Class of 2011 Graduates-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Class of 2011 Graduates-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Class of 2011 Graduates

Eighty-nine students from Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley’s Master of Science in Software Engineering and Software Management programs received their diplomas on Sunday, August 7, in a ceremony with over 300 people in attendance. The class of 2011 represents the ninth class of students graduating from the Silicon Valley campus, established in 2002 at Moffett Field in Mountain View, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Following the Scottish tradition of Carnegie Mellon, a bagpiper in full regalia led the formal procession of students and faculty. The event was attended by graduating students, their families, friends, as well as, Carnegie Mellon faculty and staff, including College of Engineering Dean Dr. Pradeep Khosla, and leading members of the Silicon Valley community.

Adrian Ott

Adrian Ott

This year’s keynote speaker was Adrian Ott, CEO and Founder of Exponential Edge, Inc. consulting. She is a trusted advisor to senior executives that seek to apply the latest business approaches and technology to today’s fast-changing markets. She has produced tangible results for many large and small companies including: HP, Microsoft, Cisco, Seagate, Symantec, Clorox and venture-funded start-ups.

In addition to consulting and speaking, she is a top expert blogger on Fast Company and Chairs the Harvard Business School Association of N. California Strategy and Growth Roundtable. For two years, Adrian led and facilitated a C-level roundtable in the Silicon Valley for the top 26 tech companies in the Silicon Valley, including Cisco, PayPal, IBM,, Microsoft, Oracle, Intuit, HP and others resulting in breakthrough ideas and strategic relationships. She also serves on the board of Women in Technology International (WITI).

In her keynote address, Ms. Ott discussed a moment in her past when a client informed her that her idea was not possible. She later realized that “not possible” was not the same as “impossible.” Learning from the moment, she advised the graduates, “Few things in life are impossible; just know there are approaches that simply don't work. When you encounter moments when things are not possible, embrace them. Use it as an opportunity, rather than to push you back, to propel you forward to evaluate other opportunities that are in front of you. Because, if you don't take your blinders off, and evaluate what's possible, you may miss one of the greatest, most memorable opportunities of your life.”

The graduation address was given by Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering Dean Dr. Pradeep Kholsa, while Silicon Valley Campus Director and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering Dr. Martin Griss presided over the ceremony.

Dr. Ray Bareiss, Director of Educational Programs, presented the Outstanding Service award and the Dean’s Return on Education awards. Shabbir Suterwala received the Outstanding Service Award, in recognition of his contributions to the Carnegie Mellon community through leadership in the academic program, in campus initiatives, in improving the student experience, and developing a sense of community within the student body. Shabbir joined the part-time MS Software Management program in 2009. Since arriving at CMUSV, Shabbir has provided tremendous support during our information sessions for potential students, often helping out at a moment’s notice. He has not only has been excellent at providing the "student" prospective for the Software Management program, but he has talked persuasively with potential students about the benefits that he has already experienced in his career. His enthusiasm has helped those who may have been undecided to make the decision to apply.

The Dean’s Return on Education Award was created to recognize graduates and recent alumni who successfully put their Carnegie Mellon education into practice by advancing their careers, contributing to their companies, and inspiring others to do the same. The Return on Education Award was presented to Jarek Wilkiewicz, who joined CMUSV in 2007 as a part-time master’s student in Software Management while employed as a senior software engineer at WebLogic. During the program, he moved to HP and became Chief Product Architect for Mobile Device Management and then Head of Engineering for Mobility Software & Solutions at HP, running a 100+ person distributed team.

Since graduating in August 2009, Jarek has continued his professional growth. In May 2010 he became a Developer Advocate at Google, responsible for YouTube based applications, working with the YouTube team, developers, and partners in the mobile and web domains. He participated MobiCASE 2010, discussing the development issues of YouTube type applications, and he is now the general chair of MobiCASE 2011.

This year's Outstanding Research Assistant Award went to two exemplary graduates. Assistant Research Professor Joy Zhang presented the first award to Pang Wu. Dr. Zhang described, “Pang has proven to be very hard working, reliable and most of all, a great programmer. He can turn a research idea into a clean implementation in just a few days. I have been happy about his work and impressed by his enthusiasm in research. He has also demonstrated great team working spirit when collaborating with other students during the research.”

The second Outstanding Research Assistant Award was given to Ian Zhang. The award was presented by Dr. Ray Bareiss, who added, “Simply put, Ian has been the best MS-level research assistant I’ve ever had. Given only functional requirements and a high-level interaction design, he architected and built a robust implementation of the Semantic Geotagging application for disaster response; hopefully you saw it at last night’s Tech Showcase. He is incredibly conscientious; whatever my colleagues and I have asked him to do has gotten done quickly-- and done well.”

The graduation ceremony ended with a bagpiper-led recessional. The ceremony celebrated the history, life, and future of Carnegie Mellon, recognizing its achievements and heralding the promise of a bright future for its graduates.

Almost 600 students have received diplomas from Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley since its inaugural graduation in 2003. More than 90% of alumni report greater career acceleration than their counterparts due to the educational and professional preparation they received at Carnegie Mellon.