Paul G. Allen School Leadership Seminar Series

CSE 492L, Winter 2021

(This course was formerly numbered CSE 390)


Tuesdays, 1:30-2:20, on Zoom (see Canvas for Zoom room information)
Instructors: Dan Grossman / Ed Lazowska
A one-credit (CR/NC) seminar series


The Paul G. Allen School Leadership Seminar Series, CSE 492L, is a one-credit (CR/NC) seminar series, primarily targeted at upper-division CSE undergraduates, that brings CSE alumni and friends to campus (well, to Zoom this year ...) to describe how to be effective in a startup, small company, large company, or less common environment. Our guests will discuss topics such as:

  • What do you need to know in order to succeed, that you don't learn in your classes or during an internship?
  • How do you position yourself to work on interesting projects?
  • In a large company, what strategies can make you influential, vs. a cog in a wheel?
  • What is life like in a startup?
  • If your goal is to start and grow your own company, where do you begin?
  • What are the pros and cons of less common career options, such as teaching high school computer science?
  • Why might you choose graduate school vs. tech industry employment after graduation?
These should be great, informative, interactive sessions. This seminar has been very well received during its past offerings (2011-2020). But it's up to you - you need to make it interactive!

Course requirements

Regular attendance (attendance will be taken periodically), active participation.

Please read up on the individual and his/her employer(s) in advance of each course session, and come prepared to interact and ask questions.

Think of our guests as "postcards from your future." Come to class prepared to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of these alums.


You should expect and demand to be treated by your classmates and the course staff with respect. You belong here, and we are here to help you learn and enjoy this seminar. If any incident occurs that challenges this commitment to a supportive and inclusive environment, please let the instructors know so that the issue can be addressed. We are personally committed to this, and subscribe to the Allen School Inclusiveness Statement.

Zoom protocol

As we feel our way at the start of the quarter, please:

  • Camera on
  • Microphone off
  • Ask questions in chat

Course email archive

Send email to course members by using the address cse492l_wi21 at

The archive of email is available here.

The lineup

Tuesdays, 1:30, on Zoom ...
Date Guest(s) Experience
January 5 Recent alums:
   Sarah Yu, 2017 Computer Science B.S., 2017 Economics B.S.,
      2017 International Studies B.A., 2019 Computer Science M.S.
   Angela Eun, 2020 Computer Science B.S.,
   Mitali Palekar, 2019 Computer Science B.S.
Amazon (Intern) -> Microsoft (Intern) -> Apple (Intern) -> Uber (Intern) ->
   Grab (Intern) ->Bloomberg LP (NYC)
Intel (Intern) -> Cozi (Intern) -> Microsoft (Redmond)
Uber (Intern) -> Stripe (Intern) -> LinkedIn (Intern) -> Facebook (Intern) ->
   LinkedIn (Sunnyvale)
January 12 Justine Sherry, 2010 Computer Science B.S., 2010 International
   Studies B.A., 2012 Computer Science M.S. (UC Berkeley),
   2016 Computer Science Ph.D. (UC Berkeley)
Carnegie Mellon University (Assistant Professor)
January 19 Krysta Yousoufian, 2011 Computer Science B.S.,
   2012 Computer Science M.S.
Cozi (Intern) -> Microsoft (Intern) -> Clean Power Research (Intern) ->
   Microsoft -> Doorsan GridTech
January 26 Dan Gerdesmeier, 2011 Computer Science B.S.
Slides (pdf): CSENetID UWNetID
Deloitte (Intern) -> Amazon Web Services (Intern) ->
   Amazon Web Services -> Google (Seattle)
February 2 Jennifer Kang, 2016 Computer Engineering B.S.,
   2016 Informatics B.S.
Slides (pdf): CSENetID UWNetID
Microsoft (Intern) -> Palantir (Intern) -> Apple (Intern) -> Microsoft (Intern) ->
   Palantir (Intern) -> Microsoft -> Ironclad (SF Bay)
February 9 Elliott Brossard, 2012 Computer Science B.S.,
   2012 Mathematics B.S., 2013 Computer Science M.S.
Slides (pdf): CSENetID UWNetID
Amazon (Intern) -> Google (Intern) -> Google -> Snowflake (Bellevue)
February 16 Victoria Kirst, 2008 Computer Science B.S.,
   2010 Computer Science M.S.
Slides (pdf): CSENetID UWNetID
Google (Seattle and NYC) -> Stanford (Lecturer) -> Google (NYC) ->
    Glitch (NYC) -> Browser Company
February 23 Graeme Britz, 2015 Computer Science B.S.
Slides (pdf): CSENetID UWNetID
Whitepages (Intern) -> Tableau Software (Intern) ->
   Tableau Software (Seattle)
March 2 Kim Sangwin-Remesnik, 2014 Computer Engineering B.S.
Slides (pdf): CSENetID UWNetID
HP (Intern) -> Intel (Intern) -> Intel -> Amazon
March 9 Mid-career alums:
   Wes Hather, 2006 Computer Science B.S.
   Gordon Hempton, 2007 Computer Science B.S.,
      2007 Mathematics B.S.
Slides (pdf): CSENetID UWNetID
SVision LLC (Intern) -> Flying Lab Software -> Team Apart ->
    Poll Everywhere -> GroupTalent -> Outreach ->
BlueTux Internet Services -> WebInsight -> Microsoft -> Team Apart ->
   GroupTalent -> Outreach ->