SOME OF MY FORMER STUDENTS
ALAN FELZER - CAL POLY POMONA
My interest in Electrical Engineering stems from my admiration of my Dad and his engineering career. My classes to date include C programming, circuit analysis, materials engineering and technical writing, to name just a few. I am also busy with various extracurricular activities including being vice president of the Society of Women Engineers and Editor-in-Chief of "Bridges to Innovation", Cal Poly Pomona's Engineering magazine. I have also received scholarships including the Fluor Daniel Engineering Scholarship and an Ameritec Scholarship. I am also a wife to a wonderful husband and mother to a beautiful baby girl in addition to working as a Technical Writer at Varco International, a global leader in the manufacture of oil exploration equipment. Although balancing my many responsibilities is difficult at times, I know that there is a bright future ahead for me and my family.
I decided to major in Electrical Engineering because of my fascination with how things work. I have been a tinkerer since the age of 8, and have always enjoyed creating things from spare parts and junk. I am the current vice-president of Tau Beta Pi which is the National Engineering Honor Society and the current vice-president of the Neo-Anime club whose goal it is to increase awareness and exposure of anime (Japanese animation) to the public. My senior project idea is to implement a fuzzy logic controller using an artificial neural network (ANN) learning algorithm for self-calibration and tuning on the 68HC11 microcontroller. Some of the classes that I have taken to prepare for this project are Advanced Digital Topics, State Machine Design, Control System and Microprocessor Applications in Process Control. My current hobbies are tennis, volleyball, bowling, game programming and anime art. After I graduate, I intend to pursue my masters and possibly a Ph.D. in Engineering and perhaps management. I hope to be able to work and go to graduate school at the same time.
I love being an ECE major. It's something I've always wanted to be since I was a child growing up in mainland China in the mid 1970's. Even though China was not so chaotic at that time, my rural village still did not have electricity. We used oil lamps until I was six years old when we finally got electrical power. To me it was magic. Magic that brought me out of darkness. Then when I was eight my grandmother's brother brought back a radio cassette from overseas. I was fascinated. Somewhere, someplace there were people making all this magic happen. It was at this time I decided I wanted to be one of those people.
I studied very hard and went to a University in Chong Qing where I majored in Industrial Automation Control. I had finished three semesters when I came to America with my family in January 1991. Because of financial problems I had to work full time for the first year and a half. I then went to Pasadena City College for two years and then transferred to Cal Poly. I very much like Cal Poly with all its labs and emphasis on the practical applications of engineering. I especially like using Mathcard and Mathematica to develop ways of plotting Fourier Series, Fourier Transforms and LaPlace Transforms. I hope to specialize in process control or communication.
I was born in the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Phenn in 1975. My family and I sought refuge in the United States after several years of hardship under the rule of the Khmer Rouge regime. I have always been interested in electronics and computers. As a child my toys never last more than a few weeks. I would rip them apart as soon as I could find a screw driver. For me, it was more fun playing with the motors than the toys. My interest in computers developed when I was introduced to them in grade school. I had to beg my mom for several years before she agreed to buy me one but once I got it I just loved working with it. One reason that I decided to major in Electrical Engineering was my need to know the inner workings of computers. I thought about computer science but I figured it wouldn't be able to explain to me all that I want to know about computers. After graduation, I plan to work for several years to gain the necessary experience before I attempt to go to graduate school. Presently, I don't have a particular job in mind, but hopefully something relating to computers or robotics. If I do make it thru graduate school, my ultimate plan is to return to Cambodia and help with the reconstruction process.
I can't say that I was your typical Son of an Engineer, or had any mentor that sparked my interest into this field at an early age. It is safe to say that the word Engineer conjured images of some lonely man on a train until my early teens. It wasn't until I was working on a project at UCI that I realized Engineering would be the most interesting path for me choose. Over the past two years my experience at both school and work have waned my interests towards the digital aspects of ECE. Like most Cal Poly students I live off campus and drive into Cal Poly from some remote location (35 miles away). I spent my first 2 years at Pomona taking my finals early so I could fly back and forth to France every quarter break to visit my girlfriend. This last summer I was married in France and moved back to California where I now live with my wife in Huntington Beach. I work (20-30 hours/week) in Newport Beach at an R&D company. My hobbies range from reading anything that isn't technically related, to playing hockey, and messing around with friends and my computer, and sometimes my wife.
Hi. From 1973 to 1977 I was a student in the Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) Department of Cal Poly, Pomona; I also double-majored with physics. I am glad to see that Prof. Felzer is still with the department (now ECE), since he was one of my favorite instructors. As it happens, I too have become a professor in the Cal State University system. If interested, you can learn more about the intervening details by visiting my home page. You might also like to read my essay, How to Be a Student, which provides information and strategies for being a successful student. Good luck!