ECSE Honors Program
Last Updated 24 January 2006
Purpose: To assist outstanding ECSE undergraduate students with their professional choices, a process made difficult by the many opportunities open to them.
Electrical Engineering, Computer and Systems Engineering or Electric Power Engineering students who maintain a grade point average of 3.7 through the first term of their sophomore or junior years are encouraged to apply (see below for application procedure) for admission to this program. Students whose grades do not quite meet this requirement can apply if they are recommended by an ECSE professor.
The primary activity of this program is the ECSE Honors Seminar (catalog description reproduced below), which normally meets each spring term. This course is open to both sophomores and juniors to accommodate all outstanding ECSE undergraduates. The purpose of this seminar is to investigate career choices, with a particular emphasis on those that require advanced degrees, such as is the case with research.
The specific topics usually addressed include:
- What do EE, CSE and EPE graduates do?
- What kind of an Electrical, Computer or Power Engineer do I want to be?
- How do I apply to Graduate Schools?
- What is research? What are the emerging areas of Electrical, Computer and Power Engineering research? What are the traditional areas of research?
Specific activities usually include:
All students who participate actively in this seminar will receive an A. Those who do not will be asked to drop the course.
- Visits from EE, CSE and EPE graduates who will discuss their career paths. Past visitors have included professors, research scientists, venture capitalists, real estate developers, etc.
- Presenting a report on a research topic. Each student, or pair of students if the class is too large, will discuss a particular area of Electrical, Computer or Power Engineering activity, such as computer networking, microelectronics, plasma engineering, robotics, power electronics, etc. Students are to select an area of personal interest and, based on interviews with faculty and research staff, describe what the area is about, who does it (eg companies), where to study it, etc. in a short presentation to the class.
- Presenting a proposal to conduct some undergraduate research. Each student or pair of students will propose a research program that they are more-or-less qualified to conduct. The purpose of this activity is to find out what doing research is all about.
- Meeting with graduating seniors (usually past honors program participants) who will describe what they will be doing after they leave RPI and what was involved in the decision.
In addition to the seminar, all participants will have the option of switching their advisor to the program director and will, under the right circumstances, have the opportunity to make some changes in their degree requirements.
ECSE-2900 ECSE Honors Seminar (Catalog Description)
Introduction to research as a professional activity in electrical, computer, and systems engineering for participants in the ECSE Honors Program. Admission to the program is by application or invitation only, made during the fall term of the sophomore year. This seminar can be taken more than once. Spring term annually. 1 credit hour, 2 contact hours
If you are interested in this program, please email Prof. Connor a short message in which you include the following information:
Please note that this is a very informal application procedure, so you are free to interpret these items any way you wish. It is also not necessary to address all of them.
- Major, year in school and grade point average
- Schools attended other than RPI, if any
- Professional/technical experience such as co-op, summer internships, part-time jobs, etc.
- Research experience (describe the particular topics addressed and where you did this research)
- Any honors and awards you have received
- Reasons why you are interested in this program
- Your preferred email address and the name of your hometown
- Your probable area of interest within Electrical, Compuer or Power Engineering
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