MEET THE STUDENTS
|Andrew's Three Favorite Things about the ECE Department:
The department sponsors many ways to get involved in the field right away. A particular favorite of mine is the Robotics@Maryland club, which ECE donates generously to.
2) The faculty are generally very capable and helpful. Teachers and TAs make themselves available to students and really are dedicated to helping you understand the material
3) The ECE department also supports their students with outstanding advisors and a mentoring program. This support system is invaluable in a challenging course of study like ECE.
Advice to Incoming Students:
There are more opportunities here at the University of Maryland than one person can possibly know, much less be involved with. So don't spend all of your time playing video games in your dorm room — get out there and experience it! Join a club or two, help research in a laboratory, do alternative spring break, take a foreign language, and study abroad. They say the college years are some of the best of your life, but that is not going to magically be the case. You have to make it so.
talks about ECE @ Maryland:
My name is Andrew J. Dupree, and I am a sophomore Computer Engineering student here at the University of Maryland. Though born in Key West, Florida, I have been happy to call Maryland my home since I was four years old. I have been interested in technology since I was 5 years old, and this has guided me to my current course of study. When I am not working towards my degree, I keep busy with my duties as a Resident Assistant in Queen Anne's Hall and also pursue a variety of hobbies. I enjoy discussing computer hardware and assembling high performance computers, casual programming, and web design and maintenance. I also enjoy reading, everything from science-fiction and fantasy to classic novels and short stories. On the arts side, I enjoy many different genres of music, going to concerts, and I am teaching myself how to play the guitar. In the outdoors, I enjoy ultimate frisbee, rock climbing, fencing and parkour – the French sport of moving efficiently through urban environments.
I moved around a lot when I was younger; my father was in the Navy until I was seven years old. After he became a pilot for Federal Express, we moved around in Maryland before settling in Bowie. I have lived there for 10 years now, and it's a fine place.
I remember my father bringing home our first computer – a Windows 95 Gateway – when I was 5 years old. It captivated me then, and my growing interest in computers and technology was a constant for the next 11 years. When it came time to choose a major, the choice was clear. As I have progressed through the Computer Engineering curriculum and begun to learn about the research being conducted in the field, I have begun to appreciate my choice even more. By majoring in Computer Engineering, you become well versed in both Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and, most importantly, the interplay between them. With this knowledge, you're in a great position to get involved in developing the next generation of computer technology.
When I was touring Maryland, I was very impressed by the engineering faculty I met. They all seemed really energetic and invested in the work they were doing. I remember hearing an especially enthusiastic presentation by Dr. Bruce Jacobs at an ECE open house, detailing the importance of Computer Engineering in the development of novel technologies, which really sold me on the program.
The really fascinating thing about computer engineering is that one is placed at the crossroads of a number of fascinating developing technologies. I am particularly interested in research that has the potential to create a significant improvement in the speed and efficiency of computing, such as parallelism and the advent of multi-core computer architecture, the physical implementation of computing, and micro/nano technology.
I spent a year very involved in Robotics@Maryland, and was a member of the winning team of AUVSI and ONR's 11th Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition in San Diego, California last summer. Now I have taken time off to focus on my academics, but I still help out with the department as a member of the new Leaders of ECE program. I am also a member of the Inventis Academy of Engineering Leadership, and am helping to organize our annual Breakaway engineering alternative spring break program. Outside of ECE, I have a great job as a Resident Assistant and enjoy practicing parkour.
As far as the students are concerned, ECE is, for the most part, as varied as any other course of study. They come from every background imaginable, and their interests run the gamut. ECE students do all have one thing in common though – they're hard workers and dedicated to their discipline. You won't be a student long without it – this is hard work! But though there are long nights, everyone knows it will pay off, and you can feel that motivation.
Being a student that the University of Maryland has given me a new appreciation for how much there is to see and do in the world, and a new motivation to see and do as much as I can. I have met people from all sorts of different backgrounds, and been exposed to so many new things. It's really motivated me to break out of my shell. As a manifestation of that, I am currently planning my study abroad experience in Valencia, Spain and applying for summer research opportunities.
My mentor, Rajeev Barua, has given me some much-needed advice on what it is going to take to succeed in this field of study. There are times when I have been tempted to throw in the towel and resign myself to mediocrity, only to have a few choice words from Dr. Barua whip me back into shape. I really appreciate him for this.
As of now, I am planning on pursuing my doctorate in computer engineering upon graduation from the ECE program. I want to research novel computer technologies, and higher learning is the key to doing this.
If you can see yourself working with electrical or computer technologies in the future, then the ECE department here at the University has everything you could possibly need. A top-ranked education? Help finding jobs, internships, and other aspects of career planning? Programs that put you on the fast track to business and industry, graduate school, or wherever you're trying to go? It's all here and waiting for you.
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