Youssef: Roboteer, Startup Founder, and Machine Learning Engineer

Youssef is a student from Egypt who attended the Summer STEM Institute (SSI). Youssef is an avid roboteer and has competed in several international robotics competitions. During SSI, Youssef became interested in machine learning and its applications to robotics so much so that after the program, he switched his major from electrical and mechanical engineering to computer science and machine learning. Since then, Youssef has worked on several machine learning projects. Below, you can also learn more about Youssef’s interests in robotics and machine learning and his inspiring future career aspirations. You can also learn more about Youssef through his personal website here

How did you first become interested in science or research, and what areas of science and technology are you currently most interested in? 

When I was in elementary school, I watched YouTube channels, which first sparked my interest in science. Afterward, I joined a STEM school in Egypt. At STEM schools, students conduct research projects, build prototypes, and program every semester. To learn even more about STEM, I joined extracurriculars and became involved with robotics in grade 10. I am also the founder and the head of the robotics club at my school. I’ve competed in several robotics competitions, including Micromouse and the Young Innovator’s Contest. I’m really excited about robotics, artificial intelligence, and deep learning, and I can’t wait to see how robotics will influence the future. Outside of robotics, I’m also interested in physics and its application to robotics. 

Outside of robotics, what other interests, hobbies, or activities do you enjoy? 

I’m interested in business. I founded a startup called Empire. We provide resources for high school students to learn about robotics, virtual reality, cybersecurity, and all sorts of other computer science topics. We run workshops and provide mentorship and courses. We work all over Egypt and even outside of Egypt. Outside of Empire, I also take online courses in STEM and work on machine learning projects. Recently, I have been working on a project that uses machine learning and eye movement to move wheelchairs to help people with paraplegia. I’m also a part of the IEEE HTI, and I represent over 450 students at my school as a member of the student council.

In my free time, I love cooking, and I especially love cooking Egyptian dishes. My favorite dish to cook is koshary, which is a really popular dish here in Egypt. In addition to business and cooking, I enjoy boxing and fashion. 

What did you enjoy learning most during SSI? 

Before, I mostly did robotics and didn’t know anything about data science or machine learning. I really enjoyed learning about data science and machine learning at SSI, and I even decided to change my major at school from mechanical and electrical engineering to computer science with a focus on machine learning, data science, and deep learning. Also, in Egypt, the quality of education is not very high, so I was really excited by how organized SSI was. I think SSI is a great opportunity, so I shared it with other students at my school.

You mentioned that you changed your major to computer science and machine learning after SSI. Have you been working on any computer science or machine learning projects recently? 

Yes, like I mentioned earlier, I became very interested in machine learning and deep learning during SSI. After SSI, I started looking up other online courses I could take to further my knowledge. Since then, I have worked on several machine learning projects, including the wheelchair project I mentioned earlier. I have also built an attendance system that uses facial recognition for my school. Recently, I also started working on a project to detect diabetes using machine learning. 

What are your long-term career goals, and what do you envision yourself working on in the future? 

In the future, I hope to conduct machine learning research or work in business intelligence. I also think it would be cool to work at the intersection of machine learning and robotics on projects like self-driving cars. I think Tesla and NASA are both really impactful companies, and I would love to work there and share my knowledge in machine learning and robotics. 

I also hope to have my own business in the field of technology, machine learning, and robotics. Also, like I mentioned earlier, the quality of education in Egypt isn’t very high. I hope my business can provide educational opportunities to students across Egypt.