On Friday I went to the Florida International University thanks to my good friend, Masoud Sadjadi, Director of Agile Software & Autonomic Computing (ASAC) Lab., to judge the computer science graduates on their final projects. It was my first time busing FIU after Pandemic and there was great energy in the room, AKA the Wellness Center hall, hundreds of students, and I spoke with a dozen and I judged 5 projects. Here are my thoughts:

1- The diversity of projects and the use cases were very good, from the use of AI in patients with auditory problems, to cybersecurity (my second favorite tech topic), and to the projects I’ve been following for years such as the Soccer project. Most projects identified their problems very well, and except one, they were knowledgeable about the area.

2- I always admired FIU for 3 things: The diversity of students, Successfully running a school like a business and Scaling. As expected, the diversity of students in terms of ethnicity was stunning, especially Hispanic students which I think FIU is one of the best in the nation if not the best. What is lacking, which is worrisome, is the low number of Female students in computer science. Those few female students are going to UI/UX. If we don’t have enough female coders in schools, how can we expect to have enough female coders in the industry? This is the place where we can solve the root of the problem.

3- And the last point, some of these projects have great commercialization potential. For example the “Soccer Project” which I’ve been following for years, I remember I was talking with the project owner a few years ago and we were brainstorming on how to use AI to train soccer players in a more efficient way. I also spoke about this idea with Max Bodlund of TRIQ Arena, a Swedish startup a couple of years ago. There are multiple ways to use AI to transform soccer (, and I wish one of these projects becomes commercially successful.

In addition to students, it was also great to talk to the faculty and discuss authentication with the dean of the College of Computing and Engineering, John (Yiannis) Volakis. To reduce the gap between academia and industry, Hummingbirds is going to hire computer science graduates from FIU. FIU has great engineering talent and is the core of the Miami tech hub and we’re excited to work together to bring graduates to one of the hottest AI startups.


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