Research Rookies 2014-2015

Research Progression

It has been another month, and time sure goes by really fast. I have really enjoyed working with Dr. Hashemian over the past couple of months. I’ve learned all sorts of new things about FPGA prototyping. Dr. Hashemian’s patience and willingness to dedicate his time to mentoring me is truly something to be highly appreciated. I love it when we come across a problem and go through the process of trying to solve it. It is highly motivating to see a solution to a problem work the way you want it to work.

As far as my research goes, I have made extensive progress from last semester. I have finally been able to implement FPGA designs onto the Nexys 4 digital board and am happy to be experimenting with the various designs from the FPGA prototyping book. Although it took a lot longer than anticipated, I do feel like this is truly a wonderful accomplishment seeing as I went from no knowledge on the subject to being able to do something with it. Since I am a bit behind on my timeline as previously stated due to the slow process of learning, I may have to modify my project to become more of an FPGA prototyping research experience rather than the original intended vision system development. However, this experience will provide a strong foundation to advance towards a vision system. I am very excited to continue working through example designs and finally coming up with my own design to showcase. Digital design with FPGA’s are really beneficial to learning how the background of electronic devices work and how to design them to work efficiently. What I’m learning now will definitely help me in future career as an Electrical and Computer Engineer.

Going into the summer, I have plans to participate in the McKearn Fellows Summer Program where I will be staying on campus for 8 weeks to do faculty-mentored research. I am still in the process of deciding on a research topic and mentor because Dr. Hashemian will unfortunately not be on campus for the summer. However, it will be interesting to pursue a new project focusing on a different area in my interests. This program will be very similar to the Research Rookies Program with the only difference being the time period of 8-weeks vs. 1 year. It will definitely allow me to further my interest and knowledge in my field of Electrical and Computer Engineering for success in a career in industry or for pursuing a Ph.D.

As a Simmon Scholar, I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to express my interest in STEM fields and opportunities. In order to spread the word about my undergraduate research so far, I do plan on sharing about my project at events such as Undergraduate Research & Artistry Day, Student Involvement Fairs, and Freshman Orientation Events. STEM Outreaches are yet another way to share about my undergraduate research experience. These types of events are great for reaching out to the community and showcasing the wonderful opportunities that NIU has to offer. I think it’s crucial for people to get into research early on as an undergraduate because it really sets them up for a high rate of success early on and in preparation for future careers.

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