learning.

Melinda is part of a team of Hungarian students who earned Android Developer Nanodegree program scholarships through the Google Developer Scholarship initiative. As you’ll see, they are a relentless group of lifelong learners; so much so they didn’t even wait until graduation to put their newfound developer skills to the test. They pushed themselves beyond expectations, and created something spectacular as a result.

This is how they did it.

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The Road to Intersect: Trae Vassallo Talks Data and Social Good

Get yourself on The Road to Intersect, and purchase your ticket today!

Trae Vassallo - Udacity - The Road to Intersect - Data - Social Good

Trae Vassallo has a fascinating and diverse background—from engineer to entrepreneur to investor—and this affords her a unique perspective on what the future holds for innovative creators, and gives her the singular ability to see into all corners of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Today, Trae is Co-founder & Managing Director of, an early stage venture capital firm, and as such, she has the ability to directly impact what new ideas will reach the marketplace. Her company is expressly devoted to teams who desire to “defy the ordinary” and that are “focusing on big ideas, underserved markets, and hard challenges.”

Is it any wonder we’re so excited to have Trae as a distinguished speaker for Intersect 2018?

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The Road To Intersect: Aline Lerner Talks About Increasing Diversity In Tech

Get your Intersect 2018 tickets today, this event is almost sold out!

The Road to Intersect - Udacity - Aline Lerner

Udacity conferences, like so many aspects of the Udacity experience, are just a little bit … different. For example, all conferences have speakers, and we do as well—Intersect 2018 has an incredible speaker roster—but only at Udacity do the speakers get interviewed before the event, in a self-driving car!

Aline Lerner is the co-founder and CEO of, a hiring platform with a groundbreaking approach that is increasing diversity in tech through anonymized interviews. As recently described in Forbes, “the company matches qualified engineers with jobs at top tech companies including Facebook, Amazon, Uber and Airbnb by ditching resumes and offering live, technical interviews on its platform.”

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