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backstory

Personally Motivated to Provide Experiences, Opportunities and Programs for the current generation of Myself.

I figure this is <10% of students, but in my county of 72,000 students that's 7,200 students.


Background from current:

Mixed Signal Integrated Circuit Design Engineer at Analog Devices

- I design the circuits inside “computer chips”, but our chips are for communication networks(Cell phone Networks, Cable networks, Broadband Networks) instead of personal computers


MSEE in IC Design from NCSU

Previous engineering design work at MIT Lincoln Labs, Northrop Grumman and Alcatel Lucent

BSEE and BS Computer Engineering from NCSU


The benefit of hindsight.

  • I know what I know now as an engineer with a few years of experience
  • I know what I was capable of as a student
  • I know what problems I had as a students
  • I know what would have helped me as a student
  • I forget what I know now and the complete lack of foundation

In 4th and 5th grade participated in Lego Logo Camp 

  • Awesome and exciting, making Lego’s independently interact intelligently with the real world.

Through Middle School and High School there weren’t any programs available to provide technical opportunities.

  • Played with computers, back when computers weren’t quite a commodity item (computers are now)
  • Played with Audio, after audio amplifiers were commodity items. (even more so now)
  • Really wanted to learn how to build an amplifier and make it more powerful
  • High School physics teacher pointed out the FIRST FRC competition but the $5k entry fee and travel was prohibitive as was student interest at a small school.
  • Solved problems well with enough time to think about them and explore options… I don’t solve problems well when put on the spot without experience to draw from.

In College at NCSU:

  • Primary motivation was to learn how to build an amplifier and make it more powerful
  • Lots of focus on analysis, math, modeling and work
  • Complete lack of the “why” behind many of the practical design choices, system level focus.
  • Very little hands on labs tying back into the real, physical world.
  • Great ambiguity between what would really work in the real world and what was just a great simplification for concept introduction.
    • No feeling of being able to go out and practice concepts in the real world
  • Solved problems well with enough time to think about them and explore options… I don’t solve problems well when put on the spot without experience to draw from.

Out into the Real World:

Co-operative Education (Co-op) experience

  • Hands on experience finally made math and V=IR(Ohms law) real
  • Before I understood the mechanics of moving across an equal’s sign, but never a great “why” and “when”
  • solved problems well with enough time to think about them and explore options… I don’t solve problems well when put on the spot without experience to draw from.
  • Developed practical experience to draw from
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