LSMSA teacher organizes trip to Silicon Valley for recent graduates

silicon valley

A visit to Adobe was the highlight of a tech tour of Apple, Twitter, Twitch, Google and Catalia Health to speak with alumni of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts taken by three recent graduates and an instructor of the school.

“John Pritchard and Eric Robinson were so hospitable to us,” said Sanjeetha Peters, organizer of the trip to Silicon Valley and senior lecturer of computer science and math at LSMSA. “They set up a tour of Adobe and also had a panel of their engineers talk to us about their work and answer questions.”

Pritchard, senior director of engineering at Adobe, is a 1988 graduate of LSMSA, and Robinson, architect at Adobe, is from the class of 1993.

The group also received Adobe water bottles as souvenirs.

Benjamin Lane, Nikhil Gopalam and Mark Prutz also visited Apple and Google. Lane, of Zachary, is a 2013 graduate of LSMSA and studies physics at Louisiana State University. Gopalam, of Prairieville, is a 2016 graduate and plans to study industrial engineering at the University of Michigan in the fall. Prutz, of Baton Rouge, is also a member of the LSMSA class of 2016.

Eric Kuehne, software engineer at Apple and a 1995 graduate of LSMSA, met the group bright and early and treated them to a healthy breakfast and answered their questions for about two hours.

The group then met with Robert Tsai, senior software engineer at Google and a member of the class of 1992. According to Peters, he reserved a conference room and very patiently gave the students tips on skills to gain and also answered all of their questions.

In San Francisco they met Kevin Lin, chief operating officer at Twitch and a member of the class of 2000.

“Everyone went crazy when Kevin took us on a tour of their Zelda-themed conference room,” said Peters. “We were inspired listening to some of his engineers talk about their journeys leading up to Twitch.”

Lin gifted all of them with knapsacks with Twitch T-shirts and stickers.
After that tour, they then traveled to Twitter to meet with Chris Coco, staff software engineer and a member of the class of 1994. The group spent three hours with Coco and his team. Coco treated them to lunch at Twitter’s cafeteria.

“We got so much out of the pointers and tips he gave us in the area of Java and the JVM,” said Peters.

The tech tour ended with a visit to Cory Kidd, chief executive officer and founder of Catalia Health, a member of the class of 1995. Kidd gave the group insight on start-ups and his work with robots. The students asked him a ton of questions about his business model, which he so patiently answered.

“We came out of the entire tour in awe and completely inspired by our alums and their creative genius,” said Peters.