a Course<img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Josh%20Tyler.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>Josh Tyler wants to help you graduate.</p><p>As executive vice president of engineering at Redwood City, Calif.-based Course Hero, he and his team develop a platform to share crowd-sourced lecture notes, study guides, practice problems, videos <g class="gr_ gr_58 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="58" data-gr-id="58">and</g> other digital resources to supplement classroom instruction and learning. And as their in-house capabilities and technical expertise have expanded, so has the company's mission.</p><p>"We are moving way beyond helping students with homework," Tyler says. "I think we will be able to materially improve graduation <g class="gr_ gr_55 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Punctuation only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="55" data-gr-id="55">rates,</g> and to work on something where that is the outcome is really exciting to me."</p><p>As the adage goes, there are only two options in Silicon Valley: You are growing or dying. Course Hero is in a high-growth mode, moving from a handful of employees a few years ago to about 140 today. It is hiring more senior-level managers, building richer products and investing in artificial intelligence and machine learning to complement its software development. It also recently expanded a fellowship program to support eight outstanding university faculty with a "genius grant."</p><p>Tyler, too, has embraced change and growth in his own life since graduating from Washington University nearly 20 years ago. He made the move from the Midwest to northern California, jumped from robotics startups to a company focused on education and, most recently, took a turn as Course Hero's chief people officer — in charge of human resources and strategic planning  — before returning to lead its software engineering department.</p><p>Tyler joined Course Hero in 2014 as vice president of engineering. He built upon his experience in management and sharpened the people skills necessary to lead a large group of developers. The following year he even wrote a book on the subject, "Building Great Software Engineering Teams: Recruiting, Hiring, and Managing Your Team from Startup to Success."</p><p>When offered the opportunity in 2016 to become the company's first chief people officer, Tyler saw a way to influence not only a team of employees but the whole enterprise. He stepped into the role for about a year, and although he realized he thrived best as an engineer on the technical side of things, he has been able to apply many lessons of that HR experience to his current role.</p><blockquote>"As I helped other people develop their departments and figure out what was and wasn't working, I learned I needed to do the same thing within engineering in terms of developing our team's portfolio of technical skills, people management skills, communication and recruiting," Tyler says.</blockquote><p>"At one time I thought building out the next level of leadership would involve finding other people like me because my skill set worked for me. But I've learned I need people who challenge me and make us a better team together. Finding the right balance in the core leadership team is important."</p><p>Tyler says much of his adaptability traces back to the rigorous and entrepreneurial approach to <g class="gr_ gr_54 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="54" data-gr-id="54">problem solving</g> he first developed as a student at Washington University.</p><p>Tyler left his home state of Michigan to attend college in St. Louis after visiting the WashU campus and finding the faculty and staff to be remarkably accessible. He had an interest in hard science and intended to major in physics. But with some faculty encouragement, he took Computer Science 101 and quickly changed course. He earned a bachelor of science degree in applied science with a major in computer science in 1999.</p><p>"I loved learning the math that goes into how computers work and the systems that connect them," Tyler says. "Computer science puts interesting things to immediate use doing things that are very powerful."</p><p>Tyler credits former professors Kenneth and Sally Goldman — now both at Google — and Professor Ron Cytron among those who inspired him along the way.</p><p>"For a whole generation of young computer scientists, they were extremely influential," Tyler says. "They were brilliant and showed the power of the field. Today computers are so ingrained in the modern world that almost any device that isn't made of wood has a computer in it. Understanding computer software is almost required to understand the world as it is being built now."</p><p>WashU alumnus Steve Cousins, founder <g class="gr_ gr_59 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="59" data-gr-id="59">and</g> chief executive of Silicon Valley robotics firm Savioke and former CEO of Willow Garage Inc., was also instrumental in Tyler's career. Cousins recruited Tyler for his first internship, which prompted Tyler's migration to the San Francisco Bay area where he earned a master's degree, also in computer science, from Stanford University in 2002.</p><p>"Washington University really prepared me for my career," Tyler says. "There was tremendous accessibility to professors and mentorship, and that encouraged a level of creativity and entrepreneurialism that has translated well in a place like Silicon Valley that has a similar culture. And along the way, I have happened to work with a lot more people from WashU than you might expect, and they have all been great. It's a school that encourages people to come into their own with support."</p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p><br/></p>Josh Tyler (courtesy photo)Christopher Tritto2018-10-09T05:00:00ZAlumnus Josh Tyler at his team at Course Hero are working to improve graduation rates through innovative tools.<p>Course Hero executive Josh Tyler (BS '99) engineers tools to navigate educational journeys<br/></p> grants Chamberlain $1.2M to improve the efficiency of streaming computer applications<img alt="" src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Chamberlain_Roger.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Roger-Chamberlain.aspx">Roger Chamberlain</a>, professor of computer science and engineering at the School of Engineering & Applied Science, received a $1.2 million <a href="">National Science Foundation grant</a> to improve the efficiency of streaming computer applications. His co-investigators, also at the School of Engineering, are <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jeremy-Buhler.aspx">Jeremy Buhler</a>, professor, <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Ron-Cytron.aspx">Ron Cytron</a>, professor, and <a href="">Angelina Lee</a>, assistant professor. The group is working to expose new tuning knobs that will enable performance auto-tuning while executing applications on architecturally diverse computers.<br/></p>2018-10-01T05:00:00ZProfessor leads team working to expose new tuning knobs that will enable performance auto-tuning while executing applications on architecturally diverse computers.,-gene-expression-with-NIH-grant.aspx937Brent to study transcription factor binding, gene expression<img alt="" src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Brent_Michael.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p> Michael Brent, the Henry Edwin Sever Professor of Engineering, has received a two-year, $625,666 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the complex relationship between transcription factor binding and gene expression. With the funding, he and his lab plan to generate new, comprehensive data sets that are suited to studying the relationship between binding and functional regulation, then use the <g class="gr_ gr_5 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del" id="5" data-gr-id="5">data sets</g> to quantify the predictive power of the model. The project is expected to produce the first consistent data set that is well suited to study the relationship between transcription factor binding and regulation. <br/></p>2018-09-27T05:00:00ZMichael Brent will use a two-year NIH grant to study transcription factor binding and gene expression. the media: Car companies are pouring billions into self-driving tech they may never use, experts say<img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/self%20drive.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​As the age of self-driving vehicles approaches, the auto industry may be facing the most significant transformation in its history.</p><div>Once cars are able to drive themselves, the relationship between auto companies and their customers will change, as vehicles will be just one piece in a larger network of services, rather than an all-purpose transportation solution used exclusively by a single owner.<div> <br/>That means traditional auto companies have to make one of two difficult choices as they plan for the future, according to Matt Trotter, the managing director of hardware and frontier technology at Silicon Valley Bank. They can either continue to focus on vehicle manufacturing and accept the fact that an increasing percentage of auto industry profits will be taken by the companies that own self-driving technologies and services, or take a gamble and invest heavily in those areas with the knowledge that they may get beat by an auto rival or tech company, he said.<div> <br/>In a 2017 study, Intel and Strategy Analytics projected that the global market for autonomous driving technology will be worth $7 trillion in 2050. That's why automakers are spending billions of dollars acquiring autonomous driving startups and developing services that may overtake traditional vehicle ownership in the coming decades. But the auto industry's traditional giants aren't alone. They'll face significant competition from startups like Aurora and Zoox, and major tech companies like Waymo, Uber, and Apple that arguably have more expertise in writing software and may have an advantage in attracting top engineering talent.<div> <br/><strong>Automakers will need to be self-driving experts </strong><br/>As the battle for the future of the auto industry heats up, one big question has yet to be answered: Will multiple self-driving systems be able to coexist, or will every automaker be forced to buy the best available self-driving technology? You might be able to get away with having a battery whose range is 15% worse than the best available competitor's, but will the same be true of a self-driving system that's 15% more likely to become confused at stoplights or cause avoidable accidents? <br/>If most automakers will end up licensing someone else's self-driving technology, then the billions they're spending now could end up looking like a tremendous waste. But it's not that simple.</div><div> <br/>According to Aaron Bobick, dean of the school of engineering and applied science at Washington University in St. Louis, autonomous driving systems won't be the kind of technology an auto company can just buy off the shelf and plug into their vehicles.<div> <br/>"One could argue it may be the most complicated technology that anyone has ever deployed in terms of the complexity of the environment in which this thing has to act and, frankly, both the upsides and the downsides of being successful," he said. <br/>Automakers will need significant expertise to make sure their vehicles work in harmony with self-driving systems, which means devoting serious resources to developing those systems could pay off whether they use their own or someone else's, Bobick said.<br/></div></div></div></div></div>Mark Matousek, Insider Aaron Bobick says self-driving technology won't be simple for car companies.<p>Dean <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Aaron-Bobick.aspx">Aaron Bobick</a> says self-driving technology won't be simple for car companies. <a href="">>> </a><a href="">Read the full article on</a><br/></p> Williams seeks to improve people’s lives through data<img alt="Franklin Williams " src="/news/PublishingImages/Franklin%20Williams.JPG?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>Although Franklin Williams spends his <g class="gr_ gr_40 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="40" data-gr-id="40">days</g> building software that provides government workers with the data they need to do their jobs, his focus is on the end result: improving people's lives.</p><p>Williams, who earned a bachelor's degree in finance in 2004 and a master's degree in computer science in 2005 from Washington University in St. Louis, is vice president of product development for Socrata, a Seattle-based company that corrals government data from its multitude of sources to allow employees to use it to make key decisions. He leads a team of 60 engineers, product designers and product managers who develop the technology for the company's clients.</p><p>"Most of the governments across the nation have an extremely difficult time getting access to the information they need to do their jobs," Williams said. "Because of this, they don't have up-to-date data, they can't get it, they can't analyze it, and they are prevented from being able to make decisions and to help drive really important outcomes, like how to better serve the homeless population, to solve the opioid epidemic, to fix our most dangerous roads or if they have enough money to plow snow for the year."<br/></p><p>After earning a master's in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, Williams joined Microsoft Corp., where he worked on the Office application and got a good example of leadership.</p><p>"There was a phenomenal group of individuals to learn from," he said. "They prided themselves in having the right systems, the right processes and the right support around you so that you, too, could learn from that and grow as a leader."</p><p>Making the change from nine years at a large corporation to a smaller startup in 2014 was a leap of faith, Williams said. At the time, he was staying home with his daughter.</p><p>"Although I wasn't looking for a new job, I saw a great opportunity to have a great impact," he said.</p><p>Socrata's customers include high-level government officials, such as cabinet members and governor's and mayor's offices who are responsible for larger goals, as well as analysts, program managers and IT technicians who are responsible to make sure buses run on time or that capital projects are on <g class="gr_ gr_35 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins doubleReplace replaceWithoutSep" id="35" data-gr-id="35">budget</g> and on schedule.</p><p>"When we talk to our customers, we see a true passion to make an impact and serve the public," Williams said. "We give them the software and the technology to help them do that."</p><p>Williams said the master's program in computer science gave him a tremendous technical foundation for his career.</p><p>Williams credits Sally Goldman, former professor in computer science, for encouraging him to get a master's degree instead of two bachelor's degrees.</p><p>"I can't speak enough about WashU and its willingness to let you explore what interests you and to take that as far as you want," he said. "WashU valued that and encouraged a broad-based curriculum that let me be in a position where I could learn more about computer science and see the potential in it. It really lit a passion and was so tremendous in my growth and in propelling me to where I am."</p><p>When not working, Williams and his wife, Alison Prince Williams (BSBA-Marketing, 2004) spend time with their two young children.<br/></p><p><img src="/news/PublishingImages/WILLIAMSFAM_SEP2017-130.jpg" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/><br/></p>Franklin WilliamsBeth Miller 2018-09-13T05:00:00ZAlumnus Franklin Williams knows how to make data help those who need it most<p>Vice President of his company, alumnus provides government workers data to solve problems like the opioid epidemic and dangerous roads.<br/></p>