Focusing on smart devices for cars
This past summer, Peggy Kwan took off on a road trip from New York to Sacramento, CA, after stops in Washington DC, Chicago, and Colorado—an appropriate trip for the University of California-Berkeley graduate since she wants to get involved in the blend of cars and technology devices.
Now that she has her degree in electrical engineering and computer science, Kwan is ready to bring her skills to automotive technology. "I'm interested in automobiles and technology, including wireless communications, security, information, and entertainment devices for drivers and passengers," says Kwan. "I'm particularly interested in a device that signals a central service center when an air bag is deployed."
Kwan hasn't decided yet whether to enter graduate school or get a job. "If I don't find work in the next six months, I'm going back to graduate school," explains Kwan. "But I'm going back to graduate school eventually because I want to do R&D."
During her school years Kwan grabbed some wisdom that she wants to pass on to other students. "Manage your time really well and try not to procrastinate." E-mail Kwan at Peggasus88@hotmail.com
Andrew de los Reyes
Keeping instant messages safe
Don't try to hack into the computer of Andrew de los Reyes. He's been working on computer security since his first days in the computer engineering department at the University of Michigan. In the past couple of years, de los Reyes has been involved in a project to bring encryption to instant messenger communications, a territory of wide-open vulnerability on the Web. "I worked with two other students to write a program that adds encryptions to both ends of the conversion," says de los Reyes.
Since he first entered U of M, de los Reyes has been involved in the Michigan Engineering Software and Hardware group. He was elected president in his sophomore year. "They decided to pick the youngest one for president," explains de los Reyes. The logic was to choose a student who would be able to lead the group for an extended period.
In the spring of 2004, de los Reyes will pick up a degree in computer engineering. "After graduating, I will probably move on to a master's degree or Ph.D. in computer science," he says. As for his ultimate career, he intends to pursue his interest in computer security. "Security has always fascinated me. I'm interested in doing research on attacks." E-mail de los Reyes at firstname.lastname@example.org
The roller coaster ride of MIT
Saundra Quinlan has been interested in mechanical engineering since high school. She attended the Bronx High School of Science, and when she headed off to college, she chose MIT. "MIT was a big jump, but I was ready for it," says Quinlan. She notes that MIT became even more intense during her second year. "It was a bigger jump between freshman and sophomore year than it was between high school and freshman year."
Quinlan's dream job when she graduates in the spring of 2005, is a job in the mechanical design field—specifically, she wants to work on roller coasters. "I knew I wanted to design roller coasters when I took my first design class."
Quinlan thought her dream job was unique at first. "I thought my idea was original, but I've found others who want to do the same thing," says Quinlan. She's concerned that the opportunities in mechanical engineering to design park rides are very limited. "There are only a few companies designing rides, and more of them are European."
At MIT, Quinlan heads up the school's National Society of Black Engineers. She heard about the group while she was in high school, so she visited them when she arrived at MIT. "I was hooked immediately," says Quinlan. "The group works to increase the number of black engineers and to encourage success." E-mail Quinlan at email@example.com