Name: Rose Wall
Year: Class of 2016
Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI
Plan of Study: Computer Engineering
Playing with Wires and Stuff
I like to think of Computer Engineering as the best of both worlds, that is Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. And it really is the best! The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department and the Computer Science (CS) are both very tightknit, interesting, friendly, awesome departments and I love that I get to be a part of both of them. As a Computer Engineer half of your major credits are in ECE and the other half are in CS, so you really do get to spend half you time in each.
Reasons why I love the CS department:
-Really nice lounge with comfy chairs and big tables for group projects
-Many of the professors go by their first names
-Great sense of camaraderie
-Sometimes there is free pizza in the lounge
-Almost 50% girls!
-They are currently building a new CS building
Reasons why I love the ECE department:
-Lounge with couches!
-There is always a bowl of candy in the front office
-It is really easy to get to know the professors
-There are always events going on with free food and we get emails about any event with food
-We have the da Vinci Surgical System in our building!
-Extremely diverse interests and research
-ECE lives in two connected buildings, one of which is newly built and is really fancy
-It is not too hard to double major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering
-Lots of teamwork between EEs and CEs
But essentially, I chose Computer Engineering because, as much as I love computers, I also love to play around with wires and robots.
A Little Bit About Requirements
Like I mentioned earlier, half my classes are in ECE and half in CS. For each of those there are two or three classes you must take and then after that it is really up to you. There are many different concentrations you can do such as medical imaging, optics, signal processing, speech processing, information theory, computer architecture, nanoengineering, and lots of other things I don’t understand. Concentrations are not an official thing, but more just the area of study that you took your advanced ECE classes in. You also have to take some humanities and writing intensives. The cool thing about our humanities requirements is that you must take a certain number of courses (including advanced courses) in one particular area. So it is like having a mini-minor, you about to learn a decent amount about something other than your major.
Classes Within CE I Have Really Enjoyed:
-Intro to ECE: This course covers basic circuits, binary logic, how computers work, and other digital system stuff. It helps you to determine if CE is really for you. Professor Tran is really nice and office hours are really helpful and you can get to know him. Tran likes to call this class “How your iPhone works.”
–Digital Systems Fundamentals: This class is on finite state machines and binary logic problems. Professor Gerard Meyer is a really interesting European guy, with a great accent, who likes to talk about life, and make funny comparisons between digital systems and life.
–Intermediate Programming: Good programming class that covers all the basics. The assignments are very difficult especially if you have Professor Peter Frolich, but you learn SO MUCH.
–ECE Team Project: OK I am going to rant a little bit here. Last semester in ECE Team Project I helped to build an autonomous arducopter (miniature helicopter), and this semester I am making a hydrogen fuel cell (from scratch!) to work with some solar panels and some electrolysis to make an outdoor phone and computer recharging station. ECE Team Project is great since you really get to know the department chair, Dr. Kang, and you get closer with other students in different grades. There are also a really wide variety of projects you can choose. This semester some of the other projects are an implantable insulin regulating device, a body scanner, and a space elevator. Also the teams have really generous budgets for supplies, so you really are unlimited in what you can make.
Extracurricular ECE and CS Stuff
IEEE is the professional association for electrical and computer engineers. They host lots of seminars and events to mix with faculty. This year, Hopkins had its first Hackathon where you program all weekend in teams, win cool stuff, and meet representatives and recruiters for tech companies. Recruiters also come and give presentations periodically; this semester so far Facebook and Google, among others, have visited the department.
After I graduate I am hoping to work for a car company, but it really depends on what you are interested in. Two of my friends who graduated last year now work for facebook, quite a few work for medical tech companies, and many people choose to go to Graduate school.
Other Fun Facts About My Major
-All ECE Team Project Teams get posters on the walls of the ECE building with everybody’s names, which is pretty cool.
-I once coincidentally met an ECE professor at Hopkins while kayaking a river in West Virginia.
-Hackerman (one of the ECE buildings) has mini kitchens and comfy arm chairs on every floor.
-I’ve met two of my best friends in ECE (one is EE one is CE), and now I am a member of South Asian Students at Hopkins because they are both involved and bring me to events.
-Professor Frolich who I have had for two CS courses wrote all the code for the “Visualization Wall” in Brody Learning Commons_______________________________________________________________________________