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Unread 11-07-2018, 08:53 AM
Joe Johnson's Avatar Unsung FIRST Hero
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Uberstars in the FIRST Firmament

Hey CD,
It's hard to believe that FIRST has been making Dean's vision real for close to 3 decades now.

I remember some of the early days of the closing ceremonies wondering, "how does Dean keep getting these tech rockstars to come to these things?" So many tech founders, entertainment giants, CEOs, artists, inventors, millionaires & billionaires.

I recently heard that FIRST is trying to compile a list of FIRST Uberstars. I don't know all the details, but I take it to mean folk that went through the FIRST gauntlet on their way to becoming superstars in their chosen field.

30 years is a long time. Time enough that FIRST must have 100s of such superstars. Let's help FIRST get that Uberstar list going.

I will start us off.

I suppose my CEO, Max Lobovsky, is as good of a place to start as any. Max is a co-founder of Formlabs, a unicorn 3D printing startup in Somerville, MA.

FIRST was a pretty big deal for him in high school. Many of his earlier hires were FIRST Alumni (I'm looking at you Ian & Craig).

There are many others I am sure. Think big, think small. Think science, arts, education, ... Think startup, Fortune 500 & government, ... Think everywhere that FIRSTers have gone and had an impact.

FIRST Uberstars. Who are they?

Cheers,
Dr. Joe J.
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Last edited by Joe Johnson : 11-07-2018 at 08:59 AM.
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Unread 11-07-2018, 09:10 AM
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Re: Uberstars in the FIRST Firmament

My mind jumps to the people behind the RG3 robotic golf greens mower. Among the FIRST alumni who have been behind this project are Jason Zielke (former drive coach, lead engineer for FRC1024, former Chairman of IndianaFIRST, WFFA 2012) and Allison Phelps (former student, drive coach, current lead engineer for FRC1024, IndianaFIRST FTA, WFFA 2007).
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Unread 11-07-2018, 12:24 PM
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Re: Uberstars in the FIRST Firmament

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Originally Posted by Joe Johnson View Post
...folk that went through the FIRST gauntlet on their way to becoming superstars in their chosen field.
What a great question.

Former 4-year student who graduated from Pontiac Northern HS and FRC 65 in 2004, Dominique Lee, who is the founder and CEO of BRICK in Newark, NJ.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 08:58 AM
Joe Johnson's Avatar Unsung FIRST Hero
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Re: Uberstars in the FIRST Firmament

No more suggestions for FIRST Uberstars?

Really? No key investigators for a NASA interplanetary mission? No malaria-fighting NGO cofounders? No hot shot set designers for the hottest ticket on broadway? No genomics wonderkid handing out maps to DNA's secret garden?

I know there are stories out there. Please share 'em.

Joe J.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 09:38 AM
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Re: Uberstars in the FIRST Firmament

IIRC, the CEO of Embark Trucks is a FIRST Alum.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 11:53 AM
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Re: Uberstars in the FIRST Firmament

Quote:
Originally Posted by Basel A View Post
IIRC, the CEO of Embark Trucks is a FIRST Alum.
Indeed! The CEO of Embark is Alex Rodrigues, a founding student on Team 4334 and a former mentor on Team 1114. He was one of the driving forces behind the Kinect based controls for our goalie stick autonomous mode in 2014 and the "harpoon" style can grabbers for our partners in 2015.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 12:09 PM
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Re: Uberstars in the FIRST Firmament

'The President needs you': Meet the three Canadians who helped save Healthcare.gov

David Hu was a team captain on 865.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 01:16 PM
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Re: Uberstars in the FIRST Firmament

I've lost track of Derrick Smith over the years, but I can only assume he's doing great things.

Some may remember a prolific $|-|1Tposter back in the day, "rcthekid1323". Well he's now grown up to be RC the owner of WCproducts and main mentor for 1323.
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Last edited by AdamHeard : 11-09-2018 at 01:37 PM. Reason: * Altering profanity.
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