Michael Hirsch, Ph.D.: Advocacy, outreach and mentoring

Outreach and Mentoring

Michael been involved with numerous student outreach efforts in science and engineering. A typical engagement uses Octave or Python for the students to understand basics of Fourier Analysis (frequency domain techniques, filtering) and the $20 RTL2832 USB SDR sticks.

Michael believes firmly in citizen involvement in geoscience and has projects in active development for deployment at schools worldwide. A key component is the parts cost typically less than $500 for citizen science system. Michael has created several microsites interwoven with Github as an ongoing teaching series covering Python, Fortran, C, C++ working in harmony for modern engineers and scientists.

Michael has mentored dozens of electrical engineering senior design teams, including a few that have launched startup companies, typically on efforts involving analog circuit design, especially for EMC concerns, antenna design, and computer vision with embedded systems. He earned the 2015 Boston Univ. ECE Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant award as a result.

Michael has spoken to school groups and science/technology camps for all ages on the opportunities accessible to those with the aptitude, regardless of background in engineering and STEM.

standing before the US Capitol, renovations nearly complete
Geoscience advocates Lekawa, Chen, Park Boush and Hirsch at the US Capitol, Sept. 2016.

Open-source / Open-Data

Michael uses contemporary software design techniques, and has contributed to numerous open source projects including GNU Octave, SciPy, AstroPy, Numba and Pathlib. Michael published over 100 geoscience-related programs to Github as well as numerous embedded vision and radar programs.

Advocacy

Michael has delivered testimony before and built relationships with senators, representatives, and staff at the state and federal level, with advocacy in areas including geoscience/geospace and digital rights.

Michael Hirsch, Ph.D. on Capitol Hill at the Hart Senate Office Building, Senator Warren's office door
"Michael Hirsch, Ph.D. meeting with Senator Warren's staff for geoscience advocacy.

Philosophy

Philosophy

No matter what age or location, each individual has sparks of individuality and talent that can inspire others, elevate oneself and build for the betterment of the world. Individuals with grave and profound disabilities have been featured in major films, created podcasts broadcast on actual radio networks, and given TED talks. In almost every situation, there are definable steps and a pathway to make dramatic improvements in one’s realization of their potential. In some cases, yes this could lead over a decade to a dramatic change in fortune. In other cases, it may mean better relationships and better sense of self worth and potential realization. It all starts with empathy and reaching out to give a hand up to others. Michael has been giving back his whole life, mentoring since elementary school in programming/software engineering, mathematics, and electronics.