Our alumni help shape the field of AI, the future of data science and forge new frontiers.
Brina Lee (Masters ’13) Forges Another Frontier, This Time in Audio
Once a communications undergraduate, Brina Lee earned a master’s in computer science then went on to blaze a career path that includes being Instagram’s first female engineer and cofounder of a company. As she grows her startup, Hamul, Lee can summarize the most important lesson she’s learned in one short phrase: “Don’t let you hold yourself back.”
Taner Halıcıoğlu, who was Facebook’s first full-time employee, spurs startups in San Diego as an angel investor. (As an active investor in early-stage companies, he’s known as one of the area’s few “super angels” in local tech.) He’s also invested in his alma mater, recently donating $75 million to create the Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute. His generous gift is defining the future of data science and educating the next generation of tech leaders.
Halıcıoğlu has distinguished himself in other ways: he’s a 2020 CSE Distinguished Alumnus; a 2019 Chancellor’s Medalist, one of the highest honors given by UC San Diego for exceptional service in support of the university’s mission; and a UC San Diego 2019 Outstanding Alumnus.
Meet Halıcıoğlu in the video below produced for the Chancellor’s Medal.
The Deep Mind of Oriol Vinyals (Masters ’09)
As a principal scientist/director at DeepMind in London, Oriol Vinyals is the brain behind some of the most important papers and ideas in artificial intelligence (AI). He has fond memories of the education he received at CSE and UC San Diego and the opportunities to cross borders and expand his world view.
DeepMind has recently made a generous gift to support CSE, providing fellowships for graduate machine learning students and boosting the department’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion fund.