The Knewton Blog

Our monthly newsletter features edtech and product updates, with a healthy dose of fun Knerd news.

Introducing Knewton’s 2011 Turing Fellows

Posted in Knerds on May 9, 2011 by

Summer is a great time at Knewton, and not only because of the weather. One of the best parts of the season is the arrival of our annual crop of summer interns.

This year, we’ve been lucky enough to snag two NYC Turing Fellows. (There are 18 total Turing Fellows, selected from a whopping 750+ applicants from undergrad, masters and PhD. programs. The fellowships are awarded annually to top computer science, engineering and mathematics students for paid summer internships with leading NYC startups.)

We asked each of our incoming interns to share a few fun facts about themselves. First up, Brandon Liu. Brandon is finishing up his freshman year as a Computer Science major at Harvard.

Why you were interested in working at Knewton?

I love entrepreneurship because it gives me the opportunity to utilize my skills and build something that will have an impact on society. Nowhere else am I able to find the triple intersection between passion, skills, and impact. Entrepreneurship is ridiculously exciting and fun as well! I’m excited to hang out in NYC this summer, not only to explore an incredible city, but also to get to know the burgeoning startup community known as Silicon Alley. And in particular, I’m excited to work at Knewton because I believe they’re truly leaders in disruptive innovation, and I believe that they are on track to revolutionize educational systems around the world.

Any hobbies, interests, or talents?

I really enjoy playing piano! (Hopefully I’ll get a chance to visit the Steinway factory in NYC this summer). I also have immense respect for Tony Robbins, his philosophy, and all the work that he has done.

Our other Turing Fellow intern is Lakshman Sankar, a Computer Science and Physics major in MIT’s Class of 2011.

Why you were interested in working for Knewton?

As a computer scientist studying machine learning/data mining, one of the problems I hope to solve is the lack of data use/management within our nation’s education systems.  The number of student data points that aren’t even considered is appalling, and especially in the case of personalizing education, this data could be tremendously useful.  Currently, I am working on building adaptive learning systems to solve this problem with a friend (stay tuned!).  Knewton has a very good platform for such systems and I feel that the experience I will gain from this summer at Knewton will be invaluable!

Any hobbies, interests, or talents we should know about?

Outside of my interests in education and academics, I am an avid breakdancer and am the outgoing President of the breakdance club at MIT.  I am also involved with the Boston hip-hop dance scene and have played a part in the organization of events in the area.  As my primary de-stresser, dance has been a very big part of my life at MIT!