SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The next generation of engineers wants more role models, a society more tolerant of female professionals and all the messy imperfections of people who like to pull things apart--and as much encouragement as they can get. Otherwise, they are coming along just fine, thank you.
That was the message from a panel of five young engineers at DesignCon here. Most credited parents and teachers with getting them on the engineering path.
“My dad is an engineer and he said I could do whatever I wanted as long as it was engineering, but up until last year I thought engineering was one of the most boring things you could do,” said Shachi Nandan Kakkar, a high school senior from Cupertino, Calif.
After his father encouraged him to write a blog for EDN, he realized “engineering is more interesting than people give it credit for—it’s so broad, there’s hundreds of things you can do, so find your niche and go after it,” he said.
A female high school physics teacher was mentor to Amanda Pratt, now working on a masters in engineering at the University of California at Berkeley.
“It was my favorite class from the first day, thanks to encouragement from her and my father who is an engineer,” said Pratt who has been accepted to the 2016 class at the Harvard Business School. “I decided I wanted to do something that mattered and have a career with an impact,” she added.
“I’m an engineer by birth,” recalled Andrew Milluzzi, 23-year-old doctoral student at the University of Florida. “Once I was playing with Legos and my Mom said, ‘one day you will be an engineer,’ and I said, ‘but, Mom I don’t want to drive trains,” said Milluzzi who went on to become one of the youngest LabView architects certified by National Instruments.
Kakkar (left) and Milluzzi shared their enthusiasm for engineering.
Sunil, this is what I was talking about. As Duane said, the link to his articles may be appropriate. However, linking to his interviews and other news articles *about* him is more PR stunt than anything. Hope I am not being rude, just my honest opinion.
Hi Amit, I am not commenting on whether or not Shachi is capable of great things. I was just pointing out that it is not correct for his dad to repeatedly spam various articles with links to Shachi's articles. (Just today he commented once again on this article with a link to an interview with Shachi)
Hi Anshul, though i would have not written it, but it seems that you are stopping someone at personal level. I have seen couple of blogs by Shachi .. I see them, as a high schooler how much he is capable for, and trying his best to get into the engineering field. I think you must support him and his thinking as a newcomer in the technology field. Nothing offensive here ?
Hi Duane, I would generally agree as well. However, I had a quick look at his twitter as well as a few other articles, and it looks more and more like spam to me. Please take a look and let me know what you think: twitter.com/weverifyit
In most cases, I would agree. However, in this case, Shachi, the blog author was mentioned in the original article here and EDN is an eeTimes sister publication. Shachi mentioned his dad as an inspiration getting him on the engineering path, which is the subject of the article.
In my opinion, this is just an example of good parental support that is right on the subject of the original article. Not everyone gets parental inspiration. Some get it from teachers or other mentors, some from people they don't even known and some create it internally. But, the more kids we can inspire to pursue a career creating things, the better off we'll all be.
I cannot agree more, with you. There is a lot of glamour attached now to Wozniaks, Jobs, Gates and Ellisons of today, but we are no where close to the status of sports and acting stars. Shachi has attempted to change some of that perception in his EDN blogs by trying to compare Olympians and NBA stars to engineers. Below is a link to his EDN blogs:
I will also explore with him if he can do a few blogs on the valuable role of women in engineering.
Engineers and technology minded people are, in general, much more respected today than when I was young. There are role models in real life and in media, but still nowhere near as many or as high a profile role models as in sports, acting and other non-technical fields. I don't have a problem with those other fields having stars. I just wish there were more engineering and science stars. There has been a lot of improvement in that direction though.
What I find most disappointing is the negative image girls still have and get about technology. I think it has a lot more negative social stigma that it does with boys and it's long past time for that gap to be gone.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.