first_imgStudents from universities across Southern California gathered at Hoffman Hall in the Marshall School of Business Friday through Sunday to compete in IBM’s Watson Academic case competition.Case in point · Sam Sharma, a graduate student studying systems architecture and engineering, presents his team’s ideas on Sunday, April 6. – Razan Al Marzouqi | Daily TrojanTwenty-seven teams, each comprised of four students from USC; University of California, Los Angeles; California State University, Northridge and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, were introduced to IBM’s Watson Engagement Advisor and were challenged to develop a unique idea for applying the Watson technology to a business or organization.The Watson technology reads and understands technology in a manner similar to the human brain. The Watson Engagement Advisor is a tool businesses can use to interact with their customers where they would otherwise need to use a trained worker.Over the first two days of the competition, representatives from IBM gave presentations to the students explaining how the technology works and the different ways it can be implemented. The teams then had until Sunday afternoon to come up with an idea for how the Watson Engagement Advisor could be used in a business, either real or fictitious.The teams first gave five-minute pitches to a panel of judges consisting of both IBM representatives and USC faculty. The judges chose five finalists to give longer, more detailed presentations later in the day. The winner was announced at an awards ceremony Sunday evening.Stephen Gold, IBM’s Vice President of Marketing and Sales Operations of Watson Solutions, explained that the competition presented an opportunity for both the students and IBM.“For the students, it’s a great opportunity prior to them moving into the industry to get exposure for next-generation technology, think about the application of this technology and where in their chosen vocation they can put this to work,” Gold said. “We’re looking forward to hearing how these students envision the technology could take form.”Sam Sharma, a first-year graduate student majoring in systems architecture and engineering at USC, worked with his team to develop an idea to increase efficiency in a fictitious business called “Leaf,” a nutrition research and consulting company.Sharma saw the competition as a way to explore other industries and learn more about the potential business applications of technology such as Watson. His team decided to work with a company specializing in healthcare and nutrition to step outside of its comfort zone and try something different.“IBM is a reputable company, and they brought a product they developed for us to see its real-world applications and to what domains it can be applied,” he said. “I think it’s a good way for all of us to explore new industries and opportunities.”Sharma’s teammate, Li Xiang, a graduate student studying computer science, joined the competition to learn more about the cutting-edge technology.“I really wanted to expose new ideas for how to make use of this technology,” Xiang said. “I’m really fond of IBM’s Watson technology. I think it’s going to change the world.”The results of the competition were not available as of press time.last_img read more

first_img Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco “I was going to say, ‘Ongoing,’” Zaidi interjected.“Ongoingly pleasant,” Friedman summarized with a laugh.The discussions with Roberts regarding his contract might be a little more tense. Despite three consecutive trips to the National League Championship Series and two straight NL pennants, Roberts is scheduled to be one of the lower-paid managers in the majors at $1.1 million if the option year in his contract is exercised without an extension.But Friedman made it clear he expects Roberts will manage the team again in 2019 when he said he sees no obstacles to that happening.“I wouldn’t read into that at all,” he said of Roberts’ contract situation still being unresolved. “We talked about it I think as far back as spring training and into the year and made significant progress in just a meeting of the minds and talking through things. I think from all of our standpoints we reached a point where focusing on the season and what we were trying to do was more important in all of our minds. “I think we all felt good about the working relationship, the prospects looking forward. It wasn’t an issue at all to table it and pick it up when we finished playing.”Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants reportedly are interested in Zaidi for a president of baseball operations role. Neither Friedman nor Zaidi would comment Thursday on whether he has been contacted by the Giants. If the Giants have asked for permission to interview the Dodgers GM, Friedman said, that would remain confidential.“My focus is purely on this team right now,” Zaidi said. “That stuff – permission requests, inquiries – happen all the time. My focus right now is on the Dodgers until these guys (Friedman and Stan Kasent) tell me otherwise.”INJURY UPDATESFriedman said closer Kenley Jansen has met with cardiologists about addressing his atrial fibrillation issues with a surgical procedure this offseason but that procedure has not been scheduled. …Rehabbing from Tommy John surgery (in May) and a hip surgery (in July), shortstop Corey Seager is still targeting Opening Day for his return.“We will make sure that he is in good shape physically and ready for the day-in, day-out grind before we put him in. We think that will be Opening Day,” Friedman said. “At this point, each checkpoint along the way in the offseason will inform that. He’s going to spend a lot of time here rehabbing so we’ll have an up-close-and-personal look at it and we’ll know more.“But we are optimistic he’ll be ready Opening Day.”ALSOLess than 24 hours after extending the deadline to make a decision, the Dodgers reached agreement on a one-year contract with veteran first baseman David Freese. Freese will receive the $500,000 buyout in his contract, voiding the club option, and re-sign for a $4.5 million salary in 2019. The club option was for a $6 million salary. … Third-base and infield coach Chris Woodward has reportedly interviewed with the Texas Rangers for their managerial vacancy. … The Dodgers remain interested in getting Chase Utley to accept some kind of position in the organization now that he has retired. “We’ll give him a little time,” Friedman said. “We’ll stalk him about working with us.”Related Articles Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start LOS ANGELES — In the first week of another short offseason, the Dodgers have questions to deal with regarding the futures of pitcher Clayton Kershaw, Manager Dave Roberts and GM Farhan Zaidi.Kershaw and the Dodgers agreed to extend the deadline for him to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract until 1 p.m. PT on Friday. Indications are the extension was motivated by the likelihood that Kershaw will agree to a new contract that adds one or two years to the remaining two years and $65 million on his current deal.President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and Zaidi were certainly in a jovial mood when asked about the situation Thursday.“Pleasant,” Friedman said when asked to characterize the discussions between Kershaw and the Dodgers this week. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more