2018 Hertz Foundation Summer Workshop

July 19, 2018 - July 22, 2018

Hertz 2018 Summer Workshop
July 19-22, 2018

UCLA Luskin Conference Center
425 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095


 Registration for the Summer Workshop is now closed.
We look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles!

Full Agenda (PDF)

Activities Sign-up


The theme for the 2018 Hertz Summer Workshop is "Envision the Future". With the world on the cusp of many long-imagined futures, from self-driving cars to human genetic modification and interplanetary industry, how should we as innovators build a safe and responsible future? How can technologists and business leaders approach the peril and promise of changing climate and energy economies, and of artificial intelligence?

Join the Hertz Community, including in-school Hertz Fellows, award-winning scientists, industry leaders, and distinguished guests for four days of stimulating discussion about these questions and more in the heart of Southern California. The still-growing list of opportunities at the workshop includes talks by high-caliber innovators, a panel on the future of cybersecurity, trips to technology sites in the L.A. Area, and more!

Since 2009, the Hertz Summer Workshops, the product of Hertz Fellow Ray Sidney's vision and generosity, have brought Fellows and friends from all fields and stages of their careers together in a high-energy environment for life-changing conversations. The workshop is now celebrating ten years of drawing lasting connections between Fellows, based on their shared interest or on their wildly different experiences.

Join us July 19-22 for a weekend like no other!

Please contact Amanda O'Connor at amanda@hertzfoundation.org with any questions.


 Join the Hertz Community for a weekend with Fellows and friends as we discuss our visions for the future of humanity.


Fellow and Guest Speakers

Charles Elachi

The Golden Age of Space Exploration 

Charles Elachi
Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering and Planetary Science, Caltech
Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) (2001-2016), Caltech

Charles Elachi is professor emeritus of electrical engineering and planetary science at the California Institute of Technology and the former director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. During his 16-year tenure at JPL, from 2001 to 2016, he oversaw the development and operations of over 45 flight missions and instruments.

Elachi's particular interests lie in electromagnetic theory and active microwave sensors for studying planetary surfaces, and he has led and participated in studies imaging the surfaces of Earth (the Shuttle Imaging Radar series), Venus, (the Magellan Imaging Radar), Titan (Cassini Titan Radar), and Europa (Europa Sounding Radar). He has authored over 230 publications and holds several patents in these fields.

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, among other scientific and technical societies, and his work has been recognized by many awards and honorary degrees. In 1989 Asteroid 1982 SU was renamed 4116 Elachi in recognition of his contribution to planetary exploration.

Tiffany Brannon Diversity in STEM Discussion

Tiffany Brannon
Assistant Professor of Psychology
University of California, Los Angeles

Tiffany N. Brannon is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Social Psychology from Stanford University and her B.A. in Psychology from Florida International University. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Dispute Resolution Research Center/ Visiting Assistant Professor in Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. Her research examines socio-cultural identities in negatively stereotyped groups such as African Americans and Latino/a/x Americans; and she investigates the potential for these identities to serve as a psychological resource— one that can facilitate a variety of individual and intergroup benefits. Her research integrates basic psychological theories related to the self, multicultural experiences, and consistency theories to understand the conditions that allow culturally shaped identities in negatively stereotyped groups to function as powerful agents of social change. This research has demonstrated that culturally shaped identities when affirmed within mainstream educational settings can increase academic motivation, performance and sense of inclusion among members of negatively stereotyped groups. Her research also highlights the power of theory-driven diversity practices to improve intergroup attitudes (e.g., reduced implicit bias, backlash effects) among majority group members. Her research has been published in top academic journals including Psychological Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Social Issues and Policy Review, and the Journal of Social Issues. She is currently a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and an elected council member for the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI).

Felice Frankel More Than Pretty Pictures

Felice Frankel
Science Photographer & Research Scientist
Center for Materials Science and Engineering, MIT

Felice Frankel combines science, engineering, and design to produce stunning scientific images that render new worlds and ideas visible to the human eyes. A research scientist in the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Frankel collaborates with scientists and engineers to put new perspectives on scientific objects. Her images have been published in over 200 journal articles, covers, and various other international publications for general audiences, including National Geographic, Nature, Science, and many more. Her limited-edition photographs are included in a number of corporate and private collections, and were part of MOMA’s exhibition, “Design and the Elastic Mind.”

She most recently developed and instructed the first online MOOC addressing science and engineering photography, “Making Science and Engineering Pictures, A Practical Guide to Presenting Your Work,” available from EdX and MIT’s “Open Courseware".

Felice is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Guggenheim Fellow, and was a senior research fellow in Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and a visiting scholar at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Systems Biology. Her 6th book, "Picturing Science and Engineering", will be published in October 2018.

Laurel Larsen Forecasting, Flows, and Feedback: Envisioning Global Water Futures

Laurel Larsen 
Assistant Professor of Earth Systems Science, UC Berkeley
Senior Fellow, Berkeley Institute for Data Science
Principal Investigator, Environmental Systems Dynamics Laboratory, UC Berkeley

Hertz Foundation Fellow

Laurel Larsen is an assistant professor of earth systems science in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a senior fellow in the Berkeley Institute for Data Sciences, an affiliate of the Berkeley Energy Resources Group, and PI of the Environmental Systems Dynamics Laboratory.

Laurel’s research is aimed at understanding how the flow of water through the environment influences landscapes and ecosystems. Water interacts with physical and biological components of the environment in highly nonlinear ways, leading to dynamics characterized by thresholds, sudden shifts between alternate stable states, or chaotic behavior. Her group uses diverse types of tools to understand these nonlinear interactions, so that anticipatory planning and restoration efforts can be made more effective and efficient. Her work has influenced restoration efforts in the Everglades, with ongoing work focusing on the Chesapeake Bay, streams and wet meadows of California, and the Wax Lake Delta, part of the greater Mississippi River delta complex. She remains committed to using a variety of tools, from field and laboratory work, to simulation modeling, to data-driven analysis, to understand environmental processes.

Max Mankin Hertz Fellow How to Help Eagles Flock: What I Wish I Learned in Grad School about Working on Teams

Max Mankin and Tony Pan
Co-founders and of Modern Electron

Hertz Foundation Fellows

Max Mankin is a co-founder and the CTO of Modern Electron, an energy technology startup based in the Seattle area, whose mission is to generate cheap, scalable, and reliable electricity for all. He has nearly a decade of experience designing, fabricating, and characterizing semiconductors and functional nanomaterials. Max is an inventor on 25+ patents and patents pending. Max is the co-recipient of the 2016 Strauss Award for his work at Modern Electron in revolutionizing electric power generation. In 2016, Max joined co-founder Tony Pan, also a Hertz Fellow, on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and in 2017 Inc. Magazine named Max one of the 30 Most Brilliant Entrepreneurs Under 30. Max earned a BS with honors in chemistry from Brown University and a PhD in physical chemistry from Harvard University, where he held fellowships from both the Hertz and the National Science Foundations. 

Tony Pan Hertz Fellow Tony Pan is the co-founder and CEO of Modern Electron. He is a co-inventor of 200+ patents and patent applications, spanning fields such as energy, nanoelectronics, and medical devices. He is the first author on five refereed publications. In 2015, Tony was named one ofForbes30 Under 30 in Science. He also served as a pro bono external consultant to the Global Health and Global Development programs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and is a global shaper of the World Economic Forum. In the past, Tony worked as a strategist at Goldman Sachs, helping navigate the mortgage meltdown during the ‘08-‘09 financial crisis.

Tony’s PhD is from Harvard, where he held three national fellowships from the Hertz, Soros, and National Science Foundation. There he explored the cosmic dawn, the “Let there be light” moment in the nascent universe, when the very first stars lived and died in spectacular explosions. His alma mater is Stanford.

Emma Pierson Using Statistics to Assess Societal Fairness and Equality

Emma Pierson
Third Year PhD Candidate in Computer Science
Stanford University

Hertz Foundation Fellow

Emma Pierson is a third year computer science PhD student at Stanford. Her research applies statistical methods to large datasets, with applications to discrimination/inequality and healthcare. Her recent research has focused on racial disparities in criminal justice, and includes studies of police traffic stops, New York City's stop-and-frisk policy, and algorithmic fairness.

Before beginning her PhD she spent a year earning a master's in statistics at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, and another year working as a statistician at the education company Coursera and the genetics company 23andMe. She also writes for broader audiences. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, FiveThirtyEight, the Washington Post, and the Atlantic, among other publications.

Manu Prakash Magnifying Curiosity

Manu Prakash
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering
Stanford University

Manu Prakash is an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford University, where his interdisciplinary group is answering open questions in systems biology. Along the way, they have invented low-cost scientific and diagnostic tools – from the “Foldscope” and “Paperfuge” to a $5 microfluidic chemistry set-on-a-chip and a cheap diagnostic “MalariaScope” – that allow research and medicine to reach into extremely resource-poor environments.

Manu’s group synthesizes experimental and theoretical approaches from soft-condensed matter physics, fluid dynamics, theory of computation, and unconventional micro- and nano-fabrication to build these “frugal science” tools and to probe the fundamental dynamics of biological machines at the molecular, cellular, and organismal scale.

He received his bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Following his doctoral work, he was a junior fellow at Harvard Society of Fellows in Physics. Manu was selected as MIT Tech Review TR35 and Popular Science Brilliant 10 in 2014 and named a MacArthur Fellow in 2016.

Paul Triolo The Geo-politics of the US-China Tech Cold War

Paul Triolo
Practice Head, Geotechnology
Eurasia Group

Paul S. Triolo leads the Eurasia Group's newest practice, focusing on global technology policy issues, cybersecurity, internet governance, ICT regulatory issues, and emerging areas such as automation, AI/Big Data, ambient intelligence, and fintech/blockchain. He is building a cross-issue and cross-regional team that helps clients understand and assess the risk generated by the complex intersection of politics, technology innovation, security threats, and the changing global regulatory environment. Paul is frequently quoted in major media outlets covering technology issues, including Wired, CNBC, South China Morning Post, New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Prior to joining Eurasia Group, Paul served in senior positions within the US government for more than 25 years, focusing primarily on China's rise as a science and technology (S&T) and cyber power. He provided analytic support to the president and senior policymakers, and was the lead drafter for a number of widely acclaimed national estimates on China S&T innovation and industrial policies, as well as cyberspace issues. Paul's technical background, including a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Penn State University and work experience in Silicon Valley, along with his extensive work on internet governance and policy issues in government, have prepared him to tackle the substantial challenges companies will face in cyberspace. Paul is a China Digital Economy Fellow (non-resident) at New America. He is also an avid early adopter of all sorts of green and information technologies and platforms, and has been the family chief technology officer for some time.

Malia ProbstThe Next Computing Paradigm: When Immersive Interfaces Become the New Normal

Martina Welkhoff and Malia Probst
Co-founder, Women in XR Venture Fund


Malia Probst has been names one of the Top 20 Most Influential People in the VR/AR industry as well as one of the Top 20 Women in VR in Los Angeles. She’s a Founding Partner at VRScout, one of the world’s leading immersive media companies— reaching 15M to 20M people internationally every month. Additionally she hosts 2 of the top VR/AR podcasts, with 300K+ downloads.

She is an international speaker on XR, and recurring panelist and host at industry events such as Sundance, VRLA, and On the Lot.

Before leaping into the immersive tech space, Malia was in luxury hospitality as a manager at Soho House. Overseeing the Los Angeles location of the private global members-only club, Malia managed a staff of 200+ and directed P&Ls for an establishment with a $21M+/year revenue. She departed Soho House in 2014 and ran a bespoke digital media agency for celebrity clients before taking on immersive content production in 2015.

In 2015, Malia began producing a VR episodic series and started a podcast as a way to learn, grow her network, and amplify others’ voices. This lead to her joining VRScout as a Founding Partner in 2016, and commenced what is now a dense inbound deal flow of new products and companies.

Malia was inspired to found Women in XR after meeting dozens of women entrepreneurs and hearing their stories. She earned a BA in Business and Communications & Marketing from Indiana University Bloomington.

Martina Welkhoff Martina Welkhoff is a serial entrepreneur who founded her first company, Zealyst, in 2010. Zealyst was a corporate gaming platform that strategically helped employees to build their professional network and in turn collected data for their employer on culture, morale, and engagement. Customers included Amazon, eBay, Procter & Gamble and Expedia. Zealyst was acquired by the University of Washington in 2016 and is currently being commercialized in higher ed, and Martina continues to serve as an advisor.

After exiting Zealyst, Martina founded a virtual reality company called ConveneVR that was focused on pushing the boundaries of social VR. She was inspired to transition into the VR industry after recognizing the unique opportunity the creation of a new computing platform provided for women and underrepresented minorities. However, she soon realized that the same barriers existed in access to capital, so she shifted her focus to investing in order to have more leveraged impact.

In 2017, Martina joined Jump Canon Ventures as a Venture Partner. Jump Canon is a new fund based in San Francisco that is focused on underrepresented founders in emerging tech. As one of the Founding Partners in the Women in XR Venture Fund, Martina bridges both funds’ missions to support women entrepreneurs and build a more inclusive tech ecosystem.

Martina is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Council, and an advisor to the Center for Leadership & Strategic Thinking at the Foster School of Business. She served as the board president of Seattle Women in Tech before transitioning the nonprofit to a for-profit company that is scaling the model globally. She received a BA in English with a minor in Chemistry from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and regularly guest lectures at the University of Washington.

The Future of Cybersecurity Panel

Randy Garrett

Panel Moderator:

Randy Garrett
Chief Data Scientist
Change Dynamix

Randy Garrett, PhD, is the chief data scientist for Change Dynamix, a company offering security and risk behavioral analytics. He brings an extensive amount of cybersecurity experience from the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community as well as corporate management. He developed and lead multiple programs in big data analytics for cybersecurity while at DARPA (Defense Advanced Project Agency) and helped pioneer initial cloud deployments to the Army, Navy, and Air Force. In other government service, Dr. Garrett worked at the National Security Agency and as the Senior Science Advisor to the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence and for the Commanding General, U.S. Army INSCOM. In addition, Dr. Garrett has held the positions of Director of Science and Technology at General Dynamics and Senior Director of Information Systems at Rockwell. He has a PhD and an MS in Computer Engineering from Florida Atlantic University and undergraduate degrees in Physics and Mathematics from MIT.

Peter Lee

Peter Lee
Corporate Vice President
AI & Research, Microsoft

Peter Lee, PhD, is corporate vice president, AI & Research, at Microsoft. He is responsible for incubating research projects that lead to new products and services. Examples of past and current projects include: deep neural networks for computer vision and the simultaneous language translation feature in Skype; new silicon and post-silicon computer architectures for Microsoft’s cloud; experimental under-sea datacenters; augmented-reality experiences for HoloLens and VR devices; digital storage in DNA; social chatbots XiaoIce and Tay; and healthcare innovation. Previously, he was an office director at DARPA, where he led efforts that created operational capabilities in advanced machine learning, crowd-sourcing, and big-data analytics, such as the DARPA Network Challenge and Nexus 7. He was formerly the head of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science department. A thought leader in technological innovation, Dr. Lee served on President’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, led a study for the National Academies on the impact of federal research investments on economic growth, and testified before the U.S. House Science and Technology Committee and the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee. He is widely quoted on industry trends and innovation in the New York Times, MIT Technology Review, Wired, Fast Company, The Economist, ArsTechnica, CNN, several books, and more.

Catherine Lotrionte Catherine Lotrionte
Brent Scowcroft Scholar
Atlantic Council

Catherine Lotrionte, PhD, is a Brent Scowcroft scholar at the Atlantic Council's Cyber Statecraft Initiative, and an internationally recognized expert on international law and cyber conflict. She is also the founder and former director of the CyberProject at Georgetown University, where she has taught and written on international and national security law, international affairs, and technology. At Georgetown, she founded the CyberProject in 2008, focusing on the role of international and domestic law in recent and emerging developments in the proliferation of weapons, technology, and threats. Lotrionte previously served as counsel to the president's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board at the White House, on the Joint Inquiry Committee of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, as an assistant general counsel at the Central Intelligence Agency and in the US Department of Justice.

Dr. Lotrionte has testified before Congress and NATO on cyber issues. She has authored numerous publications on a broad array of topics, including espionage, information technology, international law, and deterrence and is a frequent speaker at cyber conferences across the globe.

She holds an MA and PhD from Georgetown University and a JD from New York University. She served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Cybersecurity, the Center for Strategic and International Studies Cyber Policy Task Force, the CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet, and the CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on US Policy Toward North Korea. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Rand Waltzman Rand Waltzman
Senior Information Scientist
RAND Corporation

Rand Waltzman, PhD, has 35 years of experience performing and managing research in Artificial Intelligence.He is currently a Senior Information Scientist at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA. Prior to joining RAND, he was the acting Chief Technology Officer of the Software Engineering Institute (Washington, DC) of Carnegie Mellon University. Before that he did a five-year tour as a Program Manager in the Information Innovation Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he created and managed the Social Media in Strategic Communications (SMISC) program and the Anomaly Detection at Multiple Scales (ADAMS) insider threat detection program. Dr. Waltzman joined DARPA from Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories (LM-ATL), where he served as Chief Scientist for the Applied Sciences Laboratory that specializes in advanced software techniques and the computational physics of materials. Prior to LM-ATL he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, where he taught and performed research in applications of Artificial Intelligence technology to a variety of problem areas including digital entertainment, automated reasoning and decision support and cyber threat detection. Before his professorship he served as a DARPA Program Manager focusing on Artificial Intelligence and Image Understanding. Dr. Waltzman has also held research positions at the University of Maryland, Teknowledge Corporation (the first commercial Artificial Intelligence company in the world where he started in 1983), and the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington.