02.09.20 / Solve for Tomorrow

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Alumnus Explores New Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence

Talking Points

  • Celebrating a decade of Solve for Tomorrow success with alumnus Benjamin Spiegel, now exploring new frontiers in artificial intelligence at Brown University.
  • Spiegel credits his experience in the Solve for Tomorrow contest with helping to develop his teambuilding, problem-solving and presentation skills that have served him well in his academic career.
  • Watch Benjamin Spiegel’s #SamsungSolve story and take an insider’s tour of Brown University’s Providence, Rhode Island campus.

“The feeling of winning the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition was unlike anything else I’d ever experienced. It was mind-blowing, incredible, world-opening. I felt like I could do anything,” said Benjamin Spiegel, a student of artificial intelligence at Brown University and a 2016 winner of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest, which challenges public-school 6th to 12th graders to solve a pressing problem in their community using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

  • Samsung Solve for Tomorrow alum Benjamin Spiegel’s Brooklyn Tech High School team, right, was a grand-prize winner in the 2016 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM contest, for developing a pedestrian safety app for the hearing- and vision-impaired and for kids.
  • Samsung Solve for Tomorrow alum Benjamin Spiegel’s Brooklyn Tech High School team, right, was a grand-prize winner in the 2016 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM contest, for developing a pedestrian safety app for the hearing- and vision-impaired and for kids.
  • Samsung Solve for Tomorrow alum Benjamin Spiegel’s Brooklyn Tech High School team, right, was a grand-prize winner in the 2016 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM contest, for developing a pedestrian safety app for the hearing- and vision-impaired and for kids.

His high school team, from Brooklyn Technical High School, in New York City, clinched a Solve for Tomorrow grand prize for developing a pedestrian safety app for the hearing- and vision-impaired.

Ben Spiegel Solve for Tomorrow alumnus
Ben Spiegel, Samsung Solve for Tomorrow 2016 Winner and Brown University student. (Photo courtesy of Joseph Spiegel)

Four years later, Spiegel is at an Ivy League university, preparing to defend his honors thesis in a major that he created, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computers and Minds, designed to be a holistic study of artificial intelligence.“I want to be one of the players in the artificial intelligence field, making advances and changing the world with technology,” Spiegel says. “And it all starts somewhere.”

Benjamin Spiegel, center, shown here with his Brooklyn Tech High school team at their final pitch event in the 2016 Solve for Tomorrow contest. “Developing the ability to defend your project is probably just as important as actually building it.”

It starts with learning to program, learning to collaborate with other people to build larger and larger projects, overcoming challenges, and being able to defend a project, according to Spiegel.

“These are the critical skills that Solve for Tomorrow helped me grow.”

2019 Solve for Tomorrow Winner Deep Creek Middle School with Solve alumni mentor Ben Spiegel
Spiegel mentored Deep Creek Middle School’s 2019 Solve for Tomorrow team during the pitch competiton, which was a National Winner for its “Sight for Tomorrow” project. “Each of the thousands of teams applying to the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition are already making a difference in their community,” Spiegel said.

Spiegel has already started to pay forward his incredible Solve experience by mentoring a 2019 team of young engineers from Deep Creek Middle School, in Chesapeake, Virginia, who also went on to win a grand prize. Their project, Sight for Tomorrow, consisted of an app to help connect under-resourced students with free eye exams and donated prescription glasses, should they need them.

“The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest is a great opportunity to make a huge impact in your community,” Spiegel said. “It shows Samsung cares about fostering a community to solve social problems with technology.”

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