Feels like the Seattle economy is on the cusp of an expansion

I had a great week last week that left me feeling incredibly optimistic about the Seattle economy.

First, Techstars Seattle Demo Day. What a super event, “lots of coverage of it”:http://www.geekwire.com/2011/favorite-pitches-techstars-demo-day-red. Great young companies, enthusiasm, great pitches, good progress in fundraising. Big audience with great energy. Super job by @andysack and everyone involved, a model for everyone else in the Seattle community who wants to nurture startups. We need more of these events, not just in cloud/web. I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurship events at UW and they are constrained by mentoring, hiring, seed financing — exactly what the techstars guys are providing. One of the companies, “Romotive”:http://romotive.com/, has also done a great job leveraging Kickstarter and have generated a lot of early revenue — the rise of crowd-sourced pre-sales/funding is a fascinating and positive evolution.

Everyone was hiring at the event. As an indicator of how desperate people are to hire, I had two guys try to hire me. If you think I am the answer to your problem, you are pretty desperate.

Then I spent the better part of a day in a meeting with the “UW College of Engineering Visiting Committee”:http://www.engr.washington.edu/mycoe/committees/visit.html. Some great data on the College of Engineering — most programs are massively oversubscribed, turning away students in bunches, doing a great job placing students. Great evolution in programs, great facilities, great staffing. The College could probably push out many more engineers and is constrained by state economic policies; with tweaks to tuition and governance, it seems like the pipeline could open much more broadly. And we also had a chance to listen to President Young speak who seems to have a very open attitude about IP licensing, he seems to recognize that getting IP out of the university and to work is important.

I left the two days feeling like a lot of piece parts are coming together fast. Seed funding. Crowd sourcing. Mentoring. Training/Education. And with iteration and tweaking, we could see an explosion of economic growth in the Seattle area. Exciting times.

Computational Fluid Dynamics – my winter quarter adventure

This course may kill me as I know nothing of fluid dynamics, but I am hoping the computational focus will play in my favor. I’m not so interested in macro-scale behavior but more focused on nano-scale applications.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a set of methodologies to solve numerically the governing equations of fluid motion. In the past decades, the development and use of CFD has widely grown in both academia and industry to perform fundamental studies and engineering computations of fluid flows, e.g. for the design of airplanes, turbine blades, jet and rocket engines. This course is an introductory course to CFD covering its fundamentals, as well, few advanced topics.

The students completing this course in good standing are expected to learn: 1. the fundamentals and few advanced topics in CFD; 2. to select and implement numerical schemes for solving model equations for fluid dynamics; 3. to write and execute their own CFD codes (in Fortran or C); 4. to postprocess and analyze CFD results; 5. to write technical reports on CFD results.