Intel® Black Belt Software Developers, Intel® Software Innovators, & Intel® Student Ambassadors: July 2017

Intel® Developers and Innovators were busy over the last month! Here’s an update on what the Intel® Software Innovators, Intel® Black Belt Software Developers, and Intel® Student Ambassadors were up to around the globe.


Intel Global IoT Devfest June 2017

This two-day online conference provided a platform for IoT developers around the world to connect, learn, and grow. It offered one-on-one mentoring sessions with experts, and a question-and-answer forum. The 45 talks from IoT experts and innovators including Ron Evans, Arun Magesh, Silviu-Tudor Serban, Chris Matthieu, Peter Ma, and Gaston Hillar, are available for replay.

Intel First Retail IoT Event

Raghavendra Ural led the event with the support from Black Belt Software Developer Abhishek Nandy and Innovators Sourav Lahoti, and Pooja Baraskar. Representatives from several start-up companies attended the workshop, which highlighted how to use Intel® architecture in IoT retail. Abhishek wrote up a recap for the event. 


Martin Foertsch & Thomas Endres talked about their new HoloComm project at Big TechDay 10. Which is a holographic application using the Microsoft* Hololens. A person is filmed by a 3D camera like the Intel® RealSense™ camera and the point cloud of this person is segmented and then sent to the Hololens where it is reconstructed and shown as a 3D mesh. So it is some kind of a 3D video conferencing application - like the Jedi council in the Star Wars films. They also showcased demos of an arcade bird shooter game. At DWX Developer Week and Hack & Make they showcased their Avatar telepresence system using Nao* robot, Oculus* Rift, Intel® RealSense™ technology, and Intel® IoT Gateway as well as Genuino 101* technology. Martin & Thomas were interviewed on German national television (ARD), which had viewing figures of 620.000 for the respective show (They are shown at minute 12:50). They were also interviewed in two newspapers: the Narnberger Nachrichten (with circulation of 246k) and the Narnberger Zeitung (with circulation of 30k), as well as an online interview for Presseportal which has 1.8M unique visitors per month.

Abhishek Nandy presented the Intel® Deep Learning SDK and PyDAAL at ‘A Day with Intel’. He also helped to support the Women in Technology Kolkata meetup and the first Intel IoT Retail Workshop in Bangalore. Suresh Kumar Gunasekaran & George Christopher posted a video of their Intel Smart Jar project. Andre Carlucci had new downloads of his SharpSenses project and 238 downloads of his OpenRealSense Library project. He also wrote an article about his Smart Mirror project which had 5662 views. Marco Dal Pino attended Connected Ability Hack and participated as an “Ask the Expert”, mentoring and assisting the team participating in the hackathon.

Andre Karpov wrote an article about how the Unreal Engine continues to develop as new code is added and previously written code is changed. What is the inevitable consequence of ongoing development in a project? The emergence of new bugs in the code that a programmer wants to identify as early as possible. One of the ways to reduce the number of errors is the use of a static analyzer like PVS-Studio. Moreover, the analyzer is not only evolving, but also constantly learning to look for new error patterns, some of which are discussed in this article.

Dick Brown participated in an undergraduate research team, mentoring two students throughout the month of June on two projects.  The students are leading an effort to continue work on a senior capstone project to replicate the computational results of a Chinese research team, which used Intel® Xeon Phi™ processors to speed up a Smith Waterman multi-sequence genomic alignment algorithm. This work is taking place on local Phi-equipped systems provided by Intel.  Their effort to more completely replicate the Chinese team's results is scientifically significant in itself; and the team seeks to proceed to extend the original authors' results using additional Code Modernization and HPC techniques in July.  A second project by one of the students is developing a teaching module that would introduce students to work-span analysis of parallel algorithms, for use in undergraduate courses such as Algorithms or Parallel/Distributed Computing, or for other courses or projects.


Asia Pacific

Ibnu Sinu Wardy talked about what’s new on AI and Android* from I/O 2017 at the June Dev Tech Talk and at IO Extended Surabaya. Karthik MU did an Introduction to Thingsboard IoT Gateway lab; Thingsboard is an open-source IoT platform that enables rapid development, management, and scaling of IoT applications. Prajyot Mainkar participated in the Hands on with Intel’s IoT workshop at Intel® June Day 2017.

Manisha Biswas hosted the first Women in Technology, Kolkata meetup to develop an ecosystem in Kolkata where women can learn, explore, and share their experiences. Read more about this monthly event here.

Sofian Hadijiwaya attended Teknopolis, a pop-up conference about building successful startups and also attended the Kopdar Python ID meetup. Adam Ardisasmita gave a talk to students at Bekraf Game Prime about how to start your career in the game industry. This event is a pre-event for the biggest game dev conference in Indonesia. Rendra Toro spoke about TensorFlow and how to do the best implementation to make it as production services at the GDG Surabaya I/O Extended event, and also gave an ID Android Dev Talk, all about Android on Google I/O, discussing how to implement Tensorflow on Android by using optimization and binary to the API.

Pablo Farias Navarro had 108 new enrollments in The Complete VR Game Development Course, which covers the development of 15 VR games with Unity on both desktop and mobile VR platforms with over 30 hours of content. He also had 164 new enrollments in his Intro to VR Game Development 2-hour course that covers the development of a simple VR game with Unity. Pablo also gave a workshop on using 360 content in VR experiences with Unity at VR Hackathon Brisbane and participated as a mentor for the weekend helping different teams complete a VR experience. He also ran a 6-hour training session for computer teachers covering the basics of game development and mobile development with the Phaser* framework; you can view the first hour of the workshop here.

South America

Pedro Kayatt demoed virtual reality for ZenDesk clients, managers from industry and other big companies at ZenDesk Presents. He also was on a panel discussion about Digital and Tabletop games to spread the experiences from ex-students from POLI to current students at POLI Talks. Pedro also attended the Brazilian Independent Game Festival (BIG), the largest Indie game festival in Brazil where he had 4 PC booths showing VR for the community.

At the StartSe - HealthTech Conference, Paulo Gurgel Pinheiro, showcased Wheelie, the face controlled wheelchair that uses Intel RealSense and AI, and a 3D monitoring system for patients in ICUs. He also spoke to an audience of doctors of all specialties, health professionals and entrepreneurs about how he uses Intel RealSense technology and AI to provide solutions in the healthcare area.

Nelson Glauber gave a “World of Android Animations” presentation about Android* animations in GDG Sao Paulo Meetup

United States

Peter O’Hanlon gave the first of a series of talks on the use of Machine Learning for trading applications at the Morgan Stanley tech forums. Stacy Wylie provided mentoring and instruction at GDG Dallas – CodeLabs. She also now a Mentor for Google Developer Groups for the Southern United States and Puerto Rico in addition to being a GDG organizer and Women Techmakers Lead for Dallas. Jesse Banks hosted his regular Lumina Lab Night; an open maker space for people to work on their own projects. This month focused mostly on the CNC laser, soldering Iron, and some Arduino 101* code was developed and explained.

Harsh Verma launched the School Students Mentoring Program at ACM Sacramento Chapter. Mentoring students for academies and pathways – career and college readiness opportunities for every student. ACM National or Chapter members can register and will be provided a survey to select from the different options available. They plan to have a heavy focus on Internet of Things and programming for IoT, including Intel® IoT technologies and plan to partner closely with Intel for the program. One of the other partner sponsoring agencies, Child Welfare Digital Services, a collaboration of California State and local government agencies along with US Digital Services, will be providing the venue for up to 200 attendees to participate in any events they organize. Mentorship possibilities include: guest speakership, informational interviews, resume review, mock interview, workplace tour, job shadow, internships (paid/unpaid), project-based learning. The program will also be coordinated with the Mentor Coordinator Lauren Mechals, Workforce Development Coordinator for Sacramento Employment & Training Agency.

Paul Langdon taught an Intel® Commercial IoT Gateway workshop focusing on using the Intel® NUC and Arduino 101*. At the Microsoft Azure IoT Bootcamp, Paul gave a hands on lab building IoT services in Azure for connected IoT devices. Tim Porter showed how to produce games and innovate with Unity and the new MSI VR backpack on Twitch. He also gave a speech and demo about VR Voice at the VR & Medical Symposium. Omar Barlas exhibited and demoed at Pioneer 500 Startup Event in Vienna, Austria.

Within the company he works for, Isobar, Mike DiGiovani helped coordinate and organize a VR Hackathon. They have a lot of employees interested in VR, but don’t currently have an amount of client projects to support the extremely high level of interest. So he coordinated a weekend hackathon among those interested and he was also the technical lead for the NY office’s team. Over the past few months, he’s been squeezing in time during lunch, after work, to help bring potential teammates from all disciplines up to speed with some tips and techniques for participating in a VR hackathon. This weekend was the culmination of those workshops and talks.  The hackathon started off like a typical hackathon, but after settling in on our project idea and plan, he worked with the developers on his team to teach them how to best work in a team of that size, as well as giving performance tips that related to his team's project idea. They developed an integration strategy that allowed each member to work almost completely independently in their own Unity scenes until the last few hours and they had minimal integration or performance problems.

Kamaljit Chahal participated in a Commercial IoT Workshop in Chicago. David Wang trained Mech engineers to use Intel® Curie™ for their startup prototype robot at a startup session. Vui Nguyen is mentoring an incoming junior studying Computer Science at Columbia University through the Next Scholars program which pairs professional women working in STEM careers with women studying in STEM. At the Next Scholars Career Fair, a virtual career fair, Vui spoke on the Computer Science panel, discussing her career in Computer Science, including my work in IoT (as an Intel® Software Innovator) and as an iOS mobile developer. The purpose of the speaker panels is to inspire the mentees in the program who may be interested in pursuing careers in those fields.

Daniel Whitenack gave a workshop on productionizing Julia-based ML pipelines and presented a lightning talk in which he deployed a distributed ML pipeline across a cluster at JuliaCon. At the Spark Summit he co-presented a talk about fully reproducible machine learning pipelines including a demo using Spark, MLeap, and Pachyderm in a production scale pipeline. At the Go Meetup in NYC, Daniel gave a workshop on machine learning with Go and building production scale data pipelines for ML. The workshop was hands on and all the participants deployed an ML pipeline to predict diabetes progression. At the Metis San Francisco Meetup he gave a talk on reproducibility in the context of Data Science and the talk was live-streamed to other Metis locations.

Ritik Patnaik attended Stanford’s Bio-X Science Day 2017, where Stanford's Bioengineering Department presented demos of projects being worked on in its various labs and guests were invited to speak with the labs on their research and to even play around with their demos. The Prakash Lab (featured in the picture with Ritik), for example, allowed guests to try out their Foldoscope, a microscope made of origami for less than a dollar, and explained how Frugal Science is an effect of their curiosity-driven research.

Lilli Szafranski had a smaller Stoicheia installation on display at the 2017 Portland Lights Trade Show & Conference, talked about it and the Portland Winter Lights Festival. At the ‘What the Festival’ held at Wolfun Ranch, she had the smaller Stoicheia installation on display and also a larger, new installation – an interactive gazebo called Axis Mundi with ~5,000 LED’s and a tablet kaleidoscope.

Peter Ma demoed his Vehicle Rear Vision at the O’Reilly AI Conference Intel® Day Zero event. This finished Intel® Early Innovation Project uses Intel® Joule™ technology, Intel® RealSense™ camera, and Walabot* along with computer vision to detect what’s behind the vehicle, such as a dog or child to ensure the user is backing up safely. Also, Peter’s Smart City Air Monitor project was just selected as part of China-US Young Maker 2017 semi-finalist and also won “Best in China” award at Walabot contest (where he won a maxed out Macbook Pro!). Smart City Air Monitor uses air quality sensors attached to the vehicle to monitor the air quality throughout the city. This idea originally came from Pigeon Air Patrol, where they use pigeons to monitor air quality in London. He believes that using our own cars would have much better results.  It previously has won 2016 AT&T Shape Hackathon, 2017 AT&T Real Time Data Challenge. The updated version of Smart City Air Monitor is coming soon where it solely relies on Intel® Curie™ technology and solar power. At the Sino-US Incubator & Accelerator Summit, Peter gave a pitch on Grindbit to investors and developers, mostly from China, that focus on investing in IoT Technology, which led to them invited Peter to demo at Dalian next month.


Paolo Moro talked about IoT and VR at a meeting for innovative solutions called “China and Taiwan: a market to be run through innovation”. He demoed the MSI VR One with the app he is building for his project. In collaboration with Fenice Green Energy Park, Paolo has set up an Arduino 101* Software Programming Lab called “Alternation” for 30 Bulgarian students of an electro-technical institute with the main purpose of explaining some functions of Arduino 101* with guided programming exercise. The 5 hours done so far have created a high interest and involvement from the students.

Marco Minerva supported attendees with their questions about UWP, IoT, Azure, Cognitive Services and development in general at Connected Ability Milan 2017.  Pascal van Kooten showed his Neural Complete project, a neural network that learns to auto complete “neural network code” at a machine learning conference. Fabrizio Lapiello gave an inspirational talk for startups on IoT and its use in smart cities at Napoli Startup Weekend.

Matteo Valoriani talked about holograms in the real world, giving a real use case for HoloLens, at 3D/Mixed Reality Day @ Microsoft House Meetup. He lectured on the use of a face scanner combined with mixed reality at Digital Dentistry. And at AIO – 9th International Congress, he talked about how to use mixed reality to improve dentistry practices. At Industry 4.0 & AgileIoT, Matteo talked about how to combine cognitive services and how to create a HoloLens application.

Justin Shenk was interviewed for a promotional video regarding the Institute of Cognitive Science

Institute of Cognitive Science promotional video. He also introduced cloud computing for AI applications to a group of machine learning students at Cloud Computing Workshop. Liang Wang submitted a research paper about OWL which was accepted by the OCAML workshop. Mzwahke Besho is working on a water-saving project that reduces cold water wasted while waiting for hot water in the tap.

Zayen Chagra has developed SparkXamarin, a library as part of a larger project. The project prototype is an IoT device based on Cisco* Spark technology, and the library, the essential part of the project, makes developers use Cisco Spark to communicate as a step to integrate it in the project that will see light before the end of July.

Johnny Chan helped update the GitHub lecture notes for a Stanford AI course (CS231n Convolutional Neural Networks for Visual Recognition) - pull request was approved and merged. He also published Amazon* Alexa Skills now available in the Amazon store (open-sourced code on GitHub is linked): “Mind the Gap” which is about London Tube Trivia, “What the Pet”, a pet recommendation game, “UK Towns”, a UK Town to Country Mapping Tool. Johnny wrote a post to help students on transitioning from legacy Python 2.x/Keras 1.x environment to state-of-the-art Python 3.x/Keras 2.x environment. He also wrote a post on Stackoverflow about common Alexa problems and solutions as Alexa often breaks down whenever it encounters missing values in utterance “slots”, Johnny provides a fairly robust/pragmatic (code) solution to remediate the issue. 

Roberto Diaz Morales’ project, LIBIRWLS, is an integrated library that makes use of a parallel implementation of the Iterative Re-Weighted Least Squares (IRWLS) procedure for solving the quadratic programming (QP) problem that arises during the training of Support Vector Machines (SVMs).

Robots are becoming an increasingly ubiquitous part of our society, providing help with a wide array of tasks such as cleaning our homes, delivering room service or guiding us to our departure gate at the airport. The adoption of robot solutions is becoming a sensible choice, if not a priority, for an increasing number of businesses. Silviu-Tudor Serban’s project, ASTRO, is a versatile robot designed to improve productivity and safety in the workplace. Its name is an acronym for Assistance, Safety and Telepresence Robot Officemate. Andrei Nistor is assisting on the ASTRO project, as well as the HELIOS Vision project that aids people with sight disability using the Intel RealSense and a VR headset to enhance their vision and allow for remote assistance. At DevTalks Bucharest, Silviu was on both the Using AI to decipher BigData generated by IoT panel and the Disruptive technologies panel and he also did a booth demo and presentation at Viva Technology in Paris. 


Intel® AI Academy DevJam: Held in NYC during the O’Reilly AI Summit, Student Ambassadors Pallab Paul, Panuwat Janwattanapong, Srivignessh Pacham Sri Srinivasan, and Tejeswar Tadi participated in the Student Ambassador Forum Presentation, a Poster Session, and a QA Academic Insights on AI Panel. Watch an interview of Pallab Paul at the event.

Emmanual Faleye created his project, Ubuntu hello, which involves making facial recognition software to authenticate the user of the computer in Ubuntu and also his ECG Reading AI project where he is working on an AI algorithm to help doctors interpret ECGs. Gilbert Kigen gave a session of demos and training on the utilization of the Intel® Deep Learning SDK at a code lab.

As part of an early innovation project, Jacob Dabrowski and his teammates, Pallab Paul & Tejeswar Tadi, are working on their Face It project, which is an app that recommends hair and beard style using facial structure and other personal characteristics. It then gives these recommendation on the users face showing recommended styles on a 360 degree filter. They have so far developed a UI and now we are learning how to incorporate machine learning and facial recognition in to the app which you can read about in their Week 2 updates, Week 4 updates, and Week 6 updates. Jacob also wrote up a recap from attending the VivaTech conference in Paris.

Ngesa Marvin gave a speakership on Deep Learning, Embedded AI and how to leverage Artificial Intelligence at both Intel® AI Workshops in Mombasa & Nyeri, Kenya. He explained how AI will help make sense of all the new real time data being generated by the millions of new smart sensors connected by the Internet of Things. I also talked about the Intel Deep Learning Training Tool and gave a demo on how to install and use it, to visually set up, tune, and train the MNIST dataset on Caffe optimized for Intel architecture. At Google I/O Extended, Ngesa also gave a speakership on the interesting AI and IoT Tools released/demonstrated during Intel’s Google I/O Day Zero. This included how use of Intel IoT and AI technologies can seamlessly work with Google technologies like Google Assistant to in turn add value to normal non- tech things like a mirror.

Nikhil Murthy gave a talk at Intel Kid's Day regarding the use of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning in the context of robotics to the general public, with an emphasis on the FIRST robotics program, aimed at middle school and high school students. Along with his talk he gave demos of working Deep Learning models, and conducted a workshop. Nikhil also provided Deep Learning Training 101 & 102 to Intel employees to create a base of knowledge around deep learning (DL) at Intel. With a specific emphasis on deep learning applications, the training also covered important concepts in DL, details surrounding training deep networks, and the exploration of new DL topics.

Alfred Ongere did a one-day Intel Deep Learning SDK workshop at the Technical University of Mombasa bringing the local developer community together to experience talks, in-depth product demos and conversations around Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. It aimed to get students excited on ML and AI and get to know how Intel is supporting its advancement. I joined Chris Barsolai and Ngesa Marvin, Intel Student Ambassadors from Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, in handling the different sessions during the day. 


In the Software Engineering Daily Podcast, Liz Chapman from Bloomberg talked about the hackathon experience and Peter Ma was the center topic. The podcast gave a pretty detailed insight on how the hackathon community is and the Intel® Software Innovator program was mentioned.

Intel Black Belt Software Developers, Suresh Kumar G and George Christopher were featured in the Times of India yesterday for their hard work as they went from IT Majors, to Startups, to servicing Fortune 100 companies.  

Want to learn more?

You can read about our innovator updates, get the full Innovator program overview, meet the innovators and learn more about innovator benefits. We also encourage you to learn more about our Black Belt Software Developer program as well as our Student Ambassador program. Also check out Developer Mesh to learn more about the various projects that our community of innovators are working on.

Interested in more information? Contact  Wendy Boswell on Twitter.

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