Student Organization Highlights

Students at UMBC and the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT) collaborate with other with other student organizations for joint activities, projects, events, programs, or affinity groups. Student organizations may also partner with the COEIT Dean’s Office and key offices on campus to participate in activities that inspire participation and action. See below to learn more about recent collaborations. Also, find out if your organization is eligible for funding from the Dean’s Office.

2023 Hackathon Highlights
(written by Jake Schoenberger, COEIT Student Organization Liaison)

students participating in Hackathon 2023
Photo courtesy of Jake Schoenberger

On October 1st, 2022, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) held a workshop in conjunction with hackUMBC’s Hackathon, a social coding event that brings together computer programmers and interested people to teach students about the importance of defending cyber-physical systems against on-site physical hacks. The IEEE organization is led by President Xavier Smith, a senior at UMBC who leads the club along with the rest of the Core Six members of the executive board: Christopher Slaughter (Vice President), Caden Ertel (Lab Director), Andrew Mathew (Secretary), Nkosi Cruickshank (Treasurer), and David Nguyen (Public Relations / Historian). They run IEEE effectively in a way that is educational and interactive, exposing students to tangible applications of STEM in an enjoyable fashion. IEEE’s Arduino workshop explained cyber-physical systems in the context of relevant, relatable machines, dissected the definition of a hardware hack, demonstrated the effect of hardware hack in terms of servo motors and LED’s, and explained how to protect against them. They included examples of some famous hacks, and even a demonstration where they tampered with a cyber-physical system.

IEEE’s goals for the academic year are to increase club retention and activity, and gain more members based on curiosity of STEM and its applications. Because of the Hackathon event, they had 50+ students participate in the event, and 40+ members join their organization. However, most importantly, they were able to spark curiosity about the topic behind cyber-physical systems, and excite more non-engineering and non-STEM majors. If you are a student who is interested in any of these topics, or electrical engineering in general, IEEE is the student organization for you. If you are interested in finding out more about their organization, you can follow them on Instagram at @umbcieee.

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