Welcome to Burning Silicon

A 21 year old martial artist and computer programmer's quest to become a spacefaring engineer who develops computer vision models and robotic motion technologies with generalized application and high precision and efficacy.

I am currently working towards a Masters in CS and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University!
Yes, this is a thing
I'm doing them at the same time
Interdisciplinary work is cool!

My name is Mira Welner. Here is my resume (for software engineering). Here is my CV (for research). Here is my undergraduate transcript.

Lightning Talk Presented at the 36th AAAI Conference

This three minute talk discusses the research I conducted at Carnegie Mellon Image Science Labs with Professor Aswin Sankaranarayanan


Unsupervised Identification of Materials with Hyperspectral Images

Mira Welner
36th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

Proceedings Talk Code

Characterizing Pediatric Hand Grasps During Activities of Daily Living to Inform Robotic Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies

Marcus Battraw, Peyton Young, Mira Welner, Wilsaan Joiner, Jonathon Schofield
2022 IEEE 17th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR).



A video game system to assess advanced control interfaces for pediatric prostheses

33rd Annual UC Davis Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Conference
(Note: this conference was actually cancled due to lack of staff, but the poster was accepted and would have been presented)


Identification of Materials in Hyperspectral Images Using a Convolutional Neural Network Based Autoencoder

2021 Virtual Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference


Identification of Materials in Hyperspectral Images Using an Autoencoder and Relu Activation

2021 Virtual Ken Kennedy AI and Data Science Conference

Poster Talk

Migrating Controls Code from Java 8 to Java 11

2019 National Ignition Facility Summer Scholar Research Symposium


Awards, Scholarships, etc

2020 Grace Hopper Scholarship, allowing free admittance to the Grace Hopper Conference

2021 Provost Undergraduate Fellowship recipieant, a $1,500 research grant given to UC Davis students conducting creative research [award]

UC Davis Deans List Winter Quarter of 2019, awarded to top 16% of the college of engineering

1st place in the UC Davis Designathon throughout the college of engineering

Previous Projects

Schofield Labs at UC Davis

BEAR Labs focuses on prosthetics and robotics. I designed user study to study the muscular behavioral patterns of children with the aim of designing better childrens prosthetics. While designing this user study I was fortunate enough to receive funding from a Provost Undergraduate Fellowship Award.

Image Science Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University

The summer of 2021, I worked with Professor Aswin Sankaranarayanan at the Carnegie Mellon University Image Science Laboratory. My task was to develop an unsupervised learning method to determine which materials are most prominent in a given hyperspectral image using a modified autoencoder.

Gem5Art WebApp Development at dARCHr labs at UC Davis

During the winter of 2019 I researched at a computer architecture lab at UC Davis led by Professor Lowe-Power. I updated the lab's web application so that it would display their results more clearly, allowing the students to conduct research more easily. My work can be found in their (now archived) GitHub repository.

OneLoop, the UC Davis HyperLoop Team

In 2018 I joined OneLoop, the HyperLoop team at UC Davis, where I designed a failure reporter to indicate whether our racing pod was encountering a problem. That summer our team placed in the top 21 teams globally and was invited to race our pod at the SpaceX facility. In 2019 I was appointed president and for two years I led the 60 person team. SpaceX unfortunately canceled all future competitions, but I was able to lead the team in developing a new breaking and proplusion system, and this year the team is competing in Europe.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories Summer Scholar

The summer of 2019 I worked as a Summer Scholar for the Computing Division of the National Ignition Facility In Lawrence Livermore Laboratories. I updated the codebase that controls the National Ignition Facility, which is the most energetic laser beam in the world. The updates included transitioning from Java 8 to Java 11, adding unit tests, and generally modernizing the system.

Orbital Propogation Design for the NASA Big Idea Project

In 2018 I Led a programming team in designing an orbital propagator, which is a program that takes in data involving a satellite's position and uses orbital mechanics to predict where it will be in the future. The orbital propagator will be used in a 2U Cubesat that will be launched by UC Davis to observe and record the effects of climate change on the Earth.

UC Davis Cybersecurity Team CTF Coordinator

In 2018 I I joined the UC Davis Cybersecurity club. The first year I studied system penetration and low-level machine programming, and took a class led by one of the team members. In 2019 I was elected to lead the team in CTF (capture the flag) competitions such as the Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition at Stanford University.

NASA L'Space Academy

I was a member of the L'Space Academy, a NASA run program designed to give undergraduates working in a NASA-like environment. I was the deputy project manager for my team of ten engineers, and together we conducted research to design a mock proposal for a Martian lander.

My blog: Random ramblings about my life

Attempt #1 at getting a robotic hand to respond to gestures

Part of my preliminary research at BEAR Laboratories


Get notified when my blog updates