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 hope to get a PhD in machine learning, specifically computer vision. My name is Mira Welner. Here is my resume. Here is my transcript.

Synthetic hyperspectral image autoencoder

I programmed this notebook as a member of Sankaranarayanan's lab at Carnegie Mellon University. This Jupyter notebook generates a set of hyperspectral images following a specific (standard) formula. It then trains a convolutional neural network to compresses it to five maps and five spectra. It verifies the maps and spectra's accuracy by using them to recreate the original hyperspectral image.


Provost Undergraduate Research Award Presentation

This is the poster that will be presented at next years Provost Undergraduate Research Award Presentation. The presentation describes the later portion of my work at BEAR laboratories, in which I was developing a video game to conduct an experiment.


Food word embedding valitator

My first project as a member of Professor Tagkopolous's lab was to create a system of word embeddings for use in food science. There was no baseline however, so I decided to create one using food ontologies as the baseline. However, it become clear that food ontologies were based on similarity rather than the words being seen together. The lab's resident food scientist had enough work already without designing a new food ontology, so, as it sometimes happens in research, I started another task instead. Here is the test code


Current Projects

Image Science Lab at Carnegie Mellon University

For 12 weeks this summer I will be researching as a member of Professor Aswin Sankaranarayanan's computer vision laboratory. My work is centered around designing novel methods for altering various features of hyperspectral images using U-Nets and Autoencoders. The project is self directed within the lab.

Tagkopoulos Labs at UC Davis

I am currently co-authoring a paper with one other student. Unfortunately I cannot go into the project specifics until the paper is published, hopefully in the summer or the fall, due to a non-disclosure agreement. On a purely technical level however, my work focused on designing a random forest model based on a very diverse and 'messy' dataset.

BEAR Labs at UC Davis

I am conducting research in prosthetic grasping systems which to be used for young children. I received a Provost Undergraduate Fellowship to develop a video game system that will instruct the user to make gestures. Those gestures and the output from the game will be put into an analysis program. In the past, I programmed a myoelectric detection band to pick up new signals from the user.

Previous Projects

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories Summer Scholar

The summer after my Freshman year, I worked as a Summer Scholar for the Computing Division of the National Ignition Facility In Lawrence Livermore Laboratories. I worked with several programmers to update a Java codebase from Java 8 to Java 11. This codebase powered the National Ignition Facility, which is the most energetic laser in the world. I presented my work at the symposium for summer scholars.

Gem5Art WebApp Development

I worked at dARCr labs, 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 them to conduct research more easily. My work can be found in their (now archived) GitHub repository.

OneLoop, the UC Davis HyperLoop Team

I was the president of OneLoop, the HyperLoop team at UC Davis for over a year. I led a 67 person team in designing a pod which to be raced in the HyperLoop competition held by the Boring Company and SpaceX at SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne. Last competition we placed in the top 21 teams globally. Unfortunately there were no competitions while I was president due to COVID, but I was able to improve to a high enough level that this year it is competing in Europe.

Orbital Propagator Designer

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. Ensured that the code was of a high enough quality to be handed off to the next team leader.

UC Davis Cybersecurity Team CTF Coordinator

Freshman year, 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. After a year of studying cybersecurity I took on a new role to lead the UC Davis Cybersecurity Team while competing in CTF (capture the flag) competitions. I led the team while we were developing and executing our ‘plan of attack’ to break into the targeted computer systems. We competed at 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

Awards, Scholarships, etc

Accepted to the Grainger Engineering 2021 Multicultural Engineering Recruitment for Graduate Education (MERGE) program sponsored by The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Electrical and Computer Engineering department

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

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

Deans List Winter 2019 GPA in the top 16 of the college of engineering

2018 UC Davis Designathon team, 1st place throughout the college of engineering

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

Part of my preliminary research at BEAR Laboratories


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