Hyder Arain

Background - Hi IÔÇÖm Hyder. IÔÇÖm from the southwest suburbs of Chicago where I grew up. My undergraduate degree is in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. IÔÇÖve worked in a few different engineering, product, and project management roles. I am now the manager of Global Business Intelligence at Progress Rail, a division of Caterpillar that manufactures locomotives and rail infrastructure. I launched here at Booth in Fall 2020.

Ask Me About - Industrial automation, data science/engineering, AI/ML, manufacturing, innovating at a big company, race cars, mountain biking

Involvement in Tech - While in engineering school some friends and I founded a company called STEMfunder, a platform for empowering student STEM projects through crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. I currently lead a team of data engineers and data scientists building ML products at Progress Rail.

Fun Fact - In my spare time IÔÇÖm a high-performance driving instructor and enjoy teaching people how to drive fast.

Favorite recent books or podcast - AIQ by Nick Polson, Face Value by Alexander Todorov, Chicago Capital, The a16z podcast

Gouthami Kamalnath

Background ÔÇô Hey, IÔÇÖm Gouthami! I am originally from Dubai, UAE but moved to the US a couple of years back for school. I completed an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Purdue University, Indiana, and then joined Microsoft as a software engineer in the M365 group. I am now a Senior software engineer in Substrate, MicrosoftÔÇÖs data store that powers intelligent scenarios in M365 apps. I launched at Booth in Spring 2022.

Ask Me About ÔÇô software engineering, Azure stack, data science, working in tech, Xbox gaming, Singing (techniques or otherwise), and Star Wars.

Involvement in tech ÔÇô I have been in the tech industry since my undergrad so I am pretty much very involved in tech. Why I joined tech? Well, I really enjoy thinking through and solving complex problems, and tech (like any other space) has an abundance of them. The fact the solutions I help come up with impacts several hundreds (maybe millions?) of people is an added benefit.

Fun Fact ÔÇô I love singing and have been taking professional voice lessons for a while.

Favorite recent books or podcast ÔÇô Nonfiction: When breath becomes air by Dr.Paul Kalanithi, fiction: anything by Bernard Cornwell (his world-building in Warlord Chronicles is sublime!).

Cory Jbara

Background - Hello! My name is Cory. Originally from the suburbs of Detroit, I have lived in Chicago for 6 years. I graduated in 2017 from the University of Notre Dame, with a degree in Computer Science. Since graduation, I have worked for several different tech companies of various sizes, including Here Technologies, ParkWhiz (now Flash Parking), and FanFood. My current role is at Scoop, a small startup specializing in hybrid work coordination, helping people be more connected in the hybrid work environment. I launched in Spring 2020. In my free time, I'm always trying to find a new hobby. Previous hobbies have included sailing, grilling, video games, plants, stand up comedy, and most recently pub trivia around the city.

Ask Me About - Tech startups, CBF, Work / Life / School balance, networking in the Midway club

Involvement in Tech - I have always been passionate about building technology that helps people. Whether it is tech that makes peoples life moderately easier or solving larger problems through technology, I want to be involved. I also love helping others break into the technology industry, since the world is trending towards tech encompassing all industries.

Favorite recent books or podcast - Atomic Habits by James Clear