MEET THE STUDENTS
|Natalie's Three Favorite Things about the ECE Department:
1) ECE student organizations
2) The undergraduate advising staff
3) The professors
Advice to Incoming Students:
Pursue summer internship opportunities. The ECE department and the School of Engineering Co-op and Career Services do an excellent job at helping students improve their resumes, prepare for interviews and tackle the largest of job fairs. You gain a better understanding of what you learn from textbooks and in the classroom by doing research and working firsthand on the material at an internship. This experience sets you apart from other students when applying to jobs and graduate school. Don’t miss out!
talks about ECE @ Maryland:
I grew up in Montgomery County, MD, and thoroughly enjoyed eating Maryland blue crabs and living in such close proximity to the nation’s capital. I attended the Math, Science, Computer Science Magnet Program at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, where I got the best education possible under the supervision of outstanding, caring teachers. The hands-on projects and unique courses offered in the program were invaluable in preparing me for pursuing an engineering degree.
After being part of a magnet program, I knew I wanted to continue challenging myself academically and contributing to new discoveries in science and technology. A major in engineering was definitely the right path for me. The most appealing aspect about electrical engineering is the wide array of potential career paths students can pursue after graduation. Everything depends on electronics these days, so ECE majors are always in demand whether it is in medicine, communications, the defense industry, etc.
What attracted me to the ECE program at UMD as a prospective student was the strong evidence of progress and growth within the department and the A. James Clark School of Engineering. During one of my visits to the university, I learned about many ECE professors’ innovative research projects. I could see the professors were invested not only in their research, but also in teaching. The current students were also very enthusiastic and proud to be majoring in engineering, which was encouraging. I wanted to be a part of this positive, progressive energy in the ECE program.
I am pursuing a B.S. in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Nanoscience and Technology, with expected graduation in May 2010. My current focus of study is microelectronics. I am interested in how microelectronics continues to transform the world around us as the presence of electronic devices significantly increases. When I did an internship at the Army Research Laboratory, I studied carbon nanotube-based field-effect transistors (CNTFETs). I was amazed by the potential for such technologies in helping to protect soldiers in the future, with micro-scaled sensors embedded in their uniforms to sense poisonous gases. I hope to work on similar applications of microelectronics after graduation.
I am a member of Eta Kappa Nu, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society. I am also a member of the Women in ECE, which creates a welcoming community for females in ECE and gives support socially and academically. Additionally, I am part of the Gemstone Program, which is a three-year undergraduate, interdisciplinary research experience in a team setting. My team is working to improve rehabilitation in stroke victims with an interactive video game, incorporating aspects of electrical engineering, bioengineering, and physical therapy.
Outside of engineering, I am the Vice President of the Multiracial Biracial Student Association, which is an all-inclusive cultural organization working towards bridging the gaps between racial groups and improving diversity on campus. Additionally, I am a member of the co-ed community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, which is a brotherhood of students who provide service to the campus, to the surrounding communities, and to the nation.
The students attending the ECE department are hardworking, enthusiastic students. They are not overly competitive with each other, but are willing to help each other out. This is especially evident with the tutoring services sponsored by the student chapter of IEEE. We want to make sure our fellow peers are keeping up with the heavy workload because we were in their shoes at one point and would have wanted the same assistance and study tips.
The professors are very knowledgeable and eager to share their wisdom with the students. They are approachable and willing to answer questions. Many professors encourage students to pursue undergraduate research. The professors provide guidance to students through the faculty mentoring program, helping students determine the best plans post-graduation. The community within the ECE department is close-knit, with a talented network of faculty and students.
My experiences at the University of Maryland have helped me to mature and become organized. I had to learn to balance academics with extracurricular activities, to create an enriching undergraduate experience for myself. I have a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses, and continue to work on improving myself. After attending school here, I have come to realize how important it is to love what you do. If you do not feel passionately about something, it is hard to do a good job and put effort into it. However, when you find something you really enjoy, it is rewarding, satisfying and keeps you motivated.
One specific faculty member who has mentored me is Dr. Pamela Abshire. Dr. Abshire is the mentor for my Gemstone honors research team and has proved invaluable in helping our team make progress and get past the inevitable bumps in the road that comes along with team research. She is also a positive role model as a fellow female in electrical engineering. Dr. Abshire gave me guidance in selecting courses and ensured that I have a quality undergraduate experience. Her advice has been extremely beneficial to me and to my research team of 12 students.
After I finish my degree, I plan on pursuing a career in the defense industry developing microelectronics. Ever since my internship at the Army Research Laboratory, I have discovered the great potential in the field and the need for new engineers to provide fresh, innovative ideas. I want my engineering knowledge to make a difference and help save lives by creating technologies that will prevent unnecessary fatalities of soldiers. The ECE program has helped me pursue this goal by assisting me in finding internship opportunities to give me real world experience. The ECE staff is excellent at communicating these opportunities to students. The experience I gained allowed me to see real engineers and scientists at work in a field that is evolving rapidly.
One reason why other students should choose to enroll in the University of Maryland’s electrical or computer engineering program is because is it the most challenging, yet most rewarding major offered at UMD. You will learn to actually apply knowledge of math and science to real world problems. You will acquire a strong work ethic that will be an asset when searching for a job or applying to graduate school. You will be proud of the work you accomplish as an ECE student. And you will be in demand by employers across the nation as an ECE student from the University of Maryland.
↑ Back to Top