Jacob Dice

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Author: Jacob Dice

Monoprice Delta Mini – RGB LED Lights

I recently purchased a Monoprice Mini Delta 3D printer, and I was immediately impressed with how low the barrier to entry has become for high-quality home 3D printing. I plugged it in, and it instantly produced a flawless Baymax from Big Hero 6 that came preloaded on the SD card. However, after a few prints, I recognized one of its few downfalls: there was no build plate lighting, let alone an RGB light show. But that’s an easy fix. With a true maker spirit and a month to wait for eBay shipments, I added a light show to this lil’ machine. Described below are my process and parts list. Read more

Competing on Analytics and Flashcards

A recent venture finance funding that made a lot of VC news highlights was a 20M series B funding round for Quizlet. The series B round accounts for a large portion of Quizlet’s total funding, which is now approximately 32M. Essentially, Quizlet is an online flashcard service that allows users to read and test their study material and share their flashcards with other users on the platform. However, this most recent funding, along with a 12M series A, is allowing Quizlet to expand past a simple flashcard sharing platform. Essentially, Quizlet wants to develop a more advanced machine learning algorithm that tracks what users know, and what they should study repetitively so they can improve long-term retention.  Read more

Fishing for Insight

Continuing the trend of analyzing front-running machine learning and business intellige198nce applications in startup companies, this week I will be commenting on a startup named Aquabyte. This is a particularly applicable startup to BIA 6300 because they are addressing a problem on the frontier of big data: unstructured data. In the case of Aquabyte, they are working to create a machine vision algorithm that can accurately estimate the size of salmon and detect sea lice – two important tasks in fish farming.  Read more

Predictability is Key for Consumer Satisfaction

Consumers like predictable bills. It is always an unpleasant feeling when you receive an unexpected overage charge on a phone bill, or a higher than average water bill. A recent article by Business Wire highlights a company named Bidgely that capitalizes on this consumer desire. Essentially, Bidgely collects utility usage data and gives users actionable energy saving insights and alerts users when a bill is projected to be unusually high. Read more

Article Review: TechCrunch Deal Sourcing

An article TechCrunch published on December 21st highlights a new venture capital fund in Berlin, Fly Ventures, that is utilizing machine learning to deal source new companies.  In the past, I have heard of venture funds utilizing mathematical modeling to run Monte-Carlo simulations that estimate the necessary portfolio size to be profitable with a random set of investments (bigger portfolio averages return), but I have never seen a fund utilize machine learning for sourcing new investments. Essentially, they have created a machine learning algorithm that scrapes the internet (blogs, job boards, accelerators, CrunchBase, etc.) and then ranks them. Read more

The Art of Venture Capital Meshed with the Science of Business Intelligence: A Dynamic Duo

Venture capital is often lightheartedly referred to as an art, not a science. It is extremely hard to quantify the ideal investment because startups operate in emerging markets with very few concrete and calculable insights. Oftentimes this difficulty leads venture capitalists to work on gut-instinct, not data-driven insights. However, to succeed in an ever-competitive market, it is necessary for businesses to find meaningful and data-driven insights, thus giving them a competitive advantage. This intersection is where business intelligence can play a key role in venture finance.
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DECA ICDC – Anaheim California

In April of 2017, my partner Jameson Howard and I competed in Sports Entertainment and Marketing at the international DECA conference. Read more

3D Printed Economic Models

Above are sample images of prints of physical representations of economic indicators. One day in spring of 2017 after macroeconomics class with Dr. Bots, I researched 3D printing a map of varying height – I found color-coordinated images that were representative of 2 categories: unemployment and GDP per capita. Read more

PhysCon 2016

I was fortunate enough to attend the 2016 Quadrennial Physics conference in San Francisco, California. Over a thousand undergraduate physics students from across the world attended 2016 PhysCon (largest undergraduate physics conference).

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National Undergraduate Research Observatory – Flagstaff, AZ

In the summer of 2016, I traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona with fellow William Jewell College Pillsbury Scholars for one week. During the trip, we collected data on the period of various binary stars on the 29″ NURO telescope. Read more