Pinhao Guo Honored with Fall 2019 Outstanding Student Award
From the first time his parents bought him a computer, Outstanding Student Award honoree Pinhao Guo was hooked on computer science. It was his good fortune that his hometown of Chengdu, China hosted a Sister-City Young Scholars program with Speed School of Engineering in Louisville, Kentucky. Pinhao jumped at the possibility to learn more about his chosen field in the United States.
The Outstanding Student Award is given to the student who most exemplifies the attributes of the college, which include character, leadership, service and scholarship. The recipient is honored in the University Commencement Book, and will serve as banner bearer, leading the Speed School graduates into the university-wide Commencement Ceremony.
As a student and a leader, Pinhao’s philosophy is focused on perseverance. “Engineering is all about persistence and confidence. When you fail, try again and keep going. When you’re frustrated, believe in yourself, and keep pushing. I think that’s the beauty of engineering.”
Throughout his collegiate career, Pinhao, who is earning a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering, has been an exemplary role model in both empowering and encouraging his fellow students as well as promoting diversity and cultural exchange as President of the Chinese Student and Scholar Association. He has organized and hosted events to celebrate traditional Chinese festivals and to encourage culture exchange. He represented the university at regional competitions, as well as initiated workplace partnerships.
“We collaborate with local companies like GE Appliances – a Haier company, to host recruiting events for foreign students” he said. “It’s a win-win scenario. When students are hired by those companies, they obtain the working experience for their next career, and the companies increase the diversity in their workplace. Our goal is to give students all the help they need, like what I had when I needed it,” said Pinhao.
At Speed School, Pinhao said he has received ample assistance from friendly professors who are always ready to give additional help when needed to overcome problems. “There’s nothing better than a supportive community that makes me feel like I belong to Speed School.”
The student said he specifically chose Speed School because of the robust co-op program. “The working experience before graduation is critical for your career, especially for an engineering student,” he said. Hive, a partnership with Kindred Healthcare and the University of Louisville, is the place where Pinhao realized his own niche.
“My co-op with Hive is incredible,” he said. “I found my true passion and the job I want to pursue in my career. It’s about the VR and automation. Being a part of the co-op not only gave me the hands-on experience on problem-solving, but also let me explore the possibilities of using different cutting-edge technologies to build efficient solutions to different engineering problems,” said Pinhao.
Pinhao’s capstone project for Kindred utilizes innovative virtual reality technologies to enhance the quality of physical therapy for patients. Rather than read an instructional handout or watch online videos to learn required physical therapy exercises, patients can use motion-capture technology imported in a game. In this way, patients have a 360-degree view, they can see the full range of motions being demonstrated by the physical therapist, and follow along more easily.
For Pinhao, using technology to serve others is a key component of Pinhao’s passion for the engineering field. “The thing I like best about computer science is there are infinite possibilities. You can use this technology to build and make the world a better place.”