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Globally engaged: Alumni come together across the US in a range of events

3 July 2019

Celebrating alumni forging unique careers, hearing latest news out of UCL and discussing the future of tech and AI, alumni across the US have attended a number of unique and varied events.

UCL US Events 2019

Branching out with San Fran alumni 

Around 40 alumni joined for an intimate gathering in San Francisco in May this year hosted by UCL President and Provost Professor Michael Arthur. 

The star of the evening was Riva-Melissa Tez (UCL Philosophy 2011). Riva has overcome homelessness to become an AI pioneer, leaping across industries to forge a career that hasn’t been restricted by ‘typical’ expectations. She gave us insights from AI and machine learning, to women in tech, and understanding the intersection between technology and human behaviour.

Riva spoke about breaking out of career paths and avoid the concept that life is binary, which she expands on in a recent interview with us.

Celebrating small and big wins

Later in May, over 60 guests in Los Angeles came together for a spring reception at a unique venue - the British Consul General Residence in Los Angeles – thanks to UCL alumnus and British Consul General Michael Howells (BSc Anthropology, 1998). 

Professor Michael Arthur also joined the LA reception and gave an overview of the university’s latest news including the unveiling of the new student centre at the heart of campus, the ground breaking of UCL East and the announcement that the It’s All Academic Campaign has reached over £525 million

“Over the past 10 years, we have cemented our position as one of the world’s best universities. 

“We are even more determined to remain London’s global university – globally engaged and globally impactful. And nurturing some of the most talented students in the world. We are continuing to plan and invest strategically and sustainably, and always ambitiously. And we’ve made major investments in improving the campus”

Professor Arthur also celebrated the LA alumni mini-golf team who triumphed over LSE in a heated contest earlier in the month. 

Jaspreet Dosanjh (PhD Biochemical Engineering 2011), attended the event and commented: “The evening was a wonderful gathering of like-minded people, where we were reminded of how UCL has a continuing impact on life-changing research. I am so proud to still be part of the UCL community.” 

This year’s event also included offer holders and prospective UCL students, which was noted by one guest.  "I was especially thrilled to discover that we had invited a group of prospective students to the Consul's residence.  I hope that this event makes it clear to them how hard UCL works to support and engage with its alumni, regardless of where they are in the world," said Jeffrey Nakamura (MFA Fine Art, 2006).

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Understanding AI from all perspectives

Thanks to the incredible volunteers who run the alumni community, New York alumni were treated to a panel discussion on artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

Guests heard from:
•    Marcan Topkara VP of Data at Luminary Media
•    Michael Recce, Chief Data Scientist at Neuberger Berman
•     Friederike Schüür, Director of Machine Learning and Research at Cityblock
•    Dimitrios Skaltsas, co-founder and Executive Director to Intelligencia

Panellists were put through their paces tackling issues including whether AI can act for good, what is machine learning and what does a data scientist actually and ethical dilemmas associated with AI and emerging technology. 

Find your local alumni community, get involved in events and network with fellow alumni across the global in our networking platform exclusively for UCL graduates here: uclalumnicommunity.org