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UIUC Alumni newsletter ("Resonance"), M. Eberhard/Tesla Motors

Discussion in 'News' started by chimpanzee, Apr 4, 2008.

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  1. chimpanzee

    chimpanzee Member

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    pasadena, ca
    #1 chimpanzee, Apr 4, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2008
    I didn't post this earlier, since I got tied up with work (incl, UIUC went to the Rose Bowl)

    I got my Fall 2007 Resonance a few months ago:

    ECE Illinois - Resonance - U of I
    http://www.ece.uiuc.edu/news/resonance/pdf/FALL-2007.pdf#tesla

    Note the typo of "8,051 processors"..they mean Intel 8051 processor! I didn't realize it until now, but he & I had the same MS thesis advisor (R. Uribe of ADSL/Advanced Digital Systems Lab)! We both had the mentor of Prof Ed Davidson (Computer Architecture), who ended up being EE Dept Head/Univ of Michigan. I last spoke with him in 2001, about 1 of my projects.

    Background:

    We both started out at AARG/Advanced Automation Research Group @CSL (Coordinated Science Laboratory), as summer interns..I started in summer of '79 (Stanford robot arm connected to PDP-11/45), Martin started in '81 (hi-speed image buffer connected to PDP-11/45).

    [ AARG was basically the Robotics/Computer Vision/Artificial Intelligence Lab @UIUC/Electrical Eng Dept., following in the footsteps of MIT & Stanford (2 big guns in AI/Artificial Intelligence research). ]

    Martin was working (executing the wire-wrapping, based on design by Rod F.) on the High Speed Image Buffer (Air Force funded project), which utilized the latest GE/General Electric CCD cameras. Another young guy, an MIT EE major A. Chien (son of R. Chien, AARG head & CSL Director, who is now Director of Intel Research & VP of Corporate Technology Group) was there too. Imagine this picture: A. Chien mischieviously spraying M. Eberhard (while assembling a PC board) with a bottle of water, myself looking on! 25 years later, these 2 are movers/shakers in the computer industry.

    [ just 25 ft away was Steve Cross (AI PhD in '84) went thru CMU (SEI/Software Engineering Inst) & is now Vice President of Georgia-Tech & President of GTRI. GTRI is involved with some automotive-related projects, e.g. ONR/Office of Naval Research & NASCAR. His ex-GaTech colleague is now President of Caltech ]

    Another PhD candidate Bill H.: his dad ran the whole Technology Park in Taiwan. Hint: he could be a REAL useful contact for any outsourcing of Tesla hardware (e.g., motor). Rod F. (last I heard) was working for his company.

    Dr. Larry S. (computational astrophysicist, galactic modeling) visited AARG to check out the CCD cameras (connected to the hi-speed image buffer, the boards which Martin wire-wrapped, I contributed an interface board as well). You see, this was the beginning of the CCD sensors, which revolutionized astronomical observation. He started the NCSA/National Center for Supercomputing Applications (Prof. Ed Davidson signed off on it along with other UIUC profs), which led to NCSA Mosaic (M. Andreesen/Netscape fame, & Spyglass Software which developed Internet Explorer). He is now at CalIT2, which is a Technology R&D arm of UCSD/UCI. There are some automotive related projects there.

    ..your Character defines your Destiny..

    Martin was a likeable guy, gregarious. I can still remember him bent over at his desk (we shared the same office), reading. Somehow I got over to his apartment (east of Lincoln Av) via his black '67 mustang (?). I remember this long shelf lined with books. Science fiction? He was a great reader, which explains his Nuvomedia startup (e-book). His interest in cars, led to Tesla Motors. I guess his personal interests dictated his startups! I kinda remember his girlfriend (Carolyn?) in the background, long dark hair. I remember a story of him driving cross country, lying on the hood of his mustang, observing meteor showers!

    I do remember my officemate telling me that Martin got his masters in '84 (hired at Wyse), as I was finishing my PhD there.

    UIUC alumni/Caltech/MIT & ME's "Next Step"

    I've been observing the Tesla Motors "drama" (an "engineering issue" created a "personnel issue"), & there is possibly a solution. Keyphrase: EV R&D program, wealthy capitalists (some worth billions), multimedia

    "..deals are what make the world go 'round.."

    "Winning In Business, as in War, requires making alliances"
    -- Download: The True Story of the Internet

    The "pieces of the puzzle" involve a convergence of Multimedia & AI/Robotics/Computer Vision people from UIUC, MIT, Caltech. My Jumplive.com project led me to all sorts of contacts in Racing, including Xtrac (who is heavily involved in Racing: Formula 1, IndyCar, Offroad) & DARPA Grand Challenge (attended by S. Brin/L. Page of Google, & S. Wozniak). A UIUC '94 PhD AI alumni (same dept/specialty as Martin & me) is VP/Director of Research of XX, who did the DARPA GC live satellite vehicle-tracking & multimedia. We did a successful test at the '06 Baja 500. 2 of the Youtube founders are UIUC alumni (& ex-Paypal employees), S. Chen was on the same Yahoo! video-blogging email list I was on (directly related to the iTunes video-podcast solution, which I'm into. see below)

    The MIT connection is an AI PhD (famous, same generation as me & Martin), who has a small think-tank company near Burbank airport (where Martin flies out of). I only found out recently that Martin is in Sierra Madre, nearby my location. (I'm in Pasadena, 2 blocks from Caltech).

    There's a HEP (High Energy Physics) connection as well, their funding source is DoE (Dept of Energy). The Provost & Vice-Provost of Caltech are physicists, who are really into the Green Movement. A book "Out of Gas" was written, & the Provost is on leave to BP/British Petroleum to force a paradigm shift. Goto iTunes Store, & do a search on "string theory", "theoretical physics", etc. Buried there is a lead to that billionaire philanthropist.

    I ran into A. Cocconi (his parents are both CERN particle physicists) at the Rose Bowl (popular spot for electric R/C airplane flying) last summer. I asked him about EV & I could tell from his body language: "been there, done that" (the GM EV1 debacle got killed due to politics).

    Good read below:

    The End of the Age of Oil
    THE END OF THE AGE OF OIL

    The Roadster tranny problem was a "huge technical" problem (Xtrac, et al simply couldn't deal with it), which can be traced to a (politician) leadership "vision" issue. This is why I'm mentioning all these R&D contacts above, they need to be brought together (grass roots=bottom-up or political=top-down)

    What is the next step?
     

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  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
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    Wow! Nice first post. Thanks for stopping by. Now I need to try to digest all of that.
     

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