Focus on Jhamali Vassell – 2018 Calico Challenge Participant

Today we feature Jhamali Vassell one of our 2018 Calico Challenge participants. Here is some insight into Jhamali’s views on technology.

“My name is Jhamali Devante Vassell, 22. I went Glenmuir High from 2008 t0 2015. I currently attend the University of the West Indies(UWI), Mona, Majoring in Computer Science and Electronics.

I became a volunteer for the Palisadoes Foundation September 2017.
My interests cover a wide range, but my main goal is to get into the field of robotics and AI development. Though most people are still skeptical about smart machines, I believe they are necessary for continued advancement, which may eventually become stagnate due to human limitations. If designed well, machines would be able to complete task with more precision and speed than humans, allowing the research and development process to go by more quickly. Another thing I’m quite interested in is robotic body parts, for the disabled, such as spine alignment technology, new limbs, and even eyes.
Currently I’m mainly focused on low level development, embedded systems and communication between them. I’m hoping to eventually go to Japan, where Robotic development is occurring on a large scale, and at a fairly fast pace. Other places I’m interested in are DeepMind, Google, Open AI, Tesla, IRobot, Touch Bionics.”

About The Calico Challenge

Calico is a Palisadoes summer internship program for Jamaican university student programmers. Their work is supervised by software industry volunteers with an interest in helping students transition into the work world. Calico stipends are paid when students achieve of pre-defined goals assigned by their mentors. The software code our Calico students produce are actually contributions to various open source software projects. The results of their work are public on the GitHub website and publicly show the quality of their work. This can be used by potential employers as an addition to the students’ resumes.

Open source software is created through the collaboration of volunteer programmers to make apps that are free for use by all. Popular open source projects include the Chrome and Firefox web browsers, the Android operating system used by 80% of all mobile phones, the freely available LibreOffice and OpenOffice alternatives to Microsoft Office, and many of the free apps available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Calico is very closely modeled on the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) initiative. Google has run GSoC for over ten years and in 2016 over 1,500 students around the world are expected to participate. A primary goal for Palisadoes is to make Calico a feeder program for GSoC.