Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Eddie Tapia: Graduate Road Map founder

Eddie Tapia is a UC San Diego mathematics- computer science alumnus currently working on dual master’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering and technology ventures at Carnegie Mellon University. When he was president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) at UC San Diego, he created the Graduate Road Map (GRM) event to increase the number of underrepresented students applying to graduate school. Here’s why:

“I grew up in a low-income household, so my goal for the longest time was to go work after my bachelor’s degree so I could help provide for my family. As a result, grad school was not in my plans throughout most of my undergraduate career. Yet, through the help of some amazing friends, staff members, and faculty, I learned about the benefits of obtaining an advanced degree and they provided me with the insight I needed to craft a strong application. 

However, not everyone is lucky enough to have the help I had and I noticed that many students, especially underrepresented minorities, were not applying to graduate school because they had a lot of misconceptions about the whole process. I was bothered by this realization so I began to think of ways where I could give students the opportunity to connect with faculty, current graduate students, and university representatives to demystify the graduate school application process. I created GRM to increase the number of underrepresented students applying to graduate school and support students who might otherwise not apply to graduate school.”

This year, SHPE will host GRM on February 9. If you’re not sure if graduate school is a good fit for you, or don’t really know what the application process is like, come learn from the experiences of current graduate students and professors. Thanks to SHPE, the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers at UC San Diego for organizing this event. Details here: https://sites.google.com/ucsd.edu/graduate-road-map-2019/home

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

ARMOR Lab Soft Robotics

Han-Joo Lee, a graduate student in Professor Kenneth Loh's ARMOR Lab, is working on a new way to make soft robots move. The method he's developing uses ultrasonic atomization — similar to how humidifiers work— to get soft, biomimetic tissues to expand and move. The research was published in Soft Materials and Structures on January 19.

Lee's talk about this research at Lab Expo 2019's Graduate Showcase won 2nd place from the judges panel, and third place in the popular vote.