Professional Master's Program Community
Unlike a lot of students, I entered the EE PMP program without a background in Electrical Engineering. I received my undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Washington and, since then, have been working as a Research Associate at Synrad in their laser technology group. With the support of Synrad, I decided to look into earning a graduate degree that would advance my position, and the EE PMP program immediately caught my attention. I liked how the program would allow me to better understand the RF design and control side of the lasers I was working on—not to mention how it would give me the same MSEE as the daytime program—so I applied. My area of focus is Electromagnetics; however, I continue to discover topics in Electrical Engineering that are just as interesting. I love to paint, draw, read, and travel, among other things.
Mie Mie Tjung
California had always been my home and I had been working for the same company for 8 years. Since I enjoyed my job and the people that I worked with very much, I was pretty much settled, and the idea of moving out of California had always been dismissed. However, it was the advice from a teacher who told me: “Keep yourself in school regardless of whether you take art, music or technical classes - you will eventually get there.” This advice kept me hopeful that, someday, I would find a way to pursue higher education. I had been looking many years for a brick and mortar master’s program that would allow me to continue working full time, but was unsuccessful. Eight years later, a friend encouraged me to move out of California and work at our company site in Everett. I was willing to try the adventure providing I could work and pursue a master’s degree. By sheer luck, my Google search returned with the EE Professional Master’s Program, and to top it off, the location is about half an hour from my new job. Upon discussing this with my friend and hiring manager, I was granted a visit to the Everett site that I couldn’t resist. It was the Professional Master’s Program which suited my needs perfectly and motivated my move to Seattle.
I am enjoying every minute of my studies and am finding that I am already improving in my current position as a result of the principles I have learned in the PMP.
I received my BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as a BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder in May 2010. Recently, I moved to Seattle for a job at Fluke Networks. As a software and embedded systems engineer at FNET, I am enjoying the challenge of interesting problems in wireless, copper, and fiber network testing. Much of my work involves embedded systems and DSP, which were my two main emphases in my undergraduate program. Though have I have just begun the PMP program, I am enjoying the opportunity to improve the breadth and depth of my knowledge, especially in signal processing and communications. I had taken a few graduate-level courses during my undergraduate education, and when I was finished with my bachelor’s degree I felt like I didn’t want to stop going to school. However, I also wanted to get experience in industry. The PMP is allowing me to keep my academic skills sharp and work towards my MSEE, while at the same time gain valuable experience through my full-time job. So far I have been very impressed with the quality of the courses and the caliber of the faculty in the UW EE department, and I especially appreciate the opportunity to pursue specific concentrations such as electromagnetics and signal, image, and video processing. In my spare time I enjoy reading, running, swimming, skiing, and building my own electronics and software projects involving music, image processing, and machine learning.
Les Atlas joined the UW Electrical Engineering faculty in 1984. An active participant in the PMP, Professor Atlas taught the program’s inaugural course (Digital Signal Processing) during Winter quarter 2008. He notes that “for a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is like the circuits or other fundamentals course is for an undergraduate Electrical Engineering degree. Almost all topics, be it industrial, defense, medical, consumer, and/or communications electronics, seem to grow out of the underlying mathematics in DSP”.
When asked how the PMP compares to the daytime program Professor Atlas says “the pace of the new Professional Masters DSP class is no slower than the fast pace we use for daytime students. Some students say that it starts like 'Trying to drink from a fire hose,' but when modern applications like MP3 players and HDTV are linked to the mathematics, it all starts to come together and make sense. For example, without the kinds of mathematical tricks industry uses from modern DSP concepts, large-screen HDTVs would not be dropping in price and modern hybrid cars could not be mass-produced." More detail on Les Atlas’ background and research interests can be referenced here.
Jenq-Neng Hwang received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, and joined the UW as a faculty member in Electrical Engineering in 1989. He has been teaching and conducting research on image/video signal processing, computational neural networks, multimedia system integration and networking. Professor Hwang taught the “multimedia compression and networking” class (EE 587) in Autumn quarter 2008, as the introductory class to the incoming PMP students newly admitted in that quarter. The intention of this class is to provide a coherent overview of many state-of-the-art technologies and related theories to be covered in the courses offered in the PMP curriculum, such as signal/image processing and communication.
Professor Hwang was extremely excited to use his own recently written book, entitled “Multimedia Networking: From Theory to Practice,” as the textbook. This book contains many fundamental theories, research results and practical experiences on multimedia networking, and is therefore a wonderful choice for PMP classes. Professor Hwang was quite pleased to see that many PMP students are eager to learn the teaching contents, diligently to complete the homework based on the provided multimedia software tools, and more impressively their beyond-expectation final project demonstrations, which resulted from their team efforts on many evenings and weekends. More detail on Jenq-Neng Hwang's background and research interests can be referenced here.
Vikram Jandhyala is professor of electrical engineering, University of Washington, and director of the applied computational engineering lab. He is chair of the UW EE professional masters program committee, and is an inaugural Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow in UW's Center for Commercialization. He is founder and chairman of Physware, Inc., a venture-funded startup in the area of scalable electronic design automation. His research interests include several aspects of large-scale simulation, physics-based computing algorithms, and electronic design automation. He has published approximately 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences and has directed research funded by DARPA, NSF, NASA, SRC, INTEL, IBM, the SBIR program, AFRL, Navy, and other sponsors. He received his BTech EE from IIT Delhi in 1993, and his MS and PhD in EE from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1995 and 1998, respectively. He developed boundary element solvers at Ansoft Corporation, Pittsburgh, from 1998-2000 prior to joining UW in 2000. Honors include an NSF CAREER award, Chair's award and Outstanding Research Advisor award at UWEE, a NASA inventor award, and graduate research awards from IEEE and UIUC. He teaches courses in computational and theoretical electromagnetics, electromagnetics for high-speed circuits, computational finance for engineers, and the modeling of social and economic networks.
John Sahr was born in Seattle and grew up in Yakima and Selah, Washington. He became a radio amateur in the mid 1970s (WB7NWP) and continued his interest in radio wave propagation, communication, and radar in college. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology in 1984, and a doctorate from Cornell University in 1990. He joined the UW as a faculty member in Electrical Engineering in 1991. In addition to his appointment in Electrical Engineering, Professor Sahr also currently serves as Associate Dean for undergraduate academic affairs in the UW Office of Undergraduate Education.
Professor Sahr teaches courses in Electromagnetic Theory to students in the PMP. He notes that “the PMP is a rich opportunity for me to interact with electrical engineers who have been working for a few years, to find out what mattered in their BS education for their current work, and to find out what matters now". When asked to comment on students in the PMP, he responds “…these students are eager to learn, serious, diverse in their backgrounds and interests... it's a delight to work with them”.
Professor Sahr’s research includes space plasma physics, scattering theory and radar signal processing. He has received several teaching awards from the College of Engineering including the Faculty Achievement Award. More detail on John Sahr’s background and research interests can be referenced here.
Erin Olnon is the Professional Master's Program Manager in EE. She is a true Husky, earning both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Washington in History and Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. She has over 9 years of student affairs experience, serving as the Academic Counselor in Industrial and Systems Engineering, the Lead Academic Counselor in Electrical Engineering, and for the past 4 years, as the PMP Manager.
She is responsible for advising, outreach, and the overall management of the Professional Master's Program. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, yoga, and spending time with her family.