TKS TALKS

Learn from the world's top innovators.

No upcoming events

Why are we doing this?

We started TKS Talks so anyone, anywhere, can learn from the world's top innovators and hopefully be inspired to make the world a better place.

TKS Talks are geared toward high school students, but learners of all ages are welcome.

Meet The Speakers

Google Brain | Senior Research Scientist

Shane Gu

Shixiang Shane Gu (顾世翔) is a Senior Research Scientist at Google Brain, with research interests centering around (1) solving fundamental problems in deep learning, deep reinforcement learning, robotics, and probabilistic machine learning, and (2) mastering a universal physics prior, or intuition, in continuous control.

Shane holds his PhD in Machine Learning from the University of Cambridge in the UK and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen Germany, during which he also worked at Google Brain and DeepMind as a student researcher. Shane earned his B.ASc. in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto, where he completed his thesis with Geoffrey Hinton (the godfather of AI) in distributed training of neural networks using evolutionary algorithms. Shane also volunteered as a Scientist at CDL, a tech-startup incubator in Canada, and as a visiting scholar at Stanford University and University of Tokyo. Shane’s academic work received Best Paper Award at CoRL 2019, Google Focused Research Award, Cambridge-Tübingen PhD Fellowship, and NSERC Scholarship, and was featured in Google Research Blogpost and MIT Technology Review.

Shane is a Japan-born Chinese Canadian, and he speaks, reads, and writes in three languages. Having lived in Japan, China, Canada, the US, the UK, and Germany, he goes under multiple names: Shane Gu, Shixiang Gu, 顾世翔, 顧世翔(ぐう せいしょう).

Netflix | Director of Delivery Engineering

Amy Smidutz

Amy Smidutz is the woman responsible for ensuring a steady stream of content is available to Netflix’s 200 Million subscribers, bug-free.  Amy will share her story about working at tech giants like Amazon and GoDaddy, creating world-class architecture systems for customers. She will also talk about niche fields of engineering like Chaos Engineering, and the alternative path she took to reach where she is today.

Tesla | Product Lead

Mark Wai

Mark has led Growth, Product, and Data-science at Tesla. Prior to Tesla, he was at Facebook and Drop. Mark is currently the Co-Founder of Orbiter, a YC backed AI startup building the future of automated analytics.

Apple | Human Interface Design

Cyrus Irani

Cyrus Irani, a design producer in the Human Interface Design Team at Apple, leads a world-class team of producers who shape the design and development of products used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Hear from Cyrus about his education, experience and career path that led to this role at one of the largest technology companies.


SpaceX | Starship Engineer

Rey Mastrapa

Rey’s mission is to build the planet’s most powerful rocket as a means to make humans multi-planetary. As lead engineer at Starship, he oversees a team that is focused on the end-to-end development of Starship, which includes engineering, supplier sourcing, and construction. Learn more about Starship here: https://www.spacex.com/starship


United Nations | President, UN Women

Shaloo Garg

Shaloo Garg has led world-class teams that focus on solving big problems at a global scale. Organizations that she’s played a pivotal role in include the United Nations, Microsoft, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Oracle, and UNICEF.


Nobel Prize Winner | Physics

Rainer "Rai" Weiss

Rainer is an American physicist, known for his contributions in gravitational physics and astrophysics. In 2017, Weiss was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational. He is best known for inventing the laser interferometric technique which is the basic operation of LIGO.


Google | Artificial Intelligence

Scott Penberthy

Scott is the Director of Applied AI at Google. In this role, he leads a team of AI engineers and PhDs. His team applies current and upcoming AI technologies to materialize proofs of concept and drive long-term transformations.


Uber | Machine Learning

Mike Del Balso

Mike was the head of the machine learning team at Uber, where is worked on powering Uber’s artificial intelligence platform. He recently started a new AI company and raised money from the top venture capitalists in the world.

Talks (Pre-COVID)