The adaptability, technological know-how, and big dreams of Florida Polytechnic University students make them poised to be the creators of the world’s next big thing. That was the message Adrian Muhammad, managing partner of Jackson | Shah & Company, had for students during the return of the Innovation Speaker Series at the University on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
The series, which last hosted an event prior to the pandemic, brings industry leaders to campus to connect with students in an engaging, close-up setting.
Muhammad has more than 20 years of experience in technology, consulting, and business development, working with organizations ranging from start-ups to global, publicly traded companies.
“I want students to walk away with the idea that they can legitimately do anything with the existing technology that’s available to them, that they should go big,” said Muhammad, who is a member of the Florida Poly Foundation Board. “When we were growing up, my mom invested in a Commodore 64, and it lit my energy and interest in computers, but technology was still relatively linear then – first it was all about computers, then all about the internet, then all about mobile.”
In Muhammad’s lecture “Leading the Idea Economy,” he described the evolution of technology and its rapid acceleration and improvements, emphasizing Moore’s Law, which states that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years.
“As the processing power of a circuit doubles in capacity, it shrinks in size and then the cost lowers,” Muhammad said. “You can track the growth and progress of the entire economy of the world based on Moore’s Law.”
Areas like electric vehicles, virtual reality, and 3D printing are all examples of current areas experiencing this exponential growth, he said.
“Everyone is looking at multiple technologies at the same time and those technologies can be layered against one another to make even more potent change, and you see people tackling problems that we never even imagined could be tackled,” Muhammad said.
Angelina Di Fiore, a junior majoring in environmental engineering, was excited about the opportunity to learn from Muhammad.
“The biggest thing I took away from today is you have to dream big and stick with what you’re passionate about and try to grow it,” said Di Fiore, from Winter Garden, Florida. “I’d like to one day have my own engineering firm to create carbon-negative global cities, so it’s a really big dream and I really don’t know where to start, but today gives me an idea.”
The Innovation Speaker Series is part of the University’s Corporate Impact Network.
Director of Communications