MEET THE STUDENTS
|Yi's Three Favorite Things about the ECE Department:
Professors, professors, professors – these are three reasons I love Maryland’s ECE Department. Specifically, it is a big department with lots of top professors, and these professors attract lots of young and talented students to study the state-of-the-art technology of electrical and computer engineering. Working together with these professors and students is really a great experience to enjoy.
Advice to Incoming Students:
For incoming students, welcome to Maryland! I encourage you to talk to different professors, find the common points and differences between them, try to understand how junior professors evolve to senior ones, and then you will have the possibility to find out the principles of electrical engineering at Maryland. Go Terps!
talks about ECE @ Maryland
My name is Yi Li, and I’m from Guangzhou, which is also well known as Canton. I obtained my bachelor’s and master’s degree in Computer Science from South China University of Technology, before coming to the University of Maryland.
For me, engineering means applying scientific findings to practical systems. So it gives me the opportunity to study the fundamental science and use the knowledge to create new tools for human beings.
The University of Maryland has one of the greatest centers for computer vision research – the Center for Automation Research (CfAR). Its director, Prof. Rama Chellappa, is one of the leading figures in the field. The center also has some wonderful faculty members, such as Prof. Larry Davis (EE and CS), Prof. Yiannis Aloimonos (CS), and Prof. David Jacobs (CS), to name a few. I simply could not resist the temptation to come to Maryland.
I am working towards my Ph.D. degree, focusing in robotics, human actions, and object recognition. I expect to graduate before 2010. The thing that attracts me most is the fantastic future of the humanoid robots that can purposively touch, think, and recognize objects in unknown environments. Close your eyes and imagine it – is the scene beautiful?
Since it is a big department, I have lots of opportunities to work with different professors. I learned many things from these (eccentric, sometimes) professors, and tried to push myself to the cutting edge of research. I won a best student paper at an International Conference on Frontiers of Handwriting Recognition, a prize in the Semantic Robot Vision Challenge sponsored by National Science Foundation and Google Inc., and published a few papers in top journals and conferences. I also traveled to many places like London, Alaska, and Greece, to name a few, to meet researchers from different areas. I would say I will never forget my wonderful experience in Maryland.
The life of a Ph.D. student is not just about research. I am a subscriber of WPAS since my first year in Maryland, and visit the Kennedy Center many times a year for concerts and operas. I also have a huge collection of classical CDs, ranging from Bach to Wagner – the music basically inspires me when I am really depressed.
The professors in the ECE Department are friendly and knowledgeable. I sometimes just stop by and have discussions with some professors. Due to the busy schedule of some professors, I need to make appointments, but they are all willing to answer my (sometimes naive) questions. The students mentored by these fabulous professors are surely passionate and intelligent. The chats in the lounge and the discussion after seminars are always helpful, not just about engineering.
As Prof. Rama Chellappa said, CfAR (pronounced “See Far”) means we need to “See things far away.” One great thing that Maryland changed for me is the vision of research. I learned the past, the present, and the future of many areas, and the knowledge dramatically changed my attitude towards how, what, and when to do research.
I would like to thank quite a few professors in the department. Prof. Rama Chellappa gives me a broader view of research. His excellent experience always benefits the students in CfAR. Prof. Min Wu is a high quality researcher and teacher. It is my pleasure to learn how to mentor and teach from her. It is also a great pleasure to learn from these great professors, such as Prof. Barua, Prof. Ephremides, Prof. Horiuchi, Prof. Liu, and Prof. Ulukus.
After graduation, I would continue my research either in research labs or at a good university as a professor. The Future Faculty Program in the Clark School of Engineering really helps me to understand the principles and how the system works (Thanks, Prof. Ehrman!).
For new students who haven’t decided which school to apply to, I encourage them to choose Maryland -- think about how you will benefit from a big department with many top professors and smart students.
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