The Brandeis GPS blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Month: May 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS: REsurety

Members of the Brandeis GPS Community may submit job postings from within their industries to advertise exclusively to our community. This is a great way to further connect and seek out opportunities as they come up. If you are interested in posting an opportunity, please complete the following form found here.

Where: REsurety, Boston, MA with a flexible Q2 start date

About: REsurety is a venture-backed FinTech startup that is eliminating the challenge of resource intermittency for the wind power industry. We are revenue-positive, have active customers, and work in partnership with some of the world’s leading risk market players. Our team keeps an informal office with open lines of communication, little hierarchy, and a rapid pace. If putting your skills to work to drive down the cost of renewable energy by solving the challenge of resource intermittency sounds exciting, then we would love to receive your application.

Position: Power Market Research Scientist

Position Details: As a Power Market Research Scientist, you will research and model future market structures, including how the buildout of renewable energy generation affects power prices.

Responsibilities:

  • Lead research into the effects of renewable capacity buildout on power markets, producing actionable insights that can be incorporated into our existing code base
  • Model the generation stack at various ISOs (ERCOT, SSP, etc.), enabling stochastic scenario analysis
  • Forecast the effects of increased transmission buildout on electricity markets
  • Improve upon and/or replace existing statistical models
  • Integrate your research with REsurety’s engineering team to productize results

Requirements:

  • Strong fundamental understanding of power markets
  • Degree in energy economics, computational finance, financial engineering, data science, or related field
  • A passion for REsurety’s mission: More Profitable Clean Energy

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of wind industry resource assessment, operations, and economics
  • Working knowledge of statistical analysis
  • Programming experience with R (preferred), MATLAB, Python, or similar languages
  • Experience with GAMS and/or PowerWorld a plus

Apply: Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to Michael Garrison: mgarrison@resurety.com.

  • See the official job posting PDF here.
  • See more career opportunities for REsurety here.

Please make sure to reference seeing this position through the GPS Spotlight on Jobs post.

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Congratulations to the Brandeis GPS class of 2017!

The Rabb School of Continuing Studies awarded diplomas to more than 100 GPS students at its 2017 commencement ceremony this Sunday, May 21. Approximately 45 members of the graduating class attended the event, which took place on campus from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Faculty Club.

“Not only have you mastered a rigorous curriculum, but most of you have done this while working full-time and while balancing family responsibilities,” said Rabb School of Continuing Studies Vice President Karen Muncaster. “You are bright and you are capable and you’re going to change the world.”

Given the online nature of GPS programs, many graduates arrived from out-of-state and visited the Brandeis campus for the first time. Some students are traveling as far as Australia, Canada and throughout the U.S., including California, Maryland, Florida, Illinois, Washington and North Carolina.

“Persevering through these programs is a truly relentless pursuit of long-term goals and requires incredible passion,” said student speaker and MS in Instructional Design and Technology recipient Kara Wasnewsky, whose cohort makes up the first group of graduates from that program.

The ceremony also featured remarks from Corey Thomas, CEO and president of Rapid7.

“My hope is that you achieve escape velocity, that you continually find the best in yourself, and that you resist the gravitational pull of apathy and mediocrity, said Thomas. “We need people who can go out and find common ground and mutual solutions. Be that catalyst who doesn’t just stay in your lane—be the one who seeks to unite.”

The full breakdown of diplomas handed out is as follows:

  • Master of Software Engineering (15 graduates)
  • MS in Bioinformatics (3 graduates)
  • MS in Health and Medical Informatics (11 graduates)
  • MS in Information Security Leadership (12)
  • MS in Instructional Design & Technology (4 graduates)
  • MS in Project and Program Management (33 graduates)
  • MS in Strategic Analytics (16 graduates)
  • MS in Technology Management (18 graduates)

Congratulations to our graduates!

FinTech is changing your life, and you don’t even know it

By Ashley Nagle Eknaian

Don’t believe me? Answer the following questions:

  1. Do you have any cash in your wallet right now?
  2. Have you ever bought something using your mobile phone?
  3. Have you been inside a bank branch in the last 6 months?

Now, let’s travel back in time to the year 2007; would your answers still be the same? Probably not. My point here is that 10 years ago, your experiences carrying, spending, saving, transferring, investing, and borrowing money were very different than they are today. In 2017, I am willing to bet that you use some sort of fintech app for your everyday financial needs. Using your mobile wallet to pay for coffee/tea in the morning? Repaying a friend for lunch using Venmo? Donating to a crowdfunding campaign? Checking your bank balance? Buying insurance? Refinancing your student loans? Considering a Robo-advisor to handle your investments? Leveraging an auto savings app to build a nest egg? All are examples of FinTech innovation that we now have access to with a tap and a swipe on our mobile devices.

FinTech is changing your life and you don't even know it

VC’s & banks take notice

As technology continues to permeate every aspect of our lives from social media to healthcare, why would our interactions with money be any different? Investment dollars have been pouring into FinTech the last few years ($17.4 Billion in venture backed funding in 2016 alone), which means that there are some very smart people trying to revolutionize every aspect of the financial services you use every day. While not all startups will be successful in this endeavor, the few that do will continue to transform the financial services ecosystem. And let’s not forget about big banks, top financial institutions have taken notice of the FinTech boom and taken action. These companies are building innovation labs, hiring top tech talent and investing / acquiring startups to ensure they stay relevant for customers in what has become a rapidly changing and competitive environment.

Technology rules

With all of the technology now available to create smarter, faster, and cheaper products and services, no corner of the financial industry will be left static. Take the rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether – could there be a day in the not-so-distant future where physical currency becomes obsolete? You may think that sounds crazy, however, the next time you make a purchase, ask the company if it accepts bitcoin as a form of payment – the answer may surprise you. Technology will continue to change and be applied to financial services at a pace that we could never have imagined just a few short years ago. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, not to mention a little technology called “distributed ledger” will all play a role in fueling the next evolution of FinTech innovation for both institutions and consumers.

Global dominance

FinTech isn’t a regional, socio-economic or generational phenomenon. FinTech is global, and it will impact the entire financial ecosystem, from central banks to the unbanked. Get ready, because FinTech has only just begun changing your life.

Ashley Nagle Eknaian, program chair of the MS in Digital Innovation for FinTech at Brandeis University

Countdown to Commencement: Congratulations to the class of 2017!

On Sunday, May 21, at The Faculty Club at Brandeis University, The Rabb School of Continuing Studies will award diplomas to 112 Brandeis GPS students at its 2017 commencement ceremony. We are so excited that 44 members of the graduating class are expected to join us for the on-campus ceremony. We can’t wait to celebrate the achievements of all of our graduates!

As GPS programs are all fully online, many graduates are coming from out-of-state (and even out of the country!), and will be visiting the Brandeis campus for the first time. Students are traveling as far as Australia, Canada and throughout the U.S., including California, Maryland, Florida, Washington and North Carolina.

The ceremony will feature remarks from Raymond Tsang, Strategic Analytics graduate, and Student Speaker Kara Wasnewsky, Instructional Design and Technology graduate.

Kara Wasnewsky is a May 2017 graduate of the Instructional Design and Technology program. She graduated summa cum laude from Fitchburg State University in 2011 where she earned a bachelor’s of science in communication media. She is currently a Learning Tool Strategist at Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, where she designs online instructio
nal tools to assist instructors and students in higher education classrooms across the country. Kara lives in Franklin, Massachusetts.

Raymond Tsang is a veteran software engineer at Dell Technologies, Data Protection Unit.  Previously, Raymond served as a Senior Software Architect at Wilshire Inc, a financial consulting firm based in Santa Monica.  He is also the founder of StockTrendCharts.com, a website that predicts stock trends using a proprietary algorithm.  He graduated from UC, San Diego with a Bachelor degree in Computer Science & Engineering and is completing his Master degree with Brandeis University in Strategic Analytics.

Diplomas will be awarded to students graduating from the following programs:

  • Master of Software Engineering (15 graduates)
  • MS in Bioinformatics (3 graduates)
  • MS in Health and Medical Informatics (11 graduates)
  • MS in Information Security Leadership (12 graduates)
  • MS in Instructional Design and Technology (4 graduates)
  • MS in Technology Management (18 graduates)
  • MS in Project and Program Management (33 graduates)
  • MS in Strategic Analytics (16 graduates)

Congratulations to all of our graduates, we can’t wait to celebrate with you and hear about all of  your future accomplishments!

Countdown to Commencement: User Centered Design

As we’re gearing up for the Brandeis GPS commencement ceremony on May 21,  GPS students are gathering their families and preparing to travel to Waltham to celebrate their accomplishments. While planning is underway, we wanted to celebrate the first graduates of one of the newest GPS programs.

Launched in fall 2015, the MS in User-Centered Design represents a growing movement of designers who seek to produce technologies that adapt to the user rather than attempt to force behavioral change.

Many professionals currently working in IT, web development, digital marketing and computer science share the belief that the way people experience design is critical to the success of any creation. The User-Centered Design program at Brandeis GPS allows professionals with titles such as interactive designer, human factors engineer, user experience strategist, web developer, and more to expand their knowledge and career potential. The fully online, part-time program equips students to identify the human factors that influence user response, apply social and psychological principles to predict user response, and build prototypes and evaluate design effectiveness, analyzing qualitative and quantitative information.

In the Workforce

Today, professionals specializing in user-centered design are always in high demand.  In 2015 CNN Money identified user-centered design jobs as #14 on their nationwide list of top jobs, and  Glassdoor included user-centered design positions in their list of the top 25 “Highest Paying Jobs with the Most Openings Right Now.”

With some of the biggest names in technology and innovation looking to hire user center design specialists, those with this specialization are in high demand. Companies like Amazon, IBM, Deloitte, and Apple, among others, are constantly seeking new hires with the latest training in the field.

User Centered Design at Brandeis

The User Centered Design faculty understand the challenges of modern industry. When not teaching they’re developing technologies for higher education communities or advocating for design innovation, they structure their GPS curriculum to draw on real-world expertise and connections that ultimately help our students advance their career goals. Courses are taught by professionals in the field who draw on their work experience to mentor GPS students in the classroom.

The 30-credit User-Centered Design degree has seven required courses and three electives. Required courses provide students with a focused education surrounding fundamental topics in the field, while electives build upon specific professional skill sets and allow students to enrich and round out their studies.

We can’t wait to hear all that the class of 2017 will achieve as they use their knowledge to transform the development processes in many fields. We are confident that the skills they have gained as GPS students will allow them to further their career goals while making products, software, and other tools, that focus on usability. Congratulations to the User Centered Design students and the entire class of 2017!

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