Day 3 of Career Speaker Series features Stanford professor

Dylan Fu and Ryan Wisowaty

Palo Alto High School’s 2019 Career Speaker Series event continued yesterday with a talk from Stanford engineering professor Tsachy Weissman.

Weissman, a current Paly parent, explained how he got involved in electrical engineering as well as his duties as a professor during his talk in the Performing Arts Center atrium.

“After I got out of the army in Israel, I hadn’t touched anything related to academics in three-four years, so I was really desperate to get back to it,” Weissman said. “At first I wanted to do something math-related, but my mother told me to study something more practical, and that’s how I ended up getting into the field.”

According to Weissman, being a professor takes a lot more effort than just teaching students.

“Being a professor involves both discovery and teaching,” Weissman said. “It’s about learning new things in our fields and sharing our discoveries with our peers through research papers as well as teaching our students about our findings and giving them the tools to explore these fields further.”

Weissman also discussed advice for students hoping to get an internship position at Stanford.

“We care more about whether or not you have a genuine interest in what we’re doing than about your GPA or your SAT scores,” said Weissman. “Being able to demonstrate a willingness to commit to our field of research through your curriculum vitae or letter plays a much larger role than your GPA might.”

In addition, Weissman also revealed that his organization, the Stanford Compression Forum, has created a new internship program starting this summer.

“We’ve created a new program called STEM to SHTEM, which aims to gather students, not just in STEM fields, but also in the humanities to give students a chance to explore research that goes beyond typical disciplinary boundaries,” Weissman said. “It’s a great chance for high school students, especially students at Paly, to work with mentors on long-term research.”

More information regarding the internship opportunity can be found here. The Career Speaker series continues tomorrow with talks from attorney Gina Signorello in the PAC and Karen White, an OB-GYN, in the MAC.