Miami Dade College’s spirit of innovation was in the spotlight again at the recent eMerge Americas conference, a two-day event showcasing the world’s biggest names in new and emerging technology. The annual conference, held this year at the Miami Beach Convention Center, featured well-known speakers such as Apple co-founder and tech visionary Steve Wozniak, rapper and producer Pitbull, financial guru Suze Orman and Cesar Conde, chairman of NBCUniversal International Group and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. Top firms from the financial, communications and technology sector, including T-Mobile, CNBC, Softtek and Lyft, were also represented. MDC stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the major brands at this year’s event. The College displayed a variety of student projects spearheaded at MDC campuses, such as self-driving cars, startup prototypes, healthcare simulators and animated film shorts. MDC’s Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex (MAGIC) showed off its chops with a slate of animated films that were created at MAGIC’s state-of-the-art facility. The films Dine & Dash, Levitate and New World Order were made in conjunction with major media studios Nickelodeon and 20th Century Fox Animation. Medical Campus students from the Benjamín León Nursing School demonstrated the real-world applications of cutting-edge human patient simulators – computerized mannequins that mimic real patient symptoms – while students from The Idea Center’s Startup Challenge, CREATE, Generation IT and CS50x programs presented their individual projects and prototypes. One of the highlights of the event was the unveiling of a miniature self-driving car, created by MDC students who spent the spring semester studying robotics science and systems research at the Massachuetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. The vehicle employs sophisticated sensor systems to maneuver and avoid obstacles autonomously. MDC’s representation wasn’t limited to current students. Alumni Dan and Felipe Zambrano attended eMerge to promote their startup Streaming Bundles, a website that sells starter packagers for individuals interested in producing their own YouTube videos, podcasts and live streams. Dan Zambrano said he was proud to be one of several Sharks in attendance. “It’s amazing how far MDC has come in the 14 years since I’ve graduated,” he said. “The College arguably had the most impressive exhibits at event.”
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