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Rad Scientist Ep. 11: When The Virtual Becomes Reality

In this April 14, 2018 photo, Gwendolyn Barriac, an engineer at Qualcomm, pro...

Photo by Margot Wohl

Above: In this April 14, 2018 photo, Gwendolyn Barriac, an engineer at Qualcomm, proudly shows off her virtual reality goggles. Fun fact; the frames for her glasses are made from old records.

Audio

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Gwendolyn Barriac spends her days inside a one-room spaceship at Qualcomm, coding.

This episode isn’t sci-fi, it's part of her job as a software engineer. Barriac is creating the software that’s going to allow for the next generation of virtual reality — VR that’ll let people step into infinite digital universes with just their smartphone and a headset. In order to do that, she enters the same VR experience — the spaceship — every day to work on glitches in her software.

In this music-filled episode, Barriac talks about her unique path from a music student breaking into buildings to play piano, to doctoral student, and then to an award-winning filmmaker. All of the music in this episode was composed by Barriac.

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