PINC Professional Development Lunch

This Tuesday, PINC hosted a Professional Development Lunch with guests Dr. Belle Wei and Dr. Nandita Garud.

Dr. Belle Wei and Dr. Nandita Garud
Dr. Belle Wei and Dr. Nandita Garud

Dr. Belle Wei is the Carolyn Guidry Chair in Engineering Education and Innovative Learning at San Jose State University. She seeks to broaden student participation in engineering and technology education by designing innovative learning programs that promote inclusion of students from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups such as women, African-Americans, and Hispanics. She has also previously served as the Dean of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at San Jose State University and the Provost and VP of Academic Affairs at CSU Chico. She has been a Professor of Electrical Engineering for 29 years.

Dr. Nandita Garud is a population geneticist and a postdoctoral scholar at the Gladstone Institute at UCSF. Her research focuses on understanding adaptation in natural populations. As a Ph.D student at Stanford University, she developed a new statistical method to detect hard and soft selective sweeps from Drosophila population genomic data. She is currently is studying adaptation within the human gut microbiome.

The guests each gave short talks during the lunch hour. Dr. Wei discussed the importance of bringing diverse domains of knowledge into computer science practice by developing interdisciplinary programs such as PINC. Dr. Garud highlighted the essential role of computing in her research on the human gut microbiome. Afterwards, students held round table discussions with our guests and PINC professors Dr. Pleuni Pennings, Dr. Ilmi Yoon, and Dr. Anagha Kulkarni. Students received insight in our guests’ and professors’ experiences with interdisciplinary projects, best practices in learning how to code, and future careers at the interface of biology and computer science.