MEET THE STUDENTS
|Adam's Three Favorite Things about the ECE Department:
1) Challenging classes
2) Great learning environment
3) The faculty
Advice to Incoming Students:
Don't be shy—sit up front. Your professors want to talk to you and get to know you, and all you have to do is show interest. You never know where things might lead, so don't hesitate to talk to them after class about anything at all. You may just find yourself involved in something awesome and world changing.
talks about ECE @ Maryland:
"I decided to enroll in Maryland's ECE program because the department had a good reputation among colleges for the strength of its computer engineering program. Maryland also happens to be a large school where you can pursue many outside interests at the same time, which was a must for me. There was no question that it would be a good place to study.
Everybody in Maryland's ECE department wants to be at Maryland. It's amazing how many people who go to other schools end up transferring to Maryland. You'll find that the quality of the courses at UMD is also higher than at most other universities. The same things that students are doing at the end of the semester at other universities we had already done within the first month or two.
Perhaps the greatest asset the ECE department has is its faculty. Sit down and ask any one of the professors what they do outside of class and you'll be amazed at what research projects and private ventures they have started. Through them, you can get the experience that real-world companies really want to see, doing hands-on activities and jobs that really have an impact. You might even find yourself in a career position before you leave college. There's a lot of opportunity here at Maryland, and all you have to do is ask.
Many research opportunities grow out of "just for fun" side projects. Several years ago I found a puzzle game online that got to be extremely difficult to do by hand after a few levels. I figured I could write a program that could solve it, so I worked on it for a while and I managed to do pretty well for a few more levels. The highest level I have solved had more than 1087 possible combinations.
After speaking to a professor about this, I got involved in an honors project with two professors and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) solving a specific nanotechnology problem. In addition, my involvement in that project led to NIST hiring me for a full-time summer job where I did sensor processing for an autonomous, virtual robotics project. I also worked on a similar project at a company run by one of the professors in the ECE department. They asked me to design a robot that can move autonomously through buildings for eventual use in search-and-rescue situations, perhaps aiding firefighters to carry heavy equipment or people out of burning buildings. Not a bad set of projects, given the fact that it all started with a simple puzzle.
I wrestled for Maryland's varsity wrestling team, sang in the University of Maryland men's chorus, and played piano, guitar, and tin whistle. I began training for Olympic lifting and hopefully I'll make it to the 2012 games in London!
Ultimately, I am considering a career in artificial intelligence because I love problem solving. The ECE department has given me the tools I needed to apply my enthusiasm, and the projects I worked on gave me a chance to change the world before I even left school. The search and rescue work may help save lives; my work at NIST will hopefully advance the field of robotics; my honors project may have a significant impact on nanotechnology; and the processor I have been working on may revolutionize the computer world. These are all exciting projects, and all of them have come to me through the ECE department.
You will not find another place where you can enjoy yourself as much and still get an education on par with the most prestigious institutions in the nation. Maryland is the place to be."
↑ Back to Top