Blackathon 2021 Winners
Hacking as AfroFuturism: Black Traditions of the Bottom-up with Dr. Ron Eglash
Dr. Ron Eglash from the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan speaks on Afrofuturism and decolonial computing through the lens of African culture.
Quantum Engineering the Future with Ryan Robinson
Ryan Robinson, Quantum Engineer and CEO of Conduit speaks on his experience at MIT and how his company is using quantum technology to solve society's biggest problems.
Decolonising Computing (?) with Dr. Syed Mustafa Ali
Dr. Syed Mustafa Ali is a prominent professor at the Open University in Milton Keynes (UK) in the department of Mathematics, Computing, and Technology. As the final keynote speaker for Blackathon 2021, he discusses the challenges of decolonising computing.
The Limits of Global Inclusion in AI Development with Chinasa Okolo
Chinasa Okolo, PhD Candidate at Cornell University discusses the limits of global inclusion in artificial intelligence development.
Dancing with Bytes of Code with Thulani Vereen
Thulani Vereen full-stack software engineer, professional choreographer, and Spelman Alumna speaks on the intersection of art and tech and her journey as a professional dancer and software engineer.
Building Communities Through Tech/STEAM with Marco Jacobs
Entrepreneur and CEO of CodeIntelX, Marco Jacobs speaks on building communities through tech.
Meet the Speakers!
Thulani Vereen is a full-stack software engineer, professional choreographer, and Spelman Alumna. She has merged her passions for Computer Science and Dance through award-winning research implementation projects. She applies algorithmic thought processes from her computer science studies to her choreographic process and dance pedagogy, and she applies her dance creations to her computer science research projects. Thulani Vereen's work aims to provide new ways for engaging with diverse and untraditional performing spaces and learning environments. Thulani hopes to be at the forefront of the technological revolution of the arts by inventing performing arts technologies for dance performance and dance education.
Ryan Robinson is the founder and CEO of Conduit, a provider of hybrid cloud computing models that bring together large amounts of data to solve complex problems. He graduated from MIT with three majors: mechatronics, international humanities, and quantum engineering. While being a student at MIT, Robinson created his company with a dedication to using computers to create products that would solve the world's largest problems. At 22, Ryan was named in Forbes 30 under 30 for Conduit's work in solving real-world problems. He then raised +$1M for Conduit and lectured at MIT about quantum computing and cryptocurrency. Ryan has been featured in MIT News, American Inno, Boston Business Journal, Information Age, CNN, Moguldom, Forbes, and the World News.
Marco Jacobs is a founder, CEO, startup investor, and mentor in the Washington, DC tech space. He is currently CEO of his company CodeIntelx, a tech company that builds ground breaking software for various Fortune 500 companies and government agencies and that also focuses on raising software engineers to be their best selves to succeed in this space. Marco was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. He's a B.S. Computer Science graduate of the HBCU Jackson State University. He's also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Marco is very adamant about positively encouraging others and building community. In one example, through his company CodeIntelx, he established CodeIntelx Labs, which is where he personally mentors and teaches soft skills and technical skills to aspiring software engineers from all walks of life. In another example, he participated in Uplift's Youth AppLab program to teach programming and mobile app development to the youth in the Washington DC area. In yet another example, he taught and encouraged youth on the AF (Alexandria-Fairfax) lego robotics team. Blackathon's mission is to encourage tech throughout the African Diaspora, and Marco has directly contributed to this mission in the communities he's involved in and the communities he's created.