I received my undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University in December of 1993. During my undergraduate studies, I co-oped with NCR in Columbia, SC, Ericsson-GE in Lynchburg, VA, and Kemet Electronics in Greenville, SC. After graduation I worked with GE FANUC in Charlottesville, VA, and then with Davisco Data Systems in Greenville, SC.
Before graduate school, my experience ranged from hardware debugging and assembly language programing to high level language programming with no hardware interaction. I worked on and administered various operating systems from VAX to Windows.
To sum up, my background was the standard "Jack of All Trades" most engineers gain with real world experience.
I have been a TA for the ECE 371 lab in the past, and although this semester I'm working full time on my thesis I'll include some info so you will understand my pain.
The ECE 371 lab teaches the basics of computer interfacing. The students build circuits and create programs to exercise the computer's capabilities, and utilize various chip technologies to accomplish various goals. The lab goals are designed to be as interesting and realistic as possible, although some labs need some fine tuning.
For a TA this lab can be very difficult. It's longer (3 hours insted of the usual 2), and requires both hardware and software debugging techniques, not just of the students work but also of the machines in the lab as well. In addition the student's lab reports must be graded on grammar, a skill most engineers jettison after their freshman year. Despite this it is one of the most interesting labs to teach because of the material and because there are usually many solutions to the lab goals. Also, if the students prepare ahead of time there should be not need to be in the lab for 3 hours for any of the labs.
I am working towards a master's degree in computer engineering, specializing in computer architecture. I am working with Dr. Walt Ligon, Captain Ron Sass, Dan Stanzione, and Keith Underwood along with input from other members of our group to create a problem solving environment.
The work I'm doing is based in Java and for anyone who wants to know what Java is like, its like C++ for people who aren't very good at the low level operation of C++. "Pointers at all are not allowed. Not in my castle on a cloud."