I'll start with the punchline and tell you that I'm looking for cool jobs! Let's talk about cool jobs.
Currently, I'm a mechatronic engineer in the Los Angeles office of Canadian toy giant Spin Master. No, we don't make skate-bearing fidget toys. We make award-winning remote-control toys, fantasy egg simulacra, sophisticated building kits, unsophisticated robot sausages, board games, drinking games, pool games, hypoallergenic games, and an animated TV show with firefighting dogs. There's a million and one different electromechanical challenges to puzzle through each day, and I can't describe how good it feels to see my mark on the toys that hit store shelves. THAT SAID, I am on only a one-year contract at the moment, and I'd happily entertain competing offers for my services come 2018....
I moved to LA from Hong Kong, where I built robots, taught children, and (tried to) influence education policy. I'm an associate with Robot Sapience, Ltd., a small but dedicated group of teachers who travel from school to school to provide hands-on learning opportunities that students otherwise wouldn't have. One of the company's priorities is to study educational policy and the impact it has on students: their happiness, their culture, their opportunities. For my part, I met weekly or twice-weekly with groups of primary school students for international robotics competitions: robot soccer, relay racing, autonomous navigation, and group choreography. In addition, I had the enjoyable role of meta-educator, teaching the other teachers how to use Arduino and open-source electronics, while the company shifts away from expensive commercial offerings. My days were crammed with building cute robots, playing with with kids, interviewing administrators, and thinking about the way we interact with electromechanical systems.
Not long ago, I was a Mechanical Engineering PhD Student at Cornell University. I worked on a Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) combining artificial intelligence, formal logic and natural language processing. The stated objective is to address word-sense disambiguation in human-robot interactions. This is still a topic I love and think about constantly, even though I dropped out in 2015.
Before Cornell, I did my M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia. My focus was robotic systems and controls. I worked in the GRITS Lab under advisor Professor Magnus Egerstedt, making a swarm of coordinated swarm of underactuated microscale robot airships for cool low-cost swarm education in high schools and such.
Prior to moving East, I graduated with honors from Harvey Mudd College with a B.S. in Engineering. To earn a degree in this one-word major, I had to show specific insight in various engineerings: electrical, mechanical, computer, controls, systems, and chemical. These subjects were coupled with an intense humanities curriculum, not to mention materials science, multi-variable calculus, chemistry and physics labs, linear algebra, computer science, and so on.
In my free time, I maintain a comprehensive site for rotisserie cakes, talk about linguistics, and endure a love-hate relationship with 3d printers that always break down.
(I'm the one on top)