CIE-SF 2018 Annual Conference Afternoon Program

Time: Saturday, March 24, 13:00pm - 17:30pm
Venue: Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara

You can submit your questions to HR panel with this link: Questions

Engineers and Their Careers in a Changing World

AI, big data, IOT, autonomous driving…Where are the opportunities in today’s market? How to find career turning point? What are the necessary skills to adapt, transform and lead?

The afternoon session's theme is about engineers and their careers in a changing world. Speakers will talk about their own career stories, the industries they are in, the rapidly changing technologies, the companies they work for, future trends, and anchor on the point of required technical and leadership skills that are necessary for today’s engineers.

  • Executives from public companies talk about corporate ladder, and what are the high-level positions they are hiring, and how to get to those positions. May analyze a few hiring examples.
  • Startup stars talk about why they choose the career path and how they hire/establish a RD team, comparing with established corporations
  • Incubator/Accelerator talk about who are those founders in Silicon Valley (demographic, portfolio examples), and startup areas, team member’s role and how engineers grow, from technology know-how to business and finance know-how
  • HR/Talent acquisition expert from global companies and university talk about the opportunities and current hunt for local talents



12:45 pm to 1:15 pm


1:15 pm to 1:30 pm

Opening Remarks

1:30 pm to 3:30 pm

  • Titan Gu, Theravance Biopharma
  • Vamsi Boppana, Xilinx
  • Siwei Shen, lyft
  • Shawn Flynn, TechCode

3:30 pm to 3:45 pm


3:45 pm to 5:00 pm

  • HR presentation (15 min): Tom Zhang
  • HR Panel (1 hour): Moderator Tom Zhang
  • Panelist: Claire (Baidu), Ping Hsu (SJSU), Jane Xu (Tencent)

6:00 pm to 9:00pm

Evening Dinner Banquet, with Keynote by Victor Peng, CEO of Xilinx  <Buy_Ticket>


Title: Career in Pharmaceutical R&D that Make a Difference

Speaker: Dr. Titan Gu (Vice President, Analytical Development and Quality Control, Technical Operations, Theravance Biopharma)

Biotech and pharmaceutical industry is the other crown jewel of bay area and Silicon Valley, with robust growths projected for biotech in the bay area. A brief overview of drug discovery and development process will be provided, along with the current trends in biotech and pharm world. This presentation will also illustrate career paths in biotech and pharmaceutical industry using personal experiences, and discuss the type of engineers that are highly desired in biotech & pharmaceutical industry, especially in the highly regulated cGMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) environment.  Some personal advises will be offered on how to prosper in a career in biotech and pharmaceutical industry, and on the interview tricks.



Title: Adaptable Architectures: The Why and How?

Speaker: Dr. Vamsi Boppana (Corporate Vice President, Silicon and Systems Development, Xilinx)

An explosion in the generation, movement and analysis of data is creating fundamental shifts and opportunities in the semiconductor industry today. Data, as they say, is the new oil. Traditional, general purpose, architectures are unable to scale to service these next generation demands. Custom Silicon products, while offering viable technology, are increasingly becoming unviable due to economic reasons… the expense associated with building such products is increasing exponentially and becoming prohibitive for most applications. Adaptable architectures, such as FPGAs and Programmable SoCs, offer an excellent alternative by providing some of the benefits of custom silicon products without the prohibitive expense associated with building them. This talk provides insights into why adaptable architectures are needed and how they are solving critical problems. Finally, we will explore how this changing landscape is presenting significant learning and growth opportunities to the engineering community.



Title: Are Soft Skills Static?

Speaker: Siwei Shen (Director of Engineering, Lyft)

The general belief that personal career growth is tantamount to climbing the corporate ladder, or better yet, breaking the glass ceiling, has resulted in overemphasis on soft skills. It is often said that unlike hard skills which can be rendered less useful over time by new technology breakthroughs, soft skills are static and always transferable. Such a claim may finally be challenged. In recent years, the shift to focus on physical world problems demands increasingly interdisciplinary talents. Particularly for those in early stage companies, even their soft skills may need to evolve in response to the emerging trends. Although the pros and cons for startups vs established corporations have been long discussed, it is worth taking another look in the context of disruptive technological changes.




Title: Engineers are Always Learning

Speaker: Shawn Flynn (Senior Business Development Manager, Techcode)

Team member’s role and how engineers grow, from technology know-how to business and finance know-how:  a look at my personal journey, and the journey of the individuals of two of the companies held in Techcode, (an international incubator chain.)  One is Cocoon Cam, the only smart baby monitor that offers both breathing monitoring and HD video in one device. Learn what drove a boy genius who entered college at age eleven to want to join this team and a Founder with a newborn baby, with a great job at Tesla, to want to quit to form his own company. Also, the story of the founders of and how one went from Academia to the startup life and another has been a serial entrepreneur since her can remember.  What drives engineers to keep changing their roles and moving forward as nothing is constant in the world of Engineering. 



Title: Find the Turning Point in Your Career

Speaker: Dr. Tom Zhang (HR/Talent Acquisition in Silicon Valley)

Job seekers are like venture capitalists (VCs).  They both want to catch the next promising startup companies.  VCs can invest in hundreds of startups, but a job seeker cannot work for multiples startups at the same time.  Changing job can be an important turning point in your career.   Tom Zhang will share 10 tips on how to find the turning point and how to evaluate startup job opportunities.



Panel Discussion Title: "Where are the opportunities in today's market?"

Panel Moderator: Dr. Tom Zhang


Claire Yang (Head of HR, Baidu USA)

Dr. Ping Hsu (Professor, San Jose State University)

Jane Xu (HR, Tencent America)

This panel discussion will be the anchoring point to our afternoon session. Panel Moderator, Dr. Tom Qi Zhang, is a Talent Acquisition expert in Silicon Valley. He played important roles in HR/recruiting team at Google, Tencent America, and Tesla in the last 10+ years. His pick for this panel topic is on "Where are the opportunities in today's market?"

As the top employee supplier in the valley, Prof. Hsu, former Associate/Interim Dean of the College of Engineering, may help us to know how SJSU so successfully prepares its students for their career path; and representing Tencent America and Baidu USA, respectively, Jane and Claire will share with us the new opportunities coming from international scene, especially for our core Chinese American engineers in the US.



Speaker Photos


Dr. Titan Gu, VP, Theravance Biopharma



Dr. Vamsi Boppana, Corporate VP, Xilinx




Siwei Shen, Director, Lyft




Shawn Flynn, Sr. Manager, TechCode




Dr. Tom Zhang, HR/Talent Acquisition in Silicon Valley



Panelist photos

Dr. Ping Hsu, Professor of SAN JOSÉ STATE UNIVERSITY


Claire Yang, Head of HR at Baidu USA


Jane Xu, Director of HR & Operations at Tencent America




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CIE-SF 2018 Annual Conference Dinner Banquet

Time: Saturday, March 24, 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Venue: Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara


Keynote Speaker: Victor Peng, President and Chief Executive Officer of Xilinx

Victor Peng is President and Chief Executive Officer of Xilinx. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Xilinx. Peng has over 30 years of experience defining and bringing to market leadership FPGAs, All Programmable SoCs, GPUs, high performance microprocessors and chip sets, and microprocessor IP products.

In his previous role as Chief Operating Officer, Peng managed Global Sales, Product & Vertical Marketing, Product Development, and Global Operations & Quality. Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President & General Manager of Products at Xilinx, and led the definition, development, and product marketing of the company’s portfolio of products and differentiated technologies – resulting in three consecutive generations of core product leadership and significant industry breakouts in integration and programming.

Before joining Xilinx, Peng served as Corporate Vice President of the graphics products group (GPG) silicon engineering with AMD, where he also served as a key leader for AMD's central silicon engineering team supporting graphics, console game products, CPU chipset and consumer business units. Prior to that, Peng held executive and engineering leadership roles at TZero Technologies, MIPS Technologies, SGI and Digital Equipment Corp.

Peng earned a BSEE from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.Eng. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University. He holds four U.S. patents.


Talk Title: Xilinx Past and Future in the New Era of Computing


Xilinx invented the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), a new product category, over 30 years ago that enabled breakthrough innovations across multiple industries during the heyday of semiconductors. Today, we are witnessing the start of a new era of computing. This era is defined by exponential growth of unstructured data, the emergence of artificial intelligence, and heterogeneous computing in the wake of the end of Moore’s Law. With IoT devices proliferating, the transition to 5G, and growth of public and private clouds, the world is becoming intelligent and connected. This new world requires a new form of computing.

Mr. Peng will share a brief history of Xilinx and his vision of where the company is heading and how it will contribute to building the future adaptable intelligent world.


Silicon Valley Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award recipient:

Ken Xie, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Fortinet

A seasoned and successful entrepreneur, Ken Xie started his first network security company SIS in 1993, designing software firewalls while studying at Stanford University. In 1996, he realized the performance limitations of software firewalls running on PCs/servers, and as a result started NetScreen. As founder, president, and CEO, he led the company to develop the industry's first ASIC and dedicated hardware systems for high-performance firewalls and VPNs. NetScreen (NASDAQ: NSCN) was acquired by Juniper (NASDAQ: JNPR) for $4 billion.
In 2000, after recognizing that firewalls and VPNs alone could not stop content and application network attacks such as viruses, intrusions, spam, and malicious web content, Ken founded Fortinet. Fortinet first pioneered the concept of Unified Threat Management (UTM), which unified these functions into single, highly functional appliances. With the rise of IoT, cloud, and mobility, Fortinet is now leading the way in evolving to the next generation of cybersecurity with its holistic Security Fabric vision and portfolio of solutions, which secure the entire attack service from IoT to the cloud and from user to data.  Fortinet completed its IPO (NASDAQ: FTNT) in 2009, which was lauded by Renaissance Capital as "IPO of the Year."
Ken earned an M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University and B.S. and M.S. degrees in electronic engineering from Tsinghua University. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a state-registered Professional Engineer. He also represents Fortinet as a member of the Board of Directors of the Cyber Threat Alliance.


Silicon Valley Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award recipient:

Eric S. Yuan, Founder and CEO of

Eric S. Yuan founded Zoom in 2011. Prior to starting Zoom, Eric was Corporate Vice President of Engineering at Cisco, where he was responsible for Cisco's collaboration software development. As one of the founding engineers and Vice President of Engineering at WebEx, Eric was the heart and soul of the WebEx product from 1997 to 2011. Eric proudly grew the WebEx team from 10 engineers to more than 800 worldwide, and contributed to revenue growth from $0 to more than $800M. Eric is a named inventor on 11 issued and 20 pending patents in real time collaboration. In 2017, Eric was added to the Business Insider list of the 52 Most Powerful People in Enterprise Tech. Eric is a graduate of the Stanford University Executive Program.



Distinguish Community Leadership/Service Award recipient:
C.C. Yin (尹集成), Founder of Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA)

Two words best describe C.C. Yin . . . community involvement. To be successful, is not merely a measure of one’s financial worth. For C.C. Yin, success is best described as one’s contributions to the community. The Yin Family operates close to 30 McDonald's Restaurants in Vacaville, Fairfield, Suisun, Rio Vista, Vallejo, American Canyon, Woodland & Sacramento. C.C. supports each by being an active leader and regular participant in business, civic, education, charity, government and public affairs, all focusing on the betterment of the community. He also generously gives both time and financial assistance to countless charities, schools, sports programs, and the Arts, to name a few, as well as seniors, youth, minorities, disabled persons, and the homeless.

In 2001, he started an organization called the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA), which aims to empower API Americans through education, active participation and leadership in civic & public affairs. C.C. is actively engaged in the democratic and political process at local, state and national levels. APAPA is now a nationwide organization with 23 Chapters and more chapters set to open in 2018.

In the professional arena, after 18 years in the Engineering career, C.C. continues to pursue his dream of entrepreneurship, always aiming to perfect operations in his noteworthy McDonald’s restaurants in Northern California. He has been awarded many high recognitions including: McDonald's Leadership Award, National Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Asian Enterprise Magazine, Top 50 National Food Franchisee by Nation's Restaurant News, Top Franchisee in the Nation by Franchise Times Magazine, Minority Retail Firm of the Year by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the most prestigious Golden Arch Award by McDonald's Corporation. Other achievements also include: Vacaville Chamber of Commerce Chair, California Highway Patrol Citizens Advisory Board, CA Restaurant Association PAC Board, Solano Community College Foundation Board, Tri City NAACP Scholarship Program Chair and Vacaville Police Activities League Chair. In the last couple of years, he was appointed as California Lottery Commissioner and California State University Trustee.


The Distinguished Achievement Award in Technology and Humanity/Humanities recipient:
Richard C. T. Lee (李家同), Provost and Acting President, National Tsing Hua University, President, Providence University, President, National Chi Nan University, Chairman, Boyo Social Welfare Foundation

R. C. T. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, 1939. He received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Department of Electrical Engineering of National Taiwan University in 1961, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of the University of California, Berkeley, California in 1963 and 1967 respectively. He worked for NCR from 1963 to 1964 after he got his M.S. degree. After getting his Ph.D. degree, he joined National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland in 1967 and later worked in Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. in 1974.

He returned to Taiwan in 1975 and started his teaching career in National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan. In this university, he had been the chairperson of Department of Computer Science and Department of Electrical Engineering. In 1984, after he became the Dean of College of Engineering and in 1988, he was appointed as the Provost. In 1994, he was the Acting President of National Tsing Hua Univresity. From 1994 to 1999, he was the President of Providence University in Shalu, Taiwan and in 1999, he was the President of National Chi Nan University, Puli, Taiwan. He is now a honorary professor of Providence University, National Chi Nan University and National Tsing Hua University.

Professor Lee has published roughly 80 papers, all in prestigious academic journals. He has been editors for ten journals. In 1989, he became an IEEE fellow. He received the Distinguished Research Awards from the National Science Council, Republic of China, five times and the Ministry of Education Engineering Academic Achievement Award in 1989. He is presently a Micronix Chair Professor. Professor Lee coauthored the book “Symbolic Logic and Mechanical Theorem Proving” which was published by Academic Press in 1973. This book was translated into Japanese, Russian and Italian. In 2005, McGraw-Hill published his “Introduction to the Design and Analysis of Algorithms, a Strategic Approach”, which he coauthored with other there professors. In addition to publishing technical papers, Professor Lee has also been an author of short stories. His four books, “Let the Wall Come Down”, “The Stranger”, “The Curtain Never Falls” and “The Bell Rings Again” have been all popular in Taiwan. “Let the Wall Come Down” has been sold more than 300,000 copies within a short period of seven years. He also published a book advising young people to pay attention to basics, entitled “Let Us Go Back to Basics” Professor Lee is good at telling stories to stimulate deep thoughts, so his works are deeply loved, especially between teachers and students in primary and secondary schools. Moreover, his articles have been widely forwarded on the network.


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2/20 Bitcoin, Blockchain Technology and Crypto Currencies

Talk Title: “ Bitcoin, Blockchain Technology and Crypto Currencies”  

Date: February 20, 2018 (Tuesday) 7:00 - 9:00 pm (Registration starts at 6:30pm)

Venue: ITRI Int’l, 2870 Zanker Rd., Suite #140, San Jose, CA



Talk Title: “Bitcoin, Blockchain Technology and Crypto Currencies”  by Dr. William Kao


Talk Abstract:  Few commodities are hotter right now than bitcoin, the world’s most popular digital currency, which has rocketed up to around $19,000 last week (Dec 18, 2017) from less than $1,000 since Jan. 1, 2017.

Bitcoin is a crypto currency and worldwide payment system.  It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central bank or single administrator. The network is peer-to-peer and transactions take place between users directly through the use of cryptography, without an intermediary. These transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.

Currently, over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment. Starting Dec 2017 , Coinucopia, a Sacramento-based startup, offers instant access to bitcoin at automated teller machines in northern California, in locations as varied as the South Bay’s Westfield Valley Fair mall, a Berkeley gas station and an Oakland liquor store.

 September 2017 was rocky for bitcoin in which the digital currency briefly plunged more than $2,000 as China cracked down on crypto currencies and J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a "fraud" that "won't end well."

Crypto currency is a medium of exchange like normal currencies such as USD, but designed for the purpose of exchanging digital information through a process made possible by certain principles of cryptography. Cryptography is used to secure the transactions and to control the creation of new coins. The first crypto currency to be created was Bitcoin back in 2009. Today there are hundreds of other crypto currencies, often referred to as Altcoins.

In this two hour presentation, the speaker will present the history, the technology, and the market of Bitcoin, Blockchain and crypto currencies in general.



Speaker Bio: Dr. William Kao received his BSEE, MSEE and PhD from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He worked in the Semiconductor and Electronic Design Automation industries for more than 30 years holding several senior and executive engineering management positions at Texas Instruments, Xerox Corporation, Cadence Design Systems.

Dr. Kao has authored more than 40 technical papers at IEEE Journals and Conferences, and holds eight software and IC design patents. He was an Adjunct Professor at UCLA Electrical Engineering Department where he taught courses in computer aided IC design.

Dr. Kao is a Senior Member of IEEE, and was one of the founding members of IEEE-Circuits and Systems - Silicon Valley Chapter, where he was Chapter Chair in 2005 and 2006.

Dr. Kao currently teaches Renewable Energy, Clean Technology and Business Sustainability courses at the University of California Santa Cruz, Silicon Valley Extension.  

Dr. Kao current interests include the subjects of Energy, Environment and Education.

He teaches and is a frequent lecturer on various Emerging Technologies including Clean Technology, Renewable Energy, Business Sustainability, Big Data, IoT, Smart Cities, Sensor Networks, Innovation, Augmented Reality, Robotics, AI and 3D Printing.


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E4E Program (Engineers for Engineers)


This program provides Engineers an opportunity to practice public speaking and formal presentation.

(1) This program align with our soft skill training program.
(2) The applicant will make a 5 minutes presentation. We prefer it is a power point presentation or a computer operated presentation.
(3) It should include the greeting, the reason of the present and the main body of the present.
(4) Please select the contents which interest most of the engineers. It could be a skill, a tool, features of a tool, a website, etc.
(5) The present will be taken place at the beginning of some of our events.
(6) Applicant needs to apply for the program and CIE-SF will review the application.
(7) CIE-SF may provide coaching.
(8) CIE-SF will video record the present and put on youtube to let more engineers can be benefited from it.
(9) After you sing up the form, CIE-SF will contact you for next step.


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