Last Day: Research Presentations, Poster Session, and More!

The last day of SAILORS kicked off with a breakfast followed by a rehearsal/preparation session with the research projects. Students spent the last session with their research projects finishing up their posters and perfecting their upcoming presentation.

Campers then presented about their research projects. All of the four groups had the opportunity to talk about both the societal impact and the technical aspect of their project. Many projects featured skits or videos that demonstrated how the project worked or how the project could solve a problem in the real world. The four research projects included self-driving cars and their impact on personal transportation, computer vision and hospital safety, natural language processing and disaster relief, and decoding the genome.

PicMonkey Collage

After lunch, campers answered questions about their research projects in a poster session. Various members from the AI community learned about all four different projects and asked questions that allowed the campers to demonstrate the knowledge they’ve gained from their projects.

PicMonkey Collagel

Right before the personal growth session began, Prof. Fei Fei Li signed SAILORS program director Olga Russakovsky’s thesis! This was an exciting and inspirational moment that we all got to watch.


A personal growth session on how to stay involved in artificial intelligence and computer science followed the poster session. Representatives from various organizations, such as she++, Stanford Online High School, and many others, presented about what they are and how the students could become involved.


The day concluded with a quick survey followed by a Q/A session with Olga, who gave useful bits of advice and told her life story with the campers.

Thank you to everybody, the project mentors, professors, guest speakers, PhD students, sponsors, parents, and students, who dedicated their time and effort into making SAILORS a huge success.

We hope that all the campers had fun learning about all the different aspects of artificial intelligence. As the 24 SAILORS campers become SAILORS alumnae, we hope that they have not only become more exposed to artificial intelligence but also have found a community of friends that will support them in their current and future endeavors.


Day 9: Aeronautics and Astronautics, Hexacopter Demo, and PID Controllers

Day 8 began with a breakfast and a lecture from Prof. Mykel Kochenderfer. Prof. Kochenderfer’s lecture was about aeronautics and astronautics, and about how researchers are using AI to prevent collisions in the sky.


After the lecture, the students learned about PID controllers. Students learned how each term, proportional, integral, and derivative, changes the condition of the system. Campers had the opportunity to watch live hexacopter demos on how changing various gains affects the flight path when the hexacopter is disturbed.


A lunch and a personal growth session on time management followed the tutorial on PID controllers. During this lecture, students practiced their time management skills by trying to complete the most amount of tasks within a time limit. Tasks included making a conga line, singing songs, coming up with a team name, and many more.




After the personal growth session, students had one of their last sessions with their research projects. Many campers and their project mentors were busy making posters and preparing speeches for their presentations tomorrow.

As the last day of SAILORS approaches, we hope everybody had a fun time learning about various AI topics. We can’t wait to see the presentations that the campers put together tomorrow!


Day 8: Computational Sustainability, Google, and Research Projects

Day 8 kicked off with breakfast and a lecture from Professor Stefano Ermon. Prof. Ermon talked about computational sustainability and how machine learning could help with sustainability and conservation. Students also learned about eBird, a collaborative system where everyday bird watchers contributed observations that scientists used as data points for their research. 


After Prof. Ermon’s lecture, students had another session with their research projects.

Students from the self driving car research group are coding their robots to drive the shortest path from point A to point B.
Students from the self driving car research group coded their robots to drive the shortest path from point A to point B.

The campers then had a field trip to Google, where they enjoyed a relaxing lunch at the company’s cafeteria. Google employees, many whom conduct research in the natural language processing field, joined the students for lunch. An industry panelist followed the lunch, and the girls had a chance to ask their own questions to Google professionals.

The Google panelists talked about everything from what they liked about their job to what initially got them interested in STEM.
The Google panelists talked about everything from what they liked about their job to what initially got them interested in STEM.

The tour concluded with a stop at Google’s visitor center.


We hope that everybody had a lot of fun on Day 8, and we can’t wait for the last 2 days of camp!



Day 7: Human-Robot Interaction, Graph Search Algorithms, and Stereotype Threat Intervention

Day 7 kicked off with a breakfast and lecture with Prof. Anca Dragan, who talked about human robot interaction. Her lecture covered numerous topics that ranged from how a robot navigates an environment to different methods of object manipulation. The lecture was also dotted with numerous videos of robots completing a variety of tasks.


A tutorial on graph search algorithms led by PhD student Angel Chang followed the lecture. Students learned about many different algorithms, such as  the breadth first search, the depth first search, and Dijkstra’s algorithm.

After a lunch with AI professors and PhD students, campers had a personal growth session on stereotype intervention, where they had the opportunity to write letters to future SAILORS campers. After that, students engaged in a discussion regarding their experiences facing stereotypes.

A student focuses on writing a letter to a future SAILORS camper.

A social hour followed the personal growth session, where campers mingled with AI professors and PhD students.

The day concluded with another session with the camper’s research projects.

The computer vision group had a quick field trip to Lucile Packard hospital to check out the hand sanitizer sensors that were installed. 
The computer vision group had a quick field trip to Lucile Packard hospital to check out the hand sanitizer sensors that were installed.

With only 3 more days of SAILORS left, we hope the campers are having fun learning and making new friends.

Day 6: Natural Language Processing, Design Thinking, and a Haptic Sugrical Demo

Day 6 kicked off with a breakfast and a lecture with Professor Percy Liang. Liang talked about natural language processing (NLP) and touched on numerous concepts ranging from the challenges NLP faces to how NLP is implemented in the real world.


A tutorial on extracting meaning from correlation, led by PhD student Will Hamilton, followed Prof. Liang’s lecture. Students learned how researchers “teach” computers to understand words and how scientists can implement similar techniques to other areas of study, such as gene analysis.

After a lunch with AI professors and PhD students, the campers learned design thinking from co-founder of Embrace Linus Liang. Students applied the design thinking process into creating a backpack. After the lesson, students were encouraged to apply this technique to solve all kinds of problems.


A demo of various haptic devices followed the design thinking lecture. Campers had the opportunity to interact with a surgical device that gave haptic feedback, a haptic 3D modeling stylus, and a personal assistant robot.


After the demo, the students concluded the day with a session with their research projects.

We hope everybody had fun learning about all the different concepts and ideas today and we can’t wait for day 7!

Day 5: Social and Information Networks, Industry Panelist Session, and Banquet

Day 5 of SAILORS kicked off with a breakfast with PhD student Bob West. After the breakfast, West delivered a presentation on informational networks and how everything in the modern world is interconnected. The presentation also mentioned how researchers can utilize data gathered from websites like and to refine tools like speech-recognition devices.


A tutorial led by Dr. Lamberto Ballan on the nearest neighbor algorithm followed West’s lecture. Students learned how the nearest neighbor algorithm can help in image recognition and classification.

After that, the students had a lunch with AI PhD students and continued working on their research projects.

Campers in the self driving cars research project work on the board as they try to map out a path for their line following robot.

Students then had the opportunity to conduct a panelist discussion with industry professionals. All types of questions were asked, ranging from what hobbies the panelists enjoyed in high school to what work life is like.

The day concluded with a reception, which featured a keynote from Dr. Ruzena Bajcsy, EE and CS professor from Berkeley and one of the first women in robotics. In addition to explaining to us what she is currently working on, Prof. Bajcsy also shared her inspirational life story.

DSC_5212The banquet continued with presentations by program directors Fei Fei Li and Olga Russakovsky, who talked about the vision of SAILORS and plans for next year. After that, the program evaluation team presented about the specific goals of SAILORS and the financial team discussed what it took to bring a program like SAILORS to life.

PicMonkey Collage

SAILORS campers also had the opportunity to present about their research projects. These projects included making hospitals safer with computer vision, assisting disasters with natural language processing, decoding DNA and finding the meaning of the genome, and evaluating and creating self driving cars.


We cannot thank enough all the people — the sponsors, mentors, teachers, PhD students, parents, professors, industry professionals, and campers — who have helped bring SAILORS to life.

With the conclusion of week 1, we are excited for week 2 and we hope the campers are too!

Day 4: Robotics Demos and Field Trip to Computer History Museum

Day 4 began with a relaxed breakfast where the girls had a Q/A session with SAILORS teaching assistant and operation chair Pamela Toman.

Campers then had the opportunity to engage in a lecture about robotics with Dr. Mohammad Khansari. The presentation covered a wide range of topics ranging from the types of robots to the impact of robots in the real world. Many robots, such as haptic touch robots and underwater robots, were also demo-ed during this session. Students had the opportunity not only to learn how these machines worked, but also got to interact with and control the robots.

PicMonkey Collage

After the lecture, the students had another session with their research projects. A field trip to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View followed the research project activities. Prof. Edward Feigenbaum, Penny Nii, and Sue Mickel led tours that taught students everything from the evolution of computers to the development of AI.

PicMonkey Collagem

From seeing the Babbage engine, the world’s first automatic computing machine, to learning about notable women in computer science history, like Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and women of ENIAC, the museum trip proved not only to be fun but also educational.


As Day 4 draws to a conclusion, we hope that the campers are just as excited as we are for Day 5!