Major Monday: Engineering

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An interview with Udeema Shakya, senior engineering major!

Udeema standing next to a river

Photo Credit: Udeema Shakya

How did you pick your major?

I came into Mudd wanting to be an engineering major. I did debate between engineering and computer science initially, but I decided on engineering partially because I liked E79 (Core engineering class) and I enjoy just having more hands-on things to do, so I went with engineering.

How has your major advisor been helpful?

My advisor is Prof Cha. He is helpful when I’m confused about major requirements or if I can pass/fail an elective, and other stuff like that. He has been helpful for simple things like just saying “Hey, am I on track to graduate and fulfill the major requirements and does this seem like a reasonable workload?”

What was your favorite major class?

E85 (Digital Electronics & Computer Architecture). It’s the one I had the most fun in. It was a lot of work but it was work that I enjoyed doing.

What was your favorite non-major class?

I’m really enjoying a humanities course I’m taking right now, Introduction to Drawing. I haven’t had a studio art class since high school, so I just enjoy drawing for two hours straight. It’s relaxing and a nice break from all the STEM.

Are you involved in any extracurricular activities in the engineering department?

I am a part of MuddSub, which is our underwater robotics team. I work on the Power Distribution subteam. We are working on a PCB, so just a power distribution board for the robot. I also work as a machine shop proctor in our machine shop.

What other types of research have you done in your major?

I took Prof Harris’ Advanced Digital Design class in the spring of my junior year. This class is essentially one project that you work on for the whole semester. Prof Harris, Mudd students, and some grad students from another university are building an open source configuration for a microprocessor, specifically the RISC-V processor. Last semester it was starting and building up. Now it has made a lot of progress, and Prof Harris is offering the class again next semester.

What is your clinic project?

I am working on the 23AndMe clinic project. 23AndMe currently uses x86 processors through Intel oneAPI. What they want us to find out is, if we can run their stuff on Amazon’s web services, Grand 2 processors, which is a different type of processor. And also, how does that compare pricewise and performance wise to what they are currently running.

What are your plans for after graduation?

My plan at the moment is to go into industry, but that is still a work in progress.