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EECS Students Excel at Regional IEEE Conference

April 25, 2012

University of Kansas students earned two top five finishes, including first place in Student Ethics, at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Region 5 Annual Conference this past weekend in Tulsa, Okla. This was the first time KU participated in the team events, competing against students from more than 20 different universities. IEEE is the professional organization for Electrical Engineers and related fields and is also the largest technical association in the world.KU IEEE team

KU IEEE Chair Jalashree Mehta and KU IEEE Treasurer Luke Ezell, both juniors in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS), won first place in the Student Ethics competition. At orientation, Mehta and Ezell received a hypothetical case involving several facets of professional ethics in the work industry and violations of the IEEE Code of Ethics. Specifically, the case involved the decisions made by an employee who designed a software system at a previous job, but wanted to use a modified version of the system at his new job. Mehta and Ezell spent the next two hours analyzing the case and preparing a presentation on the potential conflicts according to the IEEE Code of Ethics. The competition included a presentation and defense of the case in front of a panel of judges, which was followed by a Q&A round. The duo received a $500 cash prize.

“The competition was truly a great experience,” said Mehta. “It allowed us to critically think about the implications of professional decisions in the work industry and analyze the 10 clauses of the IEEE Code of Ethics. I am extremely happy that both our teams have done so well at the conference, and hope this generates more interest among EECS students to get involved with KU IEEE.”

EECS seniors Brady Maasen and Meghna Eluganti, EXPO Chair for KU IEEE, earned fourth place in the Circuit Design competition. The question posed to them was to design a circuit that displayed the hexadecimal numbers (0, 1, 2, ....9, A, B, ..... F) sequentially on a seven-segment LED. Additionally, the circuit would need to be able to shut down when the lights were turned off. This required using common integrated circuit components such as the 555 timer, and/or gates and binary counters. The solution that Maasen and Eluganti came up with worked in theory, but they could not complete all of the wiring within the allotted time. While only one team completed the project, the KU team was among the top tier of competitors with its design and work in progress.

“I'm very proud of our teams.  They demonstrated poise under pressure and served as excellent standard-bearers for KU Engineering” said EECS Associate Professor Shannon Blunt, the new KU IEEE branch counselor.

KU IEEE provides opportunities for students to learn about careers in engineering, to network with successful alumni and industry professionals at both the local and national levels, and to connect with fellow engineering students and faculty. To learn more, contact KU IEEE at ku.ieee1@gmail.com.

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