Northwestern Women in AI

The Researcher, Engineer and the Changing Landscape of Technology

Artificial intelligence is everywhere and it is making impressions all around us. With the introduction of the Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, so are talented women who want to take the changing landscape of technology head on in order to help change the world.

Meet current students Quincia Hu and Jaieu Sheil. Combining real-world experience with the applied learning approach of the MSAI program, both are champions of transformation and how AI will impact and shape our future.

Quincia Hu (left), Jaieu Sheil (right). Inaugural cohort, Class of 2019

Quincia Hu, PhD and former Postdoctoral Researcher at MIT
Former Design Engineer at NeoPhotonics Corporation and Process Engineer at Western Digital. Hu’s area of expertise includes mathematical modeling, material characterization and optical device designing.

“As a materials scientist and hardware engineer, I see that AI is gradually changing traditional industrial areas such as materials, electronics and optics manufacturing. AI is not only a great tool for improving and accelerating existing technologies, it is also a significant force that will disrupt science and other related industries. The impact of AI on the world in the next ten years is not predicable. I am very interested in introducing AI to these traditional areas in order to learn how improvement to existing systems can be made. I hope to devote myself to AI-driven science-to-technology transformation for the future of my career.

The MS in Artificial Intelligence program at Northwestern is outstanding as this program is aimed to support many types of career trajectories in the artificial intelligence world: AI architect, machine learning engineer or even data analysts. The MSAI program provides students with opportunities to communicate with modern AI companies and leading Northwestern faculty who are AI researchers.

After being part of the MSAI program, I have begun to gain knowledge of the field which will allow me to combine my current skills while broadening my career to achieve different goals.”

Jaieu Sheil, Software Engineer

Bachelor of Information Science and Engineering from Global Academy of Technology. Sheil has more than six years of industry experience and has worked with companies such as British Telecom and Infosys Limited.

“My background is in web application development which is leveraging the power of predictive analytics and machine learning to solve a multitude of complex business problems such as analyzing store traffic and credit risk analysis. I wanted to integrate my knowledge of web app development with the capabilities offered by artificial intelligence to solve interesting and relevant problems.

The MSAI program has been educational for me in terms of various aspects of AI, both symbolic and statistical. Learning about knowledge representation as well as statistical machine learning has helped to develop a holistic understanding of the subject and how to work toward solutions in a well-rounded manner. Classes in deep learning have also allowed me to learn foundational concepts that are built on the mathematical principles of Linear Algebra and Calculus. My goal is to equip myself with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify new technologies of the future.

The number of use cases that can be addressed with technologies in artificial intelligence has grown, so it was important to me to select a program that drew focus on all aspects of AI. I found that in the MSAI program at Northwestern.”

What’s Ahead for 2019
April 2019 marks the mid-way point of completing the program for students of the inaugural MSAI 2018 cohort. April also began the first of three experiential learning components included as part of the curriculum – spring practicum, summer internship, and final capstone during the second fall quarter. Each milestone presents opportunities for students to pair with an MSAI industrial partner on a project allowing them to bring a fresh perspective to the design and development of a professional, multi-layered AI solution.

For spring practicum and continuing on for her summer internship, Quincia will join a company as R&D AI intern focusing on the development of laparoscopic and robotic surgical tools aimed to deliver real-time detection using advanced optics and artificial intelligence. Her project will center around multispectral imaging and data analysis using deep learning and machine learning techniques which will help shape the company’s technology development strategy for future applications.

Jaieu’s plans for spring practicum project will take her to an organization that brings focus on converting complex, mission critical audio and text into seamless data structures used to automate and analyze real-time human tasks. From there, she will take up a summer internship with a global professional services firm that specializes in digital-led innovation and digitally-enabled intelligent operations designed to accelerate digital transformation and solve problems with data and analytics.

Here’s to the future of women in AI!