Naveen Verma is a professor of electrical engineering at Princeton University. His research tries to imagine how machine intelligence can be interfaced with the real world, namely through new technologies for sensing, actuation, and computation. This research involves vital collaborations between undergraduate and graduate students at Princeton and a range of academic and industrial collaborators outside Princeton. Since February 2020, Prof. Verma has been director of the Keller Center, where his interests are in fostering broad thinking and activity around innovation and entrepreneurship.
What are your responsibilities at the Keller Center?
My responsibility in the Keller Center is to work directly with all of the Center's students, faculty, and staff to understand their passions and concerns around innovation and entrepreneurship. From there, we work together to determine how to support those passions and concerns, within our teaching and scholarship objectives. From all of this, comes a community around innovation and entrepreneurship, which I am also responsible for keeping fueled and raging.
What attracted you to the Keller Center?
What attracts me to the Keller Center is the amazing ways in which it stimulates students, of such diverse backgrounds, to spread their wings and embark on so many different journeys into innovation and entrepreneurship. I am amazed, and often the students are amazed, at where these journeys lead them, and the tremendous personal and intellectual growth with which they come out the other end.
What do you appreciate most about the Keller Center?
The thing I appreciate most about the Keller Center is the holistic approach taken to empowering students. Solving real-world societal problems requires deep technical insights, but it also requires resourcefulness, courage, and perseverance. Beyond the very unique courses Keller offers, it also provides mentorship, immersive and intense experiences, and firm partnership rooted in belief in our student endeavors.
What advice would you have for students about getting involved at the Keller Center?
My advice to students getting involved in the Keller Center is to think deeply and fearlessly about the impact you would like to have. Such thinking can be daunting and detaching from reality; your experiences in the Keller Center will help you in imagining and then formulating a real roadmap for making real progress in whatever areas you are drawn to.