MEET THE STUDENTS
|Matteo's Three Favorite Things about the ECE Department:
1) Outstanding research being carried on by faculty and students
2) Collaborative spirit and friendliness among students
3) Graduate student activities (heads up to the ECE Graduate Students Association)
Advice to Incoming Students:
Be engaged with the other students; teaming up in group to study or just sharing graduate life experiences with fellow students can be very helpful to overcome difficulties and make long-lasting friendships.
Be proactive in searching for a research topic that excites you, be open to the many intellectual stimuli you will be exposed to, and work hard.
talks about ECE @ Maryland:
I grew up in Mirandola, a nice historic town in northern Italy. I studied engineering at the University of Bologna, where I graduated summa cum laude, before moving for two years to the Milan area to work as a flight control systems engineer for AgustaWestland, a helicopter company. After this experience, I decided to pursue my Ph.D. at the University of Maryland.
Since I was a kid, I have had a very inquisitive nature, with a passion for learning “how” things work and “why” they function the way they do. This is why I chose engineering as a major. Doing research in graduate school allows me to take this passion a step forward, as I can now contribute to answering “how” and “why” questions that are yet unanswered, and teach those answers to the next generations.
I was attracted to the University of Maryland ECE program by the outstanding faculty in my area of specialization, which is Controls, and the high quality of research in the department.
Control theory is an inherently multi-disciplinary subject with strong theoretical foundations. I enjoy the rigorous and creative nature of mathematical arguments, which are an important aspect of electrical engineering and control theory in particular. At the same time, the wide range of fields (aerospace, networks and biology, just to name a few) where control theory ideas are applied, or can be applied in the future, is very appealing to me.
Currently, my research is focused on the phenomenon of bird flocking. The objective is to create mathematical models that can help to understand how complex collective motions are generated by local interactions between members of the flock, and to reproduce this phenomenon artificially, for example, with a team of robots.
In addition to taking classes and working on my own research, I serve as a lab manager for the Intelligent Servosystems Lab, where I mentor undergraduate students working on robotics experiments. I have enjoyed serving as a teaching assistant in past semesters, and I have the privilege of participating in the Future Faculty Program of the School of Engineering, which prepares students for an academic career. I look forward to the experience of co-teaching a course as part of this program. I also love to attend ECE seminars, with student speakers or invited faculty speakers, to learn about cutting-edge research. Outside of the department, my hobbies are running, playing tennis, traveling and visiting museums, of which Washington, D.C. has plenty.
Graduate students and professors in the ECE department come from all over the world, and they all share the commitment to working hard and being successful. At the same time, there is a high level of engagement in the department activities inside and outside of the classroom. This results in a friendly and cooperative atmosphere that involves students, professors and the department staff.
My advisor, Professor Krishnaprasad, has provided me with invaluable guidance since the first year I arrived at Maryland. He has challenged me to improve my skills, constantly stimulated me to explore new directions, and set standards of excellence in research and teaching that are a continuous source of inspiration. I am also grateful to Professor Papamarcou and Hassouneh for being very supportive and helpful when I served as their teaching assistant.
The experiences in the ECE program and in the Future Faculty Program have deepened my theoretical preparation and communication skills, broadened my range of interests, and provided me with the foundations to be successful in research and teaching.
After finishing my Ph.D, I plan on pursuing an academic career, because I really enjoy the intellectual freedom of research, and the interaction with students and other researchers.
If I had to name one reason why other students should choose to enroll in the University of Maryland’s electrical or computer engineering program, it would be to do good research!
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