Leading Trends in Information Technology


Our distinguished guest speakers are an intricate part of this class. They are successful and articulate thought leaders who will be presenting their views. Students are encouraged to participate in the class and interact with our guests.

Week 1 (06/29/2018)

Carl Eschenbach

General Partner, Sequoia Capital

“Chris Carl Eschenbach is a General Partner at Sequoia Capital since April 2016 and focuses on infrastructure technologies, cloud and SaaS. Mr. Eschenbach also provides operating expertise to Sequoia's portfolio companies. He serves as a Strategic Advisor at Vmware, Inc. since April 1, 2016. Previous to Sequoia, Carl joined VMware in June 2002 and was the company's President and Chief Operating Officer. Carl Eschenbach previously led VMware's 3,000+ person worldwide field operations team. He was responsible for VMware's global go-to-market strategy, including sales, pre/post-sales engineering, VMware's Value Added Reseller channel and VMware's technology partnerships. In total, Carl has more than 24 years of experience in the high tech industry covering all aspects of technology including infrastructure software, networking, telephony, and storage. Prior to joining VMware, Carl was Vice President of North America Sales at Inktomi. He has also held various sales management positions with 3Com, EMC and Lucent Technologies.

Week 2 (07/06/2018)

Dean Paron

Director of Product Management, Microsoft

Dean Paron Dean Paron is the Director of Azure Storage, Silicon Valley and has worked extensively in cloud and enterprise technologies. Prior to joining Microsoft, Dean was a researcher at Argonne National Laboratory in Electronics and Computing Technologies. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Montse Medina

Co-founder and COO, Jetlore

Montse Medina Montse Medina is a co-founder of Jetlore - real-time merchandise targeting platform for email that powers newsletters of the world's largest retailers. Her role at the company ranges from data mining and building predictive statistical models to business development and operations. Prior to Jetlore, Montse was a Stanford PhD student in Computational and Mathematical Engineering and is a rocket scientist by training.

Week 3 (07/13/2018)

Craig Martell

Head of Science and Engineering: Sales, Company and Product Relevance, LinkedIn

 Craig Martell Craig Martell is currently the Head of Science and Engineering: Sales, Company and Product Relevance at LinkedIn. He is also an advisor to Pivotus Ventures, a software company with the mission of changing the banking industry by revolutionizing the way banks talk to their customers. Craig is also a Senior Advisor to the National Laboratory for Education Transformation and Neva.ai, an AI-driven automation for enterprise service management. He was a Professor of Computer Science at the Naval Postgraduate School from 2003 to 2015, and has a Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jeff Welser

Vice President and Lab Director, IBM Research

Jeff Wesler Dr. Jeff Welser oversees scientists and engineers performing exploratory and applied research at the home of the relational database and world's first hard disk drive. Today the lab specializes in areas including: Watson technologies, storage systems, data management and analytics, nanotechnology, materials science, Web 2.0 technologies and IBM Smarter Planet projects, such as healthcare informatics, water desalination and electric car batteries. In his prior position, Dr. Welser was the Director of Strategy and Program Development for the Accelerated Discovery Lab and simultaneously the Director of Almaden Services Research, managing a portfolio of research into improved business processes, software and technology to enable IBM's Global Business and Technology Services organizations. Jeff joined IBM Research in 1995, working on novel silicon devices at the T.J. Watson Research Center, and served as adjunct professor at Columbia University, teaching semiconductor device physics at the same time.
Dr. Welser received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Jeff holds 21 US Patents and has published over 75 technical papers and presentations. He is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology, an IEEE Fellow, a member of the American Physical Society, and has served on numerous Federal agency and Congressional panels on advanced semiconductor technology.

Richard Rogers

Chief Technology Officer, California Department of Technology

Richard Rogers Richard Rogers is the Chief of the Office of Technology Services at the California Department of Technology, where he has served as deputy director of engineering since 2015. He served in several positions at the California Employment Development Department from 1986 to 2015, including chief of the infrastructure and application services divisions, business applications services supervisor and member of the enterprise architecture team. He graduated from Bachelor's in Science in Computer Science from the California State University Sacramento.

Nick Colsey

VP Business Development, Sony Electronics

Nick ColseyNick Colsey is vice president of Business Development at Sony Electronics. In this role, he works with multiple Sony product categories and divisions to bring the connected user experience to consumers worldwide. A Sony veteran for close to 25 years, Colsey is an integral member of the team responsible for Sony's BRAVIA Internet Video, the world's first smart TV platform, which includes Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and hundreds of other apps and is available worldwide.  
More recently, Colsey was part of the team which introduced the world's first consumer 4K media player and Video Unlimited 4k, the world's first 4K video store with feature films and TV shows.

Week 4 (07/20/2018)

Suja Viswesan

Director of Engineering, LinkedIn

 Suja Viswesan Suja Viswesan heads the Big Data Applications and Platform Organization which is responsible for LinkedIn's MetaData Platform, Data Compliance, A/B testing platform, Tracking and many marketing and sales applications that are used to make key business decisions at LinkedIn. Prior to that, led the Big Data Platform team at LinkedIn. This platform powers products like 'People You May Know', Feed relevance, etc. Some of the open source contributions from the team include, Gobblin, Azkaban, Dr.Elephant, WhereHows. Prior to LinkedIn, led BigInsights Hadoop team, Database teams at IBM. Suja holds an MS in computer Engineering from San Jose State University. Passionate about education, Women in tech and has participated in various panels/talks at Strata Data, DataWorks summit, Girls Who Code, Girl Geek X, and Universities. Outside of work, leads the West Coast Networking chapter of Women In Big Data group and is a board member of an educational charity institution, Pratham USA.

Steve Herrod

Managing Director, General Catalyst and Ex-CTO, VMware

Steve Herrod Steve Herrod is a Managing Director at General Catalyst, a venture capital firm that has managed 8 funds totaling $3.75 Billion since its inception. Prior to General Catalyst, Steve was CTO and senior vice president of R&D at VMware, joining the company in 2001. During that time, he helped built a world-class engineering team with 3,000 people, delivered numerous industry-changing products, and achieved over $4 billion in annual revenue. Steve also played a role in more than 20 acquisitions during that time. In 2009, He was named InfoWorld's CEO of the Year.
Steve holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University, and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Texas, Austin.

Jure Leskovec

Associate Professor, CS Department, Stanford University and Chief Scientist, Pinterest

Jure LeskovecDr. Jure Leskovec currently serves as the Chief Scientist at Pinterest, where he focuses on machine learning problems. Previously he co-founded a machine learning startup Kosei, which was acquired by Pinterest. Jure is also an associate professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where he is also a member of the InfoLab and the AI lab. Jure joined the department in September 2009. 
Prior to Stanford, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University working with Jon Kleinberg and Dan Huttenlocher. Dr. Leskovec completed his PhD in Machine Learning Department, School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University under the supervision of Christos Faloutsos in 2008. He completed his undergraduate degree in computer science at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2004.

Week 5 (07/27/2018)

Milo Werner

Operating Partner, Khosla Ventures

 Milo Werner Milo is the Operating Partner at Khosla Ventures. She specializes in discovering promising new start-ups and taking them from concept to mass production. After spending over a decade heading up new product introduction at Tesla, Fitbit and Off Grid Electric (a Tesla funded start-up reinventing the third world electric grid), she understands what it takes to produce high impact products that "wow" millions of customers. Milo has assembled high-performing engineer teams, led new product strategy, built global supply chains, and launched more than ten game changing consumer products that range from electric vehicles to residential solar-battery systems to smart watches. Milo sits on the board of the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. She is also president of the MIT LGO Alumni association.

Ilya Gelfenbeyn

Head of Google Assistant Investments, Google

Ilya Ilya Gelfenbeyn is the Head of the Google Assistant Investments program. Ilya previously co-founded Dialogflow (formerly known as API.AI), a developer platform for building conversational experiences, and served as its CEO before Google acquired the company in September 2016. Prior to launching API.AI, the company built Assistant.ai, the highest rated independent voice assistant in the world with 40M+ users. Mr. Gelfenbeyn received an M.B.A. degree from Brighton University.

Click here for a list of MS&E238 speakers from previous years