Computer engineering at rit if only i d known
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Computer Engineering at RIT: “If only I’d known…”. Matt Genovese, Motorola Inc. RIT Computer Engineering Graduate 1997. Purpose. To talk about my experiences at RIT, and in the Computer Engineering Department. Topics Computer Engineering Being an Engineer at RIT (Hints & Tips)

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Computer engineering at rit if only i d known

Computer Engineering at RIT:“If only I’d known…”

Matt Genovese, Motorola Inc.

RIT Computer Engineering Graduate



  • To talk about my experiences at RIT, and in the Computer Engineering Department.

  • Topics

    • Computer Engineering

    • Being an Engineer at RIT (Hints & Tips)

    • Co-ops and Jobs

    • Balance

  • Open Forum - Please ask questions!!!

A bit about me
A Bit About Me

  • Grew up in Owego, NY.

  • Had interest in computers since 3rd grade.

  • Accepted into RIT in Computer Engineering Dept. (1992 - 1997).

  • Married since 1997.

  • Now working as Product Engineer at Motorola in Austin, Texas.

Computer engineering

Computer Engineering


Computer engineering1
Computer Engineering

  • Congratulations! You picked the right major.

  • Why Computer Engineering?

    • Strong software engineering background

    • Strong digital design / hardware background

    • VLSI Design (Semiconductors)

  • Acquire high-level through low-level understanding of computer design.

Computer engineering2
Computer Engineering

  • How does Computer Engineering compare to

    • Electrical Engineering

      • CE has much more computer architecture and embedded programming expertise compared to EE.

      • CE benefits from much more software engineering.

    • Computer Science / Software Engineering

      • CS/SE doesn’t nearly get into the hardware aspect of computers as CE does.

      • Miss out on understanding the internals of a computer / embedded system.

Computer engineering3
Computer Engineering

  • What is the advantage of having a Computer Engineering degree?

    • #1 - You’re diversified!

      • Leads to many more career choices after graduation.

      • Having both hardware and software backgrounds is advantageous in whatever career path you choose.

    • Uncommon Engineering Degree

      • Not as many CE’s in workplace as EE or CS.

      • This is good news for you.

Ce advantage example
CE Advantage - Example

  • As a Product Engineer at Motorola, I am involved in the fabrication, testing, and characterization of a microprocessor.

    • Involves a lot of data analysis.

  • I am the ONLY person in my group who can program. This is not uncommon.

  • Therefore, I use my software experience to write programs to automate data extraction.

Ce curriculum layout
CE Curriculum Layout

  • The general layout of the CE degree is:

    • Years 1-2 - Software Foundation

      • Software engineering theory - develop your software expertise.

    • Years 2-3 - Hardware Foundation

      • Electronic theory, digital design, embedded prog.

    • Years 4-5 - Tying it all Together

      • Core CE courses (Comp. Arch., VLSI, etc.)

      • Electives - Concentrate on your interests.

So what s my point
So What’s My Point?

  • The Computer Engineering curriculum is not easy.

  • Don’t be intimidated; stick with it. It’s one of the most rewarding degrees to obtain.

    • Diversification; Uniqueness

    • Endless Job Opportunities in Today’s Market

    • Salary

    • The Satisfaction of “Understanding”

Being an engineer at rit

Being an Engineer at RIT

What You’ve Never Been Told, But Need to Know...

How to survive especially the freshman year
How to Survive(Especially the Freshman Year)

  • Learn How to Take Charge of Your Courses

  • Learn Good Study / Homework Habits

  • Learn Time Management

Take charge of your courses
Take Charge of Your Courses

  • The DON’Ts

    • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re not in high school anymore; you’re paying to learn now.

    • Don’t skip classes

      • You won’t get in trouble (like in high school), but you will pay for it.

      • Be an Engineer: Calculate how much $$ you’re paying for each class session. Skipping  Flushing

Take charge of your courses1
Take Charge of Your Courses

  • The DO’s

    • Be Persistent With Your Learning

      • If you don’t understand something in a class, speak up. Chances are others have the same question.

      • If you still have questions, talk to the teacher after class or visit during office hours.

      • It is IMPERATIVE that you understand. Clear up you questions ASAP, because as the class progresses, new information builds upon what you’ve already learned.

Take charge of your courses2
Take Charge of Your Courses

  • The DO’s (continued)

    • Fight for Good Professors

      • If you were able to learn well with a certain professor (on same wavelength), try your best to get him/her for another class.

      • Because you already know his/her teaching style, you won’t have to “learn” that again.

      • If the class you want is full, approach the professor. If he/she knows you from before, maybe he/she can get you in. Remember: It’s in YOUR best interest.

Take charge of your courses3
Take Charge of Your Courses

  • The DO’s (continued)

    • Use Your Academic Advisor

      • Scheduling of Classes

        • Meet with once per academic year to setup / refine your schedule for the next academic year.

      • If you’re struggling academically, keep him/her in the loop.

      • Remember: Your advisor is on your side - there to make sure you succeed academically.

Taking charge other tips
Taking Charge: Other Tips

  • If you are unable to learn from your professor, look into transferring to another section of the course.

    • If done early in the quarter, may be better than withdrawing from the class.

      • Saves you from dealing with prerequisite-course problems next quarter.

  • If you fail a course, it’s not the end of the world. See your academic advisor.

Study homework habits
Study & Homework Habits

  • If possible, study and do homework with fellow students in your classes

    • Why?

      • Can help each other better understand the material.

      • Better chance to complete entire assignment rather than being stuck on a single problem for a long time.

      • A lot more enjoyable to do in a group setting.

Study homework habits1
Study & Homework Habits

  • If possible, study and do homework with fellow students in your classes

    • Where?

      • Library (reserve a room where you can all meet)

      • Nearby the Professor’s Office

        • If you have questions about homework problems, it’s easier to resolve when the professor is right around the corner.

      • Try not to study in dorms - way too many distractions.

      • Try to move into on-campus apartments ASAP. Better work environment, but still on campus.

On time homework
On-time Homework

  • How do you get your homework done on time?

    • Schedule it from the date it’s due back to the date it was assigned.

    • Divvy up assignment for mini-tasks to do daily.

    • If you’re having problems, see professor immediately. If he/she knows you’re making the effort, there’s a better chance you can be cut some slack. Remember: Visibility is good.

Time management
Time Management

  • Get a Day-timer

    • It will help you:

      • Keep track of the assignments you need to do.

      • Break them in pieces over a period of time.

      • Remember when they need to be completed (on a future date).

      • Keep track of appointments.

    • Palm Pilots also work. Be sure to hot-sync frequently. But if it’s gets stolen, you’re SOL. (People don’t steal day-timers.)

Co ops and jobs

Co-ops and Jobs

Realizing The Fruits of Your Labor

Co ops testing the waters
Co-ops: Testing the Waters

  • Co-ops set apart RIT Computer Engineers

    • A rare opportunity to “test the waters” - see what careers really interest you.

    • Gives you a chance to network and make contacts for permanent jobs after graduation.

    • Realize the fruits of your labor

      • Put your knowledge into real use in a supportive environment.

      • Get paid for it.

The resume you on paper
The Resume: You on Paper

  • Be Prepared: If you don’t have a resume yet, start working on one now.

  • Spend A LOT OF TIME on your resume.

    • This piece of paper has to sum you up.

    • Any mistakes (grammatical, spelling) are magnified, and will cost you at least one interview.

    • Use Co-op Office (Bausch & Lomb bldg.) to give suggestions about resume formats, wording, etc.

The co op search
The Co-op Search

  • Use your co-ops well. You’ll never have an opportunity like this again.

  • Don’t co-op just to fulfill your graduating requirement. Think seriously about what you may be interested in.

  • Take advantage of co-oping out of town

    • Get an idea if you’ll like the area. If not, you’ll be done with the co-op soon anyway.

Co op job tips
Co-op / Job Tips

  • Network with other students you know

    • Benefit from friends returning from co-op - see if it’s something you would be interested in.

  • Join IEEE

    • Being associated with professional organization looks good on resume.

    • Subscribe to IEEE Spectrum magazine

      • Includes articles about many aspects of electronic and software engineering fields - get ideas for co-ops!



Taking it all in stride…

(or “Learning how to stay cool when it feels like hell”)

Balance relieving stress
Balance - Relieving Stress

  • All work and no play makes you not so happ-ay.

  • Use Phys. Ed. classes to your advantage

    • Business Advantage: Golf, Tennis, Racquetball

    • Fun: Juggling, Bowling, Volleyball

  • Intramural Sports

  • On-Campus Clubs

    • Cater to a variety of interests / hobbies

Get outside
Get Outside

  • Lots of things to do in Rochester

    • Mountain biking (on campus, Erie Canal, trails around Rochester, etc.)

    • Parks

      • Letchworth - Amazing park (many places to hike)

      • Mendon Ponds - Feed birds and squirrels right out of your hands (more fun that it sounds)

    • Sledding

      • Cobb’s Hill - Awesome sled riding, esp. at night :-)

At last
At Last...

  • College seems like it will last forever, it ends before you know it.

  • The friends you find in college will probably be some of your best friends in life.

  • So….. Enjoy your time with them, and have fun!