Thursday, October 16, 2014

When Facebook and Pinterest are both on campus to recruit students

Computer science alumna Brina Lee interviews UC San Diego students during a Facebook recruiting event.

A line of students sneaked around the lobby of the Computer Science and Engineering building Oct. 16, waiting to talk to Facebook recruiters and employees--including our very own alum, Brina Lee, the first female engineer to work at Instagram after it was purchased by Facebook.
Freshmen Nancy Ponce and Maya Bello stood patiently in line, talking with other students. "We're hoping to get a summer internship to get more experience," said Ponce, a computer engineering major who is from San Diego. She hoped the internship would help her figure out whether to she wants to switch to computer science. Ponce said she already felt comfortable around campus after attending the 5-week Summer Program for Incoming Students organized by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
"It's always good to put yourself out there," said Bello, a computer science major from Oakland. She chose to come to UC San Diego because of its great computer science program--and because of the weather, she said.
Even if they didn't get an internship, this would be good practice, they both agreed.
Lee took a break from interviewing students to say that she had seen great candidates. So far, she wanted to interview them all, she said. "A lot of them are industry-focused," she said. "Which is great."
Some of the students peeled away from the Facebook line to attend a presentation by Pinterest right next door. The company handles a total of more than 20 terabytes of data and fields 110,000 requests a second. It's looking for engineers to help it grow. The event was organized by the UC San Diego chapter of Women in Computing. Everyone got pizza--and a Pinterest-labeled Mason jar.
Maya Bello, left, talks with a fellow student.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jacobs School students: Get your photos the cover of Pulse magazine

Calling all Jacobs School of Engineering students. 

Send in your exciting / dramatic / fun photos & illustrations of your engineering projects or activities from classes, labs, project teams, outreach initiatives or other activities related to your engineering studies at UC San Diego. 

We are looking for an image (or images) for the cover of the next issue of Pulse magazine (the Jacobs School of Engineering's alumni magazine). 

The image of images should somehow fit with the theme “Innovation Happens Here.” 

You can see past cover images here. We are looking for an image or images that capture the excitement of some of the projects happening at the Jacobs School. 

Deadline for submission: Nov 3.

Please send print quality images and / or download links and a caption of your photo to Daniel Kane:

dbkane AT ucsd DOT edu

If your photos are in the running for the cover, we will let you know. All images that illustrate engineering at the Jacobs School and include a caption will be posted here, on the Jacobs School blog. 

Questions: feel free to send me an email. 


Daniel Kane
Jacobs School of Engineering dean's office

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Engineers for Exploration at UC San Diego / Learn How to Get Involved on Oct 9

Engineers for Exploration is one of the many great opportunities at the fingertips of engineering students at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. Just peruse their list of technology platforms and you will get an idea of the exciting opportunities (see below).

Find out about the opportunities in person and hear about some of their exciting past adventures.

When? Thursday, Oct. 9 from 4:30-5:30pm in the Calit2 Auditorium, Atkinson Hall.

Where? Calit2 Auditorium, Atkinson Hall (Qualcomm Institute). All majors welcome.

Aerial Camera Platform

Free Lecture: Exploring Health Disparity through Engineering Leadership

Attend this Gordon Engineering Leadership Forum on Thursday October 16, 3:30-4:30 pm at Atkinson Hall Auditorium (Qualcomm Institute).

Forum speaker: Dr. Bert Lubin, President and CEO of Children's Hospital & Research Center in Oakland, CA.

Talk title: “Exploring Health Disparity through Engineering Leadership”

Gordon Engineering Leadership Forums are a great opportunity for the Jacobs School of Engineering community including students, faculty, alumni, staff and local industry professionals, to connect and gain insights on many different aspects of engineering leadership through the experiences of remarkable individuals. 

The program will be followed by networking with refreshments. The Gordon Engineering Leadership Center will provide parking codes to alumni who attend.

For more information, contact the Gordon Engineering Leadership Center at 858-822-5636 and

About the Gordon Engineering Leadership Center

The engineering students of today are the technology leaders -- and job-creators -- of tomorrow. As a testament to the value of training and developing these future leaders, the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering has established the Bernard and Sophia Gordon Engineering Leadership Center, which is generously supported with a gift from the Bernard and Sophia Gordon Foundation.

The Gordon Center offers a novel, end-to-end set of leadership and training curricula for students at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as for professionals working in the technology fields.

Through its Gordon Scholars and Engineering Leadership Awards, the Center identifies and celebrates talented individuals with leadership potential. In addition, the Center exposes students to the advice, experience and attitudes of proven engineering leaders through training events including workshops, leadership forums, and summer schools.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

UC San Diego student chapter of National Society of Black Engineers helped create a student chapter at Town and Country Learning Center

Officers of the UC San Diego student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) 
In 2013, the UC San Diego student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) established an NSBE Jr. Chapter at Town and Country Learning Center in Southeast San Diego. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first NSBE Jr. Chapter at a community-learning center (most are established at schools, which the UC San Diego student chapter has done as well). Keep reading for more info on NSBE activities at UC San Diego from Michelle Ferrez, Director of the IDEA Student Center at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

The mission of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community. The UC San Diego NSBE Chapter has continuously fulfilled the NSBE mission by the establishment of NSBE Jr. Chapters at local San Diego High Schools. NSBE Junior strives to stimulate student interest in technical fields such as science, mathematics, and engineering. In response to the lack of African Americans pursuing degrees in engineering and science, NSBE serves as a source to encourage students to attend college and pursue technical degrees. At the same time, UC San Diego NSBE recognized that although schools and teachers bear principal responsibility for children’s education, having a supportive and stable home environment can complement the efforts of educators, leading to better student achievement in high school. In 2010, the UC San Diego NSBE student chapter began to work with Town and Country Learning Center located in Southeast San Diego, to increase the scholastic achievement of students who live in an affordable housing community. The goal was to create a pipeline of students who value academic success by providing peer mentorship (“buddies”), tutoring, and academic skill workshops. While many factors affect school outcomes among low-income children, including parental involvement and school quality, meeting children’s basic housing needs is a critical part of school readiness and academic success. In 2013, UC San Diego NSBE was able to formalize their work at Town and Country Learning Center by establishing the first NSBE Jr. Chapter at a community-learning center and creating an Academic Success Program for any middle/high school student living in the community. Through the “buddy system”, NSBE JRs have attended local/national NSBE professional conferences, have participated in the San Diego NSBE Summer SEEK program (Summer Engineering Experience for Kids), and attend the Annual UC San Diego NSBE Leadership Banquet.
Summary written by Michelle Ferrez, Director of the IDEA Student Center at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Biomedical Engineers Win ‘People's Choice’ Award for Inspiring Video

The National Academy of Engineering named a group of University of California, San Diego bioengineering students as the “People’s Choice” award winner in a video contest celebrating the 50th anniversary of the NAE. The Biomedical Engineering Society at UC San Diego received $5,000 in prize money for their award-winning video titled “The Future is Boundless.”
Four student members of BMES traveled to DC with bioengineering professor John Watson to participate in the NAE’s 50th anniversary celebration including Teryn Johnson, Michelle Ragsac, Clarence Mah and Andrea Ngo. Ragsac actually hand drew every frame of the video using a stylus connected to her computer. The narration was done by a high school friend of Mah’s who happens to be a voice actor. 

The focus of BMES here at UC San Diego is to improve the quality of life of bioengineering students by helping them grow both on a professional and personal level,” said Johnson, the society’s president. Some of BMES’ larger events include Bioengineering Day and Lab Expo.

Johnson said a portion of the winnings would probably be spent on devices such as dry electrodes and spirometers that can be used in hands-on demonstrations as part of the club’s outreach to get K-12 students interested in studying engineering. “We are extremely proud of our students and their efforts beyond the classroom to develop into well-rounded leaders for their future engineering careers,” said John Watson, professor of bioengineering and the faculty advisor for BMES at UC San Diego.

L-R Michelle Ragsac (animator), Clarence Mah, Teryn Johnson, Bioengineering Professor John Watson and Andrea Ngo pose with Albert Einstein at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

The Engineering for You contest invited participants to submit a 1-2 minute video showing engineering’s impact on society in the last 50 years and to project its contributions in the next 50 years. More than 600 videos were submitted in six categories: middle school and younger (K-8); high school (grades nine-12); tertiary education (2-year college through graduate school, full or part time); NAE Frontiers of Engineering and Frontiers of Engineering Education participants/alumni; NAE members and foreign members; and the general public. The People’s Choice Award was chosen by the public through voting on the NAE YouTube channel.

“The outcome of the NAE 50th Anniversary Engineering for You Video Contest was more inspiring than any of us anticipated,” said NAE President C. D. Mote Jr., in a statement released by NAE. “The messages touched on the essence of engineering, how it serves people and society. They give present powerful visions of what the future holds.”

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Q&A with Chemical Engineering Alumna Emma Wong

Alumna Emma Wong (MS Chemical Engineering '04) works in the Spent Fuel Alternative Strategies Division of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The NRC featured Wong in a recent post on their blog. One of the questions is excerpted below. But before we get there, here are a few insights from Wong, via a conversation with her on LinkedIn. 
The whole MS curriculum [in chemical engineering at UC San Diego] proved to be most useful in my current job. Incompressible flow, numerical methods, reaction engineering all help in my understanding of current methods, modeling, and concepts for systems I am reviewing.
The most interesting thing about chemical engineering is that it can be used, in my perception, in many different fields. I have worked in electrical areas, energy sectors, processing, materials.... and many of my chemical engineering friends have branched out with their degree and have succeeded. 

Check out the original blog post for the full Q&A and keep reading for one of her thoughtful responses.

And if you're not a member of the Jacobs School of Engineering group on LinkedIn, you can request to join here. 

What advice would you give to girls/young women considering a career as an engineer?
I have mentored many young women about the career path to becoming an engineer. While it can prove to be challenging, it is an area where women can thrive. Here is some of the advice I have provided to others:
Don’t be afraid to try new things, such as different types of engineering majors, internships. Keep trying until you find what fits best. Besides knowing what you want to do, it is also good to know what you don’t want to do.
Have multiple mentors and advisors. As you grow, don’t be afraid to find new mentors who fit your current needs. Besides, it’s always nice to have someone to talk to.
Engineering and science are not scary. All the numbers, symbols, and complex equations may make it seem that way, but all engineers and scientists had to start somewhere — one equation and theory at a time.
Being an engineer is a good career path. But if you find out later that something else fits better, an engineering education is a good foundation for many other careers, including medicine, law, business and regulation.