April 2014

Letter from the Editor


Dear ECEDHA Members, Industry Partners, and Colleagues,

Welcome to the April 2014 issue of the ECE Source. This is the first issue following the outstanding 30th Anniversary Annual ECEDHA Conference that was held in Napa, California from March 21-25, 2014. The conference had a record attendance of ECEDHA members and included tremendous support and participation from industry. The program featured a number of excellent speakers including some keynote speakers from the Silicon Valley area on topics ranging from Computational Photography (related to Google glass) to the interface of biology and ECE. Thank you to all who made this special anniversary conference such a resounding success!

In this issue of the ECE Source we have two feature articles on STEM outreach programs. The first article is by Dr. Bing Chen of the University of Nebraska, Omaha and discusses a robotic platform that has been used to engage high school students in interactive educational activities related to ECE.  This platform is subsequently used in some of the undergraduate classes at The University of Nebraska, Omaha and so links the high school experience to the college experience. The second article was prepared by Dr. Sid Deliwala of the University of Pennsylvania. He describes an interesting program that is offered through the Wharton Business School focused on product development and commercialization. This summer program that is offered to high school students includes a segment on embedded system design using the Arduino board. This again provides some ECE exposure to high school students through product design, showing students how ECE technologies can be employed in real world applications.

As many of us have experienced, ECE undergraduate enrollment has seen a dip over the last decade relative to some of the other engineering majors, particularly when compared to mechanical engineering. In talking to our ECE students at Villanova University, I have learned that several of our students got interested in electrical and computer engineering because of exposure to summer programs such as the ones described in the two feature articles in this newsletter. I hope that you find these two articles interesting and inspire you to perhaps try some similar initiatives at your universities/colleges. Also, if you have another approach that you are using to encourage students to learn more about electrical and computer engineering prior to going to college, please send me or one of the other editorial board members an article that we can consider publishing in a future issue of the ECE Source.

Enjoy the start of spring and I wish you well in wrapping up your spring semesters.

Warmest regards,

Pritpal (“Pali”) Singh
Professor and Chair, Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering Department, Villanova University
2013-2014 Editor-in-Chief, The ECE Source



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