Inly Alum Gives TEDx Talk

RickTedxWe caught up with Inly alum, Rick Housley, who was a recent TEDx speaker. Rick is currently a first-year engineering student at Stevens Institute of Technology. He graduated from Boston University Academy in 2012 and Inly School in 2008. At the age of 18, he signed an assignment agreement with a medical device company for the intellectual property and technology to develop and detect convulsive seizures.

Watch the TEDx Talk:

To hear more about what Rick has been up to since graduating from Inly, read below:

What have you been up to since graduating from Inly?
Middle School was six years ago so I guess I’ve been up to quite a bit. I attended Boston University Academy for high school where I competed in science fairs, captained the soccer and robotics team, and acted as a peer mentor among other activities. Senior year, I attended the International Science Fair where I met some of the brightest minds in the world including Nobel Laureates and those who I assume are Nobel-Laureates-to-be. Also that year, I was fortunate enough to present my science fair project (a convulsive seizure detection and notification system) at the MassMEDIC annual conference where I met some individuals interested in my work. A few weeks later I was working for Strohl Medical continuing the development of my senior year science fair project. The day before I left to begin my collegiate education at Stevens Institute of Technology, I assigned the intellectual property I had attained to Strohl Medical. In college I was selected as a TEDx speaker where I had the opportunity to share with the world how and why I created the medical device I did. Currently I’m pursuing a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer engineering and minoring in cyber security and computer science. Here at Stevens, I am a teaching assistant for an intro computer science course, a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and working part time for Strohl Medical continuing the development of several new medical technologies.

What was it like giving a TEDx talk?
In two words: exciting and stressful. The TEDx audience is perhaps the best audience to speak in front of because they are extremely excited to hear from the speakers. At the same time, it was a little stressful because you want to give the audience what they came for.

I prepared by outlining what I thought the audience would want to hear about. I assumed that nobody would want to hear about exactly how the device operated, its specifications, or other details, but rather I decided to tell the audience the story of how the device came to be. Surprisingly, I didn’t actually have a script memorized; I knew the story of the device’s development and had a sense of the progression that my talk would follow and just went by that.

How did your Inly education prepare you for where you are today? And where you are going?
When you think schools, you think academics. You think math, history, science, etc. Inly understands that education is more than just learning some material out of a textbook. Don’t get me wrong, when I left Inly I left with a comprehensive academic education, but I also left with a toolbox of skills that have helped me achieve further academic and social success. Inly made a difference in my life by giving me the communication skills to interact with those outside of my immediate social circles. It gave me the confidence to succeed in public speaking and succeed in more intimate professional and non-professional conversations. However, most importantly, Inly encouraged me to pursue the things that interested me most, and in turn, taught me the value of self-education. That is, when there is something you don’t know, there is nothing holding you back from learning that thing. It may sound trivial, but as I continue to pursue my own education I realize how rare this skill, or rather motivation, is present, a skill that all of my Inly friends possess.

Are you hoping to do more talks in the future?
It was a really great experience for me so I certainly hope so! Though I hope next time it will be about something new and exciting that I’m working on.

What is your hope for the technology you have developed?
I hope it’s out there saving lives! My hope is that it will make it to market so that some people can live a little easier knowing that their loved ones are okay. I would really love to see someone wearing one someday.

What is your dream job?
I’m not quite sure yet. I absolutely love startup culture so I’m fairly sure it would be something in that regard. Right now I’m absolutely loving my job; I have a super flexible schedule designing technology that could save lives and I’m learning in the process!

Do you have any advice for Inly Middle Schoolers today and if so, what is it?
If you’re interested in something, learn about it! There is absolutely nothing stopping you from learning about what you love except yourself. Once you find what you love, strive for excellence in it; there’s no reason not to be great at what you love.

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