Media & Press

Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.

1 October, 2012

Bruce M. Gao

“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” – Theodore Levitt (1925-2006)

Innovation is my passion. To me, the surrounding world represents a robust and untapped storehouse of exciting ideas. My mission is to bring these ideas into reality with the skills that I am zealously refining and developing at the University of Calgary. As an ardent programmer, I use computer science as my channel for bringing my enterprising ideas into a tangible reality. The Schulich Leader Scholarship has accelerated this process by giving me the confidence and financial freedom to pursue my audacious ventures during my university experience.

I am the co-founder of SimplySolar, a global solution to solar panel misalignment. We allow locals in developing countries and people in developed countries, who use solar panels for recreational purposes, to use their mobile phones to align their solar equipment. By using SimplySolar, a yield of 40% more electricity is generated in comparison to an unaligned solar panel. We worked with Roseicollis Technologies where SimplySolar was used to install solar arrays in Tanzanian villages, pitched a venture capitalist and are currently closing a deal with a solar company in California. The SimplySolar team is also developing an exciting array of products and ventures that will create numerous jobs in developing countries and raise awareness about renewable solar energy to the public! Check out our website at:

In terms of academics at the University of Calgary, I love the Honors Neuroscience program. The small class size gives me the rare opportunity to interact with my professor and classmates in a more personal scale. I feel the the neuroscience undergraduate community is one of the closest at the university due to this amazing dynamic. Although school work can become challenging at times, I still thirst for innovation. I have programmed a search engine for rare genetic diseases that can locate the gene(s) responsible for a genetic illness by tapping into rich biomedical databases such as PudMed and KEGG that are impossible to sift through manually. My professor and I have already located two genes, TG and NR4A1 that may be responsible for a series of obesity related genetic diseases with my program. We are currently performing extensive manual tests on these two genes. Hopefully, these genes will match up and we can give the afflicted families Christmas gift they will never forg et!

To conclude, I am so honoured and privileged to have been selected as a Schulich Leader for the University of Calgary. I very much look forward for everything to come!