MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
reetings from ECE! Times of remarkable change are times for remarkable opportunity, and over the last year we have experienced these opportunities at the department, college and campus level.
First, we’re looking forward to connecting with some of you in the next few months at several regional visits. ECE faculty members will be in Chicago, Illinois, in July; San Diego, California, in August; and San Francisco, California, in October. We’re scheduling additional visits in 2012 around the Midwest and East Coast. Stay tuned to the ECE Facebook page, www.facebook.com/uwece, or check out the new department website, www.engr.wisc.edu/ece, for more information.
As for department changes: I want to thank those who responded to our recent graduate survey. Much of your feedback about your learning experience reinforces what we’ve also heard from our Visiting Advisory Board and student focus groups: You value the high quality of learning in ECE and on campus, yet you see room for better advising and more curricular freedom to take complementary courses outside of ECE and take advantage of study abroad or other beyond-classroom learning opportunities. In response to this feedback, our faculty members are hard at work on revamping our undergraduate curriculum with more free electives, hands-on learning and other important innovations.
This revamping is an ongoing project, and we are still interested in feedback. If you have graduated in the last five years and have not yet submitted your comments about the ECE curriculum, please E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The engineering campus itself also is under-going significant changes. The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery is now open for business, and a number of ECE faculty are closely involved in research happening there. The new Union South also has opened and is fast becoming a great place to hang out on campus. Union South hosted the inaugural run of the Qualcomm Wireless Innovation Prize, which the department was closely involved in establishing. Read more about this new innovation here.
A recent study shows UW-Madison is responsible for an economic impact of $12.4 billion per year in Wisconsin. We’re proud to be part of this impact and are doing our part to live up to the Wisconsin Idea. One example is a new middle school outreach program led by Professor Amy Wendt that will develop effective methods to give Wisconsin students, especially girls and underrepresented minorities, an understanding of the engineering profession and how engineering is part of addressing societal grand challenges. Plexus Corporation, the National Science Foundation and the College of Engineering are supporting the initiative.
Finally, I want to give a sincere thank you to the alumni and corporate partners who have been able to give financially to the department. Private support is critical for ECE to maintain its position of academic leadership. Your gifts are supporting a wide range of needs, including outreach, new technology and learning infrastructure, defraying textbook and travel costs, instructor awards and need-based financial aid.
I’d like to invite 2011 graduates to consider getting involved with UW-Madison philanthropy by participating in an initiative by alumni John and Tashia Morgridge. They have pledged to match each gift by a member of the graduating senior class through December 31, 2011. You can learn more at www.news.wisc.edu/19407.
John H. Booske, Chair
2416 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Dr.
Madison, WI 53706