Guest Lecturing at Virginia Tech: Fuse Leadership in the Field

Yusuf Elnady

Feb 21, 2024

At Fuse Oncology, we’re utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to yield valuable outcomes in healthcare. I was honored to present my AI-focused talk, LLMs with RAG for Domain Adaptation, to final-semester computer science students at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg last month. My goal was to showcase practical examples of information systems and provide insights into how the industry operates, moving beyond academic learning to help them cultivate an understanding of market demands. 

During the guest lecture, I explored the creation of virtual assistants that can be tailored to function in any specified domain knowledge using the retrieval augmented generation (RAG) technique. It commenced with an introduction to deep neural networks, progressed to large language models (LLMs), and highlighted a detailed flowchart illustrating the process of virtual assistant creation. 

A hands-on session allowed students to actively participate in writing and running code in real time. The practical application involved running a virtual assistant to answer questions, sourced from a Stephen Hawking book. Subsequently, the same process was applied to the Virginia Tech Computer Science Department’s website, generating responses based on the information available and presenting them in a human-readable format. Importantly, all these operations were conducted locally without the need for third-party services. 

My intention was to inspire students to consider adopting this project idea and engage in its development. I envisioned this hands-on experience as a way to enhance their practical skills and better prepare them for real-world applications in their careers. Typically in academics, the emphasis is on teaching the sciences, which is both true and crucial. However, it’s equally important to bridge the gap between market requirements and scientific knowledge. For instance, there is a significant need for understanding cloud computing and MLOps, areas that often receive insufficient attention. 

As a healthcare company specializing in AI, Fuse leverages and benefits from its capabilities in radiation oncology. We aim to bring this knowledge of specialization to students, illustrating how the real world operates and encouraging them to align with industry demands. This endeavor will guide students in the right direction as they apply technical innovation to solve real-world problems. 

I was excited to provide Fuse insights into practical aspects of AI development, as well as close educational gaps in my presentation. If sharing my expertise helps shape a more comprehensive and industry-ready skill set in students, then I have achieved my goal. I’m proud to be part of a forward-thinking company that’s actively engaged in pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in AI and supports my commitment to knowledge sharing with future leaders of the industry. 


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