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Why Major in Engineering Magdalena Balazinska Assistant Professor Computer Science & Engineering July 20, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Why Major in Engineering Magdalena Balazinska Assistant Professor Computer Science & Engineering July 20, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why Major in Engineering Magdalena Balazinska Assistant Professor Computer Science & Engineering July 20, 2006

2 Raise your hand if… zYou are thinking about majoring in engineering zYou already decided to major in engineering zYou already selected a concentration zYou are considering computer engineering zYou are considering computer science zAll the above are great ideas!

3 Outline zWhat engineering is about yDifference between science and engineering zWhy engineering is an exciting career yImpacts of engineering on our world yImpacts of computer science and engineering yOpportunities in computer science and engineering zWhy engineering is a welcoming career zAck: Parts of material in this talk graciously provided by Prof. Ed Lazowska

4 Science vs. engineering zScience yUnderstand, describe, explain zEngineering yDesign and build y“An engineer can do for a nickel what any fool can do for a dollar” (H. Ford) zComputer science (at least the part that I do) is mostly engineering

5 “Engineering research”: oxymoron? z“Fundamental research” and “application-motivated research” are compatible

6 Traditional view Fundamental research Applied research Niels BohrThomas Edison

7 Alternate view Concern with fundamentals Concern with use Edison Pasteur; much of biomedical and engineering research Bohr X

8 Outline zWhat engineering is about yDifference between science and engineering zWhy engineering is an exciting career yImpacts of engineering on our world yImpacts of computer science and engineering yOpportunities in computer science and engineering zWhy engineering is a welcoming career

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13 Engineering Impacts All Aspects of Society… Take Your Pick! zAcademic departments at UW yAeronautics and astronautics yBioengineering yChemical engineering yCivil and environmental engineering yComputer science and engineering yElectrical engineering yIndustrial engineering yMaterial science and engineering yMechanical engineering

14 z Impact y Advances in computing drive advances in all other fields y Advances in computing power the economy x Not just through the growth of the computing industry – through Multi Factor Productivity Growth throughout the economy y Advances in computing change the way we live, the way we work, the way we learn, the way we communicate z Unbelievably cool intellectual opportunities Why computer science & engineering?

15 Exponential progress

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21 z“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers” -- Thomas J. Watson, founder and Chairman of IBM, 1943 Makes many predictions look foolish

22 z“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons” -- Popular Science, 1949 Makes many predictions look foolish

23 z“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home” -- Ken Olsen, founder and President of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977 Makes many predictions look foolish

24 z“640K ought to be enough for anybody” -- Bill Gates, founder, Chairman, and CEO of Microsoft, 1981 [disclaimed] Makes many predictions look foolish

25 z “… the software industry is going to make more breakthroughs in these next 10 years than it's made in the last 30 … software is really going to transform not just what we think about as the computer industry, but the way that everything is done …” Intellectual opportunity Re-architecting the Internet Harnessing parallelism Quantum computing Transforming all fields of science and engineering

26 Sensor-based environment monitoring Temperature in room 101 Temp on first floor Second floor Third floor alert. “Urgent, temp in chair's office is 1°F too low!”

27 RFID-based equipment tracking

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29 Wreckless driving Personalized Health care A teacher for every learner Flattening the world Computing, innovation, and creativity Prosthetics / augmentation / access Intellectual opportunity

30 Computational biology and medicine The personal Memex The end of business travel Transforming the nation’s defense Synthetic biology Intellectual opportunity

31 81%

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34 Outline zWhat engineering is about yDifference between science and engineering zWhy engineering is an exciting career yImpacts of engineering on our world yImpacts of computer science and engineering yOpportunities in computer science and engineering zWhy engineering is a welcoming career

35 Engineering is a Welcoming Career zMost work is team work yYou get to work with people every day yThe people you work with are really nice people yBut you can also work with customers, lawyers, etc. zIn computer science and engineering yMost jobs offer flexible schedules xYou may never have to wake up early in the morning xYou may never have to dress up yYou can work from home and be productive yNo one cares if you speak with an accent

36 Engineering Opens Many Doors zEngineers learn highly portable skills ySolve problems, build systems, understand principles yMany different types of jobs yCan change your type of work throughout life! yCan couple CSE with business or domain expertise zEspecially in CSE yAmazing number of different opportunities yYou get to shop around! You should shop around! zEngineering is an international profession yWorking abroad easier than for other professions

37 Summary z Good work in engineering in “Pasteur’s quadrant” z Advances transformed our nation and our world z Computer science is the fairest one of all z Predicting the future is hard y “To predict the future build the future” z But it’s pretty clear the best is yet to come y Tons of intellectual opportunities y Tons of jobs too! y Tons of open doors! y Even more opportunities than before!


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