CSULB Students Attend Grace Hopper Celebration of Female Technologists

Women are a distinct minority in computer science classes at many universities, including CSULB. That wasn’t the case at the recent Grace Hopper Celebration, where more than 6,000 female technologists gathered for keynotes, workshops, networking, and job interviews.

“There were girls everywhere,” said Victoria Hong, a computer science major and president of the ACM chapter, one of four CSULB students who received scholarships to attend GHC. “When people ask me if it was as good as I thought, I say ‘No, it was way better.’”

Computer science major Alejandra Gonzalez had that same sense of amazement at being surrounded by so many successful women in technology, such as Dr. Fei-Fei Li, Professor and Director of Stanford University’s AI Lab and Chief Scientist at Google Cloud AI/ML, and Melinda Gates, a former Microsoft product developer who is now co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “I couldn’t believe there are that many women interested in technology,” she said. Continue reading

Electrical Engineering Grad Student Wins a Best Paper Award at NAPS

While an undergraduate at UCLA, Edward Sanchez gravitated toward research. His skill recently shone through at the IEEE 2017 North American Power Symposium (NAPS), where he won a Best Paper Award.

The paper, “Model Predictive Energy Scheduling for a Building Microgrid,” details how to design a control system to coordinate the micropower sources and utility grid demand of a proposed building microgrid. The research is part of a $2.5 million California Energy Commission project to turn the Engineering & Computer Science Building into a Smart Building. Continue reading

Paid Internships Available through Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship

If you’re pursuing a career in commercial space exploration, you might want to consider the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship program.

The highly selective Fellowship will place students at top companies for paid summer internships for 10-12 weeks in 2018 and provide them an executive mentor to help throughout the year.

The program includes a premier lists of companies and mentors committed to the fellowship, including the Aerospace Corp., Accion Systems, Astrans, Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin Ventures, LTA, Millennium Space Systems, Nanoracks, OneWeb Satellites, Planet, Planetary Resources, SpaceX, Stratolaunch Systems, Virgin Orbit, and the XPrize. Continue reading

Dean Golshani Receives NAACP Higher Education Award

Long Beach State College of Engineering Dean Forouzan Golshani will receive the NAACP’s Higher Education Award at the Founder’s Celebration Dinner on Nov. 2. Long Beach State University President Jane Close Conoley was the recipient of the Higher Education Award in 2015.

“I am very honored to be recognized with this distinction,” said Golshani, who has served as the college’s dean since 2007. “I am both personally and professionally dedicated to equality. At Long Beach State, we work hard to ensure that each of our students, who come from diverse backgrounds, has an equitable opportunity to excel in their engineering education.”

Carmen Taylor, Long Beach State Vice President of Student Affairs, is also being recognized, with the Zelma Lipscomb Award. Besides honoring area individuals, the Founder’s Celebration Dinner generates funds for programs supported by the NAACP’s Long Beach branch, including the MESA Schools Program. Continue reading

CECS Introducing Colloquium Series

The Long Beach State Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science this semester will be launching a Colloquium Series to provide a forum for industry best practices and to make research more tangible for students.

Each semester, there will be 4-5 talks by invited speakers from academia and industry, said CECS Assistant Professor Birgit Penzenstadler.

The first talk will be on Thursday, Sept 28 from 12:30-2 p.m. in VEC-110. It will feature Ph.D. candidate Jayden Khakurel, who will discuss Human-centered Design and Wearables. Continue reading

Engineering Honors Track Celebrates Arrival of New Students

Each year, the CSULB Engineering Honors Track gets a little larger. The 6-year-old program offers students a fast-track plan toward earning an undergraduate degree completion, complete with a thesis and special events.

This fall, the program includes 124 students, including 38 freshmen. Denil Poudel, one of those freshmen, said he’s excited to be participating in the program. A graduate of the California Academy of Math and Science, and the grandson of an industrial engineer, Poudel said he’s always been drawn to engineering. He built things with Legos when he was young, then moved on to autonomous robots. Continue reading

Innovation Challenge Draws Interest from Student Entrepreneurs

Industrial design junior Ryan Genena already knows how to develop a business plan. That was just one of the things he learned as a participant in last year’s CSULB Innovation Challenge. His team—a startup called 1010 Innovation with an app to help seniors—was one of four finalists in last year’s Challenge.

Genena was one of about 50 students who turned out Thursday to hear more about the contest, which provides $10,000 in seed funding and $40,000 in services to support the lucky winner’s startup.

The students came from many majors—everything from animation, marketing, and political science to industrial design and chemical and electrical engineering. Their interests were equally varied: artificial intelligence, footwear, sustainable design, safe driving, security, robotics, and human-centered design.

The idea behind the entrepreneurship contest, which is supported by the colleges of the Arts, Business Administration, and Engineering, is to build interdisciplinary teams to develop new products and services. The hope is to support one successful business each year.

“Ideally, teams need designers, business people, and engineers to keep things going,” said College of Engineering Dean Forouzan Golshani, a former entrepreneur who holds nearly a dozen patents.

Steven Boyer, a designer, inventor, and entrepreneur who teaches in the CSULB Department of Design, brought about 15 of his students to the meeting. “We’re

hoping we can originate some projects,” said Boyer, who serves as a mentor for the contest.

While some students worry about the time commitment, Boyer said he plans to try to work the entrepreneurial contest into the curriculum.

Marisol Bernal, who just transferred into the CSULB Chemical Engineering Department, already has an idea—and a team composed of three Chemical Engineering majors and one Electrical Engineering major.

Tyler Quillen, meanwhile, has lots of ideas but hasn’t settled on one yet. “An idea comes into my head and I write it down,” he said.

Last year, 45 teams submitted business plans, up from 18 the previous year.

Now in its eighth year, the Innovation Challenge is open to all students. Four finalists present their proposals to judges, and one team is selected in April to receive $10,000 in cash and $40,000 in services to help launch their business.

The next information sessions will be held Monday, Sept. 18 from 3-4 p.m. in the Niggli Conference Center, ECS-312 and Tuesday, Sept. 19, 7-8 p.m., CBA-139A. RSVP to reserve your spot. Anyone interested in entrepreneurship is invited them to attend. A mixer is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. in ECS-105.

Over the years, the contest has supported many businesses, from a 3D bone printer and a tool to help diagnose pulmonary diseases to a student textbook exchange and a mobile boxing ring for seniors. For more information, visit http://www.csulb.edu/innovation-challenge.

Making the Most of Career Fairs

A year ago, Electrical Engineering majors Daniela Bosze and Jose Gomez were in the same position as the 70 students who attended Tuesday’s Southern California Edison information session—wondering how to make the most of career fairs.

Bosze and Gomez attended the Edison info session last year, and stopped by the Edison booth at the fall Engineering Job & Internship Fair. Although Bosze said she hadn’t yet taken any classes in power, she expressed an eagerness to learn. Gomez hadn’t taken power classes either, but spent time before the job fair getting up to speed.

“You have to convey the message that you’re trying to learn,” said Bosze, who, like Gomez, is now a year-round Edison intern.

Edison senior engineer Jonathan Ly, who often works the Edison job fair booth, encouraged students to start attending fairs early to build networks and practice their professional demeanor.

“It’s not just a chance to pick up swag,” he said. “Whether you realize it or not, we’re sizing you up. You’re basically interviewing for a job by attending a career fair.”

First and foremost, he said, “You want to appear professional.” Although Ly also spent his college years wearing shorts and flip flops, that attire isn’t suitable for a career fair.

Secondly, he advised career fair attendees to practice their elevator pitch. Keep it short and sweet. Talk briefly about your background, interests, and any applicable experience. “I don’t want to hear your life story. Keep it quick. Keep it concise,” Ly said.

Other tips he shared:

  • Pick 3-5 companies to meet with
  • Research those companies beforehand
  • Have paper resume copies to hand out
  • Don’t be too casual
  • Don’t be so shy you can’t speak
  • Don’t ask what a company does—you should know that beforehand.
  • Be prepared for long lines.
  • If you feel a connection with the recruiter, request a business card
  • If you’re qualified for a position, ask about next steps.

Ly’s presentation was the first workshop of the semester offered by the COE Office of Professional Development & Internships. The CSULB Career Center will host the fall Engineering Job & Internship Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 20 from 12-4 p.m.

New Faculty Expand COE Expertise into Cutting-edge Technologies

The CSULB College of Engineering’s six new tenure-track faculty expand expertise into such cutting-edge technologies as data mining, earthquake engineering, machine learning, and 5G wireless.

Dr. Andrea Calabrese and Dr. Mehran Rahmani have joined the Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Management Department as assistant professors.  Continue reading

Biomedical Engineering students

Biomedical Engineering Department Takes Interdisciplinary Approach

The College of Engineering Thursday celebrated the launch of a new department in the fast-growing field of Biomedical Engineering.

With the introduction of the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering, CSULB becomes the only CSU in Southern California to offer a standalone degree in this area. Biomedical Engineering graduates will be able to apply their engineering, biology, bioinformatics, and biomechanical knowledge to create artificial organs, prostheses, medical instruments, healthcare management and delivery systems, and more.

“I’m really thankful to the committee that worked tirelessly to develop the curriculum,” said College of Engineering Dean Forouzan Golshani. Continue reading