Computer science capstone students hear from Silicon Valley experts

"Computer Science Capstone Students Hear From Silicon Valley Experts"

By Jefferson Geiger

Professor Ahmed Banafa knows the value of networking, especially in the engineering and computer science industry. That is why he has brought experts from the field to speak at San Francisco Bay University since 2015.

The students in his computer science capstone classes hear from two guest speakers per class each semester. Pulling from his network, Banafa brings in people from companies like Nvidia, Facebook, and Tesla, as well as from startups to share the difficulties of launching a business. In the past, he has also invited a venture capitalist to discuss how they invest in products.

While there is an average of 20 students per class, the guest speakers can draw in larger crowds, like when a vice president from Apple visited.

“It's really very helpful for the student at this stage to hear from the industry because this is an opportunity to make a connection,” Banafa said. “Now they know somebody from Nvidia, somebody from Apple, somebody from Google.”

So far, students have heard from Nvidia’s Abood Quraini about artificial intelligence,  TipBrightly CEO Elle Rustique about entrepreneurship, and software engineer Tomer Singal about his journey of landing a job at Google.

The next speaker will be Khalil Estell, a former student of Banafa’s and a systems software engineer from Google who worked on the Google Pixel.

“I like his style since it is direct,” Banafa said. “He’s very blunt and he doesn’t sugarcoat his words. He doesn’t give anybody false hope. That’s what we need for the students.”

The date of the visit is still to be determined.

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"San Francisco Bay University students listen to Tomer Singal, a software engineer from Google, during their computer science capstone class."           "San Francisco Bay University students learn about artificial intelligence from Nvidia’s Abood Quraini."