11/5/2014– Kwyn Meagher
I’m Kwyn, aka HarleyKwyn, from Sunnyvale, CA, the original Silicon Valley. Unlike the majority of the Technical Machine crew, I do not hail from Olin College and instead graduated from University of California, Merced’s Materials Science and Engineering program with an emphasis in nano-technology.
Specializing in carbon nano materials, I fabricated graphene transistors and simulated nanoscale organic photovoltaic cells using MatLab, and COMSOL. I spent the majority of my time programming simulations, which I enjoyed. However, I did not enjoy the constant uphill battle of submitting lengthy proposals. Proposal writing took up half my time and it was a gamble whether or not they would get funded. When funding was awarded it was frequently less than we needed to run our experiments. This led me to enroll in Hack Reactor once I realized the sad state of academia as a whole. So instead of climbing the ivory tower, I’ve joined the ranks of the Technical Machine team.
While at Hack Reactor as a student and Hacker in Residence (Hack Reactor’s equivalent of a graduate program), I did a variety of projects. The first project I tackled with a group of other engineers was competing in a Kaggle competition to classify galaxies, leveraging the power of a supercomputer to give us an upper hand since none of my team had done machine learning before or written a lick of code in python. I’m proud to say that we beat out university teams in the two weeks that we spent on the project.
With my background in machine learning and research, it’s surprising that I originally took a strictly front-end position at Uber right after finishing Hack Reactor. I did a short stint there before I had coffee and a conversation with Jon. After our conversation it was obvious to me that my heart really belonged to Technical Machine and Tessel. My varied background in nano-engineering, teaching, and web engineering, lent me a special mix of skills that fit well with Technical Machine’s mission.
I’ve been attracted to mentoring students–historically in physics, nano-engineering and software engineering, though that’s just the beginning. I take great pleasure in teaching and learning from others so I hope to see you all in the future at conferences, hack-a-thons and meetups. Stoked to be part of this amazing team and look forward to working with all of you via twitter and the forums. Feel free to reach out to me on twitter @HarleyKwyn or via e-mail at kwyn [at] technical.io