Category Archives: Student Bloggers

Students’ Open-Source Tech Project Enables New Voice-Command Apps

Computer science students Shubhro Saha ’15, left, and Charlie Marsh ’15. (Courtesy the Jasper Project)

Computer science students Shubhro Saha ’15, left, and Charlie Marsh ’15. (Courtesy the Jasper Project)

For Shubhro Saha ’15, the idea of developing an open-source platform for voice-controlled computer applications was born out of a simple desire: to have his house act like billionaire Tony Stark’s in the Iron Man films. “I was sitting around last June and I wanted to live like Tony Stark — I wanted the experience of sitting in a room and talking to my walls,” Saha said.

Jasper, the platform that Saha created with fellow computer-science major Charlie Marsh ’15, operates like a customizable Siri, allowing users to create their own voice-command tools. Its release earlier this month led to broad interest from programmers, as well as coverage from Forbes, Wired, and a number of niche technology sites.

The idea grew from a collaboration last summer: After Saha built a prototype of his idea, he reached out to Marsh to see if he’d also be interested in working on Jasper. Saha first met Marsh when the two worked on a project for COS 333: Advanced Programming Techniques.

When Saha video chatted with Marsh to demonstrate the prototype of Jasper, Marsh was “incredibly impressed” with the progress Saha had made. “From there I was sold,” Marsh said. “I really wanted to be involved.” Continue reading

Women’s Tennis Sweeps the Ivies, Earns NCAA Bid

Lindsay Graff ’15 was the first Tiger since Hilary Bartlett ’12 in 2010 to go 7-0 in the Ivy League at the top singles spot. (Office of Athletic Communications)

Lindsay Graff ’15 was the first Tiger since Hilary Bartlett ’12 in 2010 to go 7-0 in the Ivy League at the top singles spot. (Office of Athletic Communications)

In March, the women’s tennis team was 8-5 and reeling after a pair of lopsided losses, just 10 days away from its Ivy League opener. Princeton was about to lose its national ranking with the toughest part of its schedule around the corner. With the Tigers dangerously slipping towards the .500 mark, head coach Laura Granville and her staff pulled the team in for a meeting.

“They said, ‘We all know we’re really talented, and we know we’re really good, but none of the other Ivies are worried about us,’” junior Katie Goepel said. “And that really lit a fire under us. We really wanted to prove that we are the team you see now.”

That Tiger team that you see now is the team that won the Ivy League Championship outright this weekend with a perfect 7-0 conference record. Since that fire was lit, Princeton has won 10 straight, including three matches against nationally ranked opponents.

Ranked No. 58 going into last weekend’s matches, Princeton beat Cornell 6-1 on the road on Friday to clinch at least a share of the Ivy title, before returning to home court to defeat No. 37 Columbia on Sunday. The Ancient Eight title also gives Princeton an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament in May, the Tigers’ first trip since 2010.   Continue reading

Men’s Golf Falls Short in Bid to Win Home Tourney

Yale had taken home the title from the Princeton Invitational in four consecutive years, but this year, that streak came to an end as another Ivy rival, Harvard, finished three shots ahead of the Bulldogs to claim the top spot.  Meanwhile, the host Tigers ended the weekend ninth out of the 15 teams in the three-round event at Springdale Golf Club.

Greg Jarmas ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Greg Jarmas ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Led by senior Greg Jarmas, the Tigers completed round one on Saturday with Jarmas and senior Nick Ricci sitting among the top 15 in the standings.  Jarmas would cut four shots off of his first-round score to shoot a 66 in the second round on Saturday, tying for the lowest score of the day and placing him in a tie for second place and three shots back of the lead going into Sunday’s final round. He would ultimately finish 12th.

“The difference between who moves up and who moves back in a tight race almost always comes down to putting, especially at Springdale,” Jarmas said.  “The guys who make just a couple more makeable putts will come out on top.”

Jarmas was named All-Ivy League in 2013 after becoming Princeton’s first Ivy individual champion since 2005.  Jarmas also was the Tigers’ highest finisher at NCAA Regionals. The Princeton Invitational was the first — and only — home event of the spring for men’s golf. Continue reading

Pitchers Lead Princeton Baseball to Strong Ivy Start

The big question coming into this baseball season was, “What are they going to do without Zak Hermans ’13 and Mike Ford ’14?” The two pitchers combined for nine wins, 87 strikeouts, and only 22 earned runs over 120 1/3 innings last season with 11 complete games between them. Hitting .320 with 38 RBI, Ford made history by becoming the first player in league history to be named Ivy League Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year.

Pitcher Michael Fagan ’14. (Office of Athletic Communications)

Pitcher Michael Fagan ’14. (Office of Athletic Communications)

When they left, both for professional teams, it looked like Princeton’s pitching was bound to struggle. So far, that hasn’t happened.

Thanks to an influx of young talent for which virtually no adjustment period was necessary, the Tigers have jumped out to a good start in Ivy League play (4-2 after a pair of close losses at Yale Sunday). While the offense has been surprisingly productive early on, the Tigers would not have a winning record in the league without pitching.

When the Tigers mustered just three runs against Brown Saturday, the pressure was on starter Michael Fagan ’14. The veteran lived up to the challenge, allowing two runs on just four hits while fanning 11 Bears. This from a guy who was dogged by control issues for his first three seasons, to the extent that last year I argued that he shouldn’t be in the starting rotation. I take it all back. Fagan’s 3-1 record is the best on the team, and his ERA is a staunch 2.15.  Continue reading

Pedaling to Ireland: Ruggers Train, Tour Over Break

Men’s rugby spent a week training on the wind-swept west coast of Ireland. (Courtesy Chris Shin ’17)

Men’s rugby spent a week training on the wind-swept west coast of Ireland. (Courtesy Chris Shin ’17)

On night in mid-November when temperatures dipped below freezing, Nick Martin ’15 sat pedaling on a stationary bike outside of Frist Campus Center. He was one of 40 Princeton men’s rugby players and alumni to participate in the team’s “Dash to Dublin” — a round-the-clock, eight-day bike-a-thon to raise money for the spring break training trip that the team just returned from.

The tour, which has been part of Princeton rugby tradition since the mid 1970s, is critical for the team. The Tigers have traveled to England, Argentina, the Cayman Islands, and all over the world to see how their team stacks up against international standards in places where rugby is the most popular sport.

This year the team traveled to Ireland, where not only is the competition tougher, but the weather is too. The squad spent the majority of its time training on the west coast near notoriously windy Galway.

“The field was soaked in water. It was one of the windiest places I’ve ever been,” Martin said. “You’d be standing around the huddle and get blown over. You couldn’t even pass the ball. It’s definitely not like Princeton.” Continue reading

Women’s Water Polo Continues Success in California

Ashleigh Johnson ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Ashleigh Johnson ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Katie Rigler ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Katie Rigler ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

For most teams, a trip to California would be a trip across the country to train, compete, and bond with teammates, but for many on the women’s water polo team, it is also a trip home.  With a schedule that affords them only six home games at DeNunzio Pool all season, the trip provides an additional opportunity for friends and family of 11 of the 15 women to see them play.

“We are luckily to get to stay with teammates’ families while we are in California,” junior Kelly Gross said of the visit home.  “It’s really nice to be in a home instead of a hotel for the whole week and get some home-cooked meals, too. My mom even brought our new puppy to our tournament, which was definitely a highlight!”

The two-time reigning CWPA champion Tigers continued what has been a strong start to their season as they headed to the West Coast on an eight game trip that left them with a 21-1 mark and a six-game winning streak.  The Tigers started off the week with a triple-overtime 14-13 win over No. 13 UC San Diego, but lost 10-6 the next day to No. 14 San Jose State, giving them their first loss of the season.  However, they would win the remaining six games of the trip, including a decisive 9-3 victory over No. 8 Loyola Marymount during the second weekend. Continue reading