MEET THE STUDENTS
|Arman's Three Favorite Things about the ECE Department:
1) The faculty and staff in the ECE Department are always willing to help and assist students. Many times when I needed some advice about my decisions, I found answers from talking to my professors.
2) The advising office always tries to guide you to the next level. The faculty advisors always tell you to expand your knowledge in different subfields and not to close your options.
3) The department provides the means for a student to flourish and reach his/her potential. Research, entrepreneurship and industry jobs are all options for a student to pursue a career in.
Advice to Incoming Students:
Talk to your professors about what you want to do, and learn more than you are expected to know for exams.
talks about ECE @ Maryland:
I was born in Tehran, Iran and I was there until the end of high school.
I am double-majoring in Electrical Engineering and Physics. I have always tried to be active with my department as much as I can. So I have done volunteer work as part of "Leaders of ECE. " Besides that, I am a member of IEEE and HKN (Eta Kappa Nu, the Electrical Engineering Honor Society) and I used to be an active member of the first student-oriented robotics club at the University (Robotics@Maryland). Academics aside, I spend most of my free time drawing or playing guitar or piano. Music and Physics are my passions.
The world that we live in is filled with motives for a kid to grow to want to be an engineer. All the interesting phenomena that happen around us in every day life, which seems to be very intuitive and simple at first sight, after a moment of thought, would attract anyone to find out about the reason behind them. It is the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ that drive humans to think out of the box and push themselves to the limit. That said, I was always interested in the fundamental sciences that are acting behind everything I saw around me. This desire of being able to understand or explain to some extent things that I see motivated me to take a lot of science classes.
Electrical engineering is a perfect major for someone like me who enjoys physics with a passion and at the same time wants to put knowledge into practice and actually see how the theories apply to real life cases.
In this era everybody says having a great idea is enough. But when you are an engineer, not only do you get trained to think creatively and come up with ideas but you are also trained to make your idea happen. It is only in the hands of an engineer to make an object come to life. And when that project is done, it is only an engineer who can assure you that the project is 100% done; as one of my favorite professors at the University of Maryland says: “99% of a bridge is not a bridge.” Only an engineer can make it 100%.
I grew up outside of the United States however I had heard about the University of Maryland since I was a kid because some of my friends’ parents had received their degree from this school. So when I finally came to the U.S. to live with my uncle, who lives in Maryland, I found myself as close as ever to one of the dream schools that I wanted to go as a kid. I had already decided on my major to be Electrical Engineering and after researching about the ECE program at the UMD, I was excited to apply. I had to apply as a transfer student since I was in college for one year already when I came to the U.S. I came to the University of Maryland, went to the ECE Department and talked to the professors here. They were so welcoming and helpful that the transfer process went very smoothly.
My focus of study is electrophysics, which involves physics and fundamental sciences, as well as electrical engineering. The whole idea of engineering is to know something from a lot of fields and integrate them together to make something new. But if I wanted to name a few of my areas of interest, it would be quantum physics, optics, field theory, and electromagnetism.
By the end of the four years of undergraduate study, students here know exactly what they want to do next, what the long-term and short term goals are, and how to reach those goals. That is something that can’t be said about all schools.
There are many schools that have a competitive Department of Electrical Engineering but I don’t dare to say that our department is one of the few that has such a positive and friendly environment for learning. The first year that I was here in the University of Maryland, I was helping one of my professors with his research. There was a graduate student in his group that had received his bachelor degree at Maryland, was accepted to the University of Berkeley for a Ph.D., but had come back to Maryland after a year to get his Ph.D. here. At first, I could not understand why someone would do this. Now, that I am a graduating senior, I see why. The atmosphere at our department is unique and very productive. I am happy that I chose the University of Maryland for my undergraduate studies and I am planning to stay here for my graduate studies as well.
Being self-motivated pays off at the end. The most important thing that I learned was that college will show you ways to learn and it is up to you to decide how much and how deep into the subject you want to learn. There is no limit for knowledge and the more you learn, the more your mind expands, and then you can be really creative and think out of the box.
The names of people who have helped and mentored me are endless on my list. My faculty advisor, Dr. Krishnaprasad, always pushed me to try harder and not give up at the hard times. Dr. Gomez always gave me the most realistic advice and I owe a lot of my success to him. Dr. Murphy helped me a lot on choosing my field and what my options would be in that field. And I can not thank Dr. Judith Bell enough for her honest and kind advice that kept me motivated throughout these four years.
I am going to get a Ph.D. in electrophysics. It is the pleasure of finding new things that drives me. The vast amount of research that is being done in the ECE Department definitely got me closer to my goal.
If I had to name one reason why other students should choose to enroll in the University of Maryland’s ECE program, it would be the endless opportunities!
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