February 2015
Letter from the Editor
Pritpal Singh,
Villanova University
Dear ECEDHA Members, Industry Partners, and Colleagues,

Welcome to the February 2015 issue of The ECE Source.  This issue is focused on the topic of increasing diversity in the electrical and computer engineering careers.  In particular, we have two articles by female computer scientists who provide some guidance on how to attract more female students into the computer science/computer engineering fields.


Current Views
Barry Sullivan
Barry Sullivan, ECEDHA
ECEDHA Conference Topics in the News


As soon as the ECEDHA Program Committee began brainstorming topic ideas for the 2015 Annual Conference, my eye has been drawn to related stories in the news.  I have selected a sampling of these news items for the "ECE in the News" section of this issue, to accompany the conference overview included among the feature articles.

>> Read more

Featured Articles
But You Don't Look Like an Engineer...

By Sheila S. Hemami and Marjolein C.H. van der Meulen
As female engineering professors, we often find that people do a double take when we tell them what we do.  "There are women?" they say.  "In engineering?"  When we both started our careers, in the mid-1990s, we thought women would be better represented in engineering schools by now.  As the numbers at Cornell University and nationwide show, we've come a long way but still have further to go.  In Cornell's College of Engineering, nearly 30 professors are women.  This number corresponds to the national average of 12 percent.  Together we have a combined career's worth of hiring experience in the two largest departments in our college.

Want More Diversity in STEM?

By Pooja Sankar, eCampus News
As educators and administrators discuss ways to attract more students - women and minorities especially - to study computer science, remember that it's not enough to simply encourage under-represented groups to take their first STEM classes.  Educators must recognize that they play a major role in keeping these students engaged and supported throughout their academic careers. Traditional class structures can perpetuate feelings of isolation. Attracting women and minorities to computer science is one thing; keeping them there and easing their path to graduation (and beyond) is a separate thing altogether.

2015 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo Overview

By Barry Sullivan, ECEDHA

The planning process that began last March at the 2014 ECEDHA Annual Conference has produced another outstanding program, thanks to the leadership of Athina Petropulu, ECEDHA Vice President and ECE Chair at Rutgers, and the ECEDHA Program Committee.  The full program is available for your perusal on the conference website. This overview will guide you through the conference highlights.



ECE in the News
Maker Faire Meets Silicon Valley
By Rick Merritt (May 19, 2014, EE Times)

The chief executive of ARM came to Maker Faire Bay Area where the company had a small booth for the first time this year.  Intel had a much larger tent, starring its Quark processor and a young man who demonstrated a marshmallow gun to President Barack Obama.

>> Read more 

Educators Value Blended Learning
(September 12, 2014, USTelecom Media)

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are designed to provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants.  They also have been touted as an affordable, accessible online learning option.  However, there is debate among educators as to their overall benefits.  According to a recent PBS NewsHour report, although universities have had some success with these courses, there is debate among educators about whether MOOCs are "the future of higher education or the vehicle of its demise."

>> Read more

GE, forges Internet of Things Alliances with Verizon, Cisco, Intel
By Larry Dignan (October 9, 2014, ZDNet.com)

General Electric on Thursday announced a bevy of alliances with enterprise technology heavyweights as it lines up support for its Predix platform, which is software designed to add intelligence to various Internet of things end points.
Professor Wants to Change Engineering Education
By Martin Rowe (October 28, 2014, EDN Network)

You probably recall the pain and suffering you experienced getting through university.  Do you remember studying with books and perhaps a few labs for three years, then having to do a senior design project?  Did you see many students drop out?  If you did, then you've experienced a culture that professors Mark Somerville and David E. Goldberg say  must change so that bright young people will choose a career in engineering and thrive at school rather than just trying to get through.

>> Read more

Needing Public Support, Academics Try to Make Their Work More Clear
By Jon Marcus (January 8, 2015, The Hechinger Report)

It may not be entirely surprising, in the rarefied confines of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, to hear a member of the faculty let terms like "randomized controls" and "self efficacy" slip into a conversation. But the point of this particular conversation may be a surprise.
>> Read more


Special Announcements
Registration Open for the 2015 ECEDHA
Annual Conference and ECExpo!

Registration is now open for the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo, the largest gathering of ECE department heads from throughout the United States and Canada.
This year's program is hosted by The Citadel, Georgia Institute of Technology, and North Carolina State University. Join us as ECEDHA returns to Hilton Head Island on March 13-17, 2015 at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa.

The housing reservations deadline is quickly approaching and all department heads wanting to participate in the program MUST secure their hotel reservations no later than Friday, February 13th. The hotel is filling quickly and is close to capacity, so we encourage you to make your travel plans today.

Upcoming ECE Webinar
Yet Another Paradigm Shift...How 21st Century Computing is Wreaking Havoc on the Engineering Campus


February 26, 2015     2:00pm EST


Twenty first century computing is no longer confined to the desk but is embedded in an exploding generation of amazing devices and this is beginning to disrupt the engineering campus in surprising ways.  This webinar discusses innovative techniques that embrace this new reality and offers insights on how it can be reconciled with conventional engineering pedagogy.


Corporate Features
ECE Spotlight

Captured live at the 2014 ECEDHA Annual Conference, ECE Spotlight Sessions offer the opportunity to view short corporate presentations and to learn more about what these companies can offer you.

Featured ECE Spotlight Session: 

Presenter: Amirpasha Javid, Application Engineer, Quanser

ECE Perspectives
ECE Perspectives offer in-depth interviews with leading industry executives.
Featured ECE Perspectives:



Clint Cole
Founder & CTO
Digilent Inc

"Learn before doing" has been the dominant approach to engineering education for many years, with a typical curriculum requiring 1-2 years of general math and science before delving into discipline-specific courses. Can technology make engineering concepts more accessible to enable "learn by doing," thus inspiring students and improving student retention in engineering?


Produced by: 

In This Issue
Calendar of Events
February 26, 2015
Sponsored by Quanser
March 13, 2015
Presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
March 13, 2015
Presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
March 13-17, 2015
The Westin Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head, South Carolina
April 16, 2015
ECE Webinar - registration opening soon!
Sponsored by COMSOL
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by ANSYS
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by Piazza
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by Quanser
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by COMSOL
It's time to renew your 2015 ECEDHA Membership!

2015 ECEDHA membership renewal for ECEDHA department heads is now underway.  Membership runs on a calendar year beginning January 1st through December 31st.

Renew your membership today to keep receiving ECEDHA membership benefits, including:
  • Access to the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
  • Complimentary registration for ECEDHA's ECE Webinars
  • The opportunity to participate in the ECEDHA Annual Survey, a valuable tool in benchmarking your organization in lab and office space, faculty and department head salaries, research budgets, student retention, graduation rates, and much more.
  • Complimentary job posting service via the ECEDHA website
  • And much more!

For questions, please contact Megan Bekolay at mbekolay@ecedha.org or 312.559.3725


Save the Date!


2015 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo


March 13-17, 2015

The Westin Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head, South Carolina


ECEDHA Member and Partner News
NFS CISE CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop

The NSF Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) will host a one-day workshop on CAREER Proposal Writing on March 16, 2015.

This workshop will be held at the Arlington Hilton. The goal of this workshop is to introduce junior CAREER-eligible faculty to the NSF CAREER program and help them to prepare their CAREER proposals to target CISE programs. Attendees will have the opportunity to improve their skills in proposal writing, as well as to interact with NSF program directors from different CISE divisions (ACI, CCF, CNS, and IIS) and recent NSF CAREER awardees. The workshop includes presentations and discussions on proposal preparation, experience sharing, a mock panel, and meetings with Program Directors from various research programs within CISE.

In order to attend this event, registration is required before February 20, 2015.

NSF-NAE Sponsored Workshop

Reforming Electric Energy Systems Curriculum with Emphasis on Sustainability

April 9-10, 2015 in Washington, DC at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Building