Embedded Systems and Internet of Things. Guest Post: Glenn Kasten-Sportes from UMCP at USG

Glenn Kasten-Sportes, M.Ed. ESIOT Program Coordinator, UMCP at USG

“What are Embedded Systems?” “What is the Internet of Things?” “What is the program curriculum like?” “What are the career aspects for someone pursuing this bachelor’s program?” 

As a coordinator for a new bachelor’s degree program in this field, especially one with a unique name, I am frequently asked these questions (and more) during my interactions with students. To put it simply, Embedded Systems and the Internet of Things are everywhere, and in everything we interact with — from our cell phones and smart watches, to our cars, household appliances, and even the homes we live in. The ubiquitous nature of this technology has created a high demand for engineers who are trained in it, and the new Embedded Systems and Internet of Things (ESIOT) bachelor’s program offered by the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) campus, does just that. 

It is the first undergraduate engineering program offered at USG, and as a program within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, it covers a combination of topics from electrical and computer engineering, computer science, and networking. The ESIOT curriculum is balanced between theory and real-world, hands-on experience which means that this program not only teaches students the theories of the science they’re learning, but takes it one step further and asks them to apply this knowledge to real-world problems to develop innovative solutions. This unique program design firmly grounds our students in solid engineering principles that prepare them to pursue a variety of careers in high-demand fields, such as software and hardware development, data analytics, application development, and cybersecurity analytics. 

Dr. Mel Gomez, ESIOT Program Director

We welcomed our first cohort of students in the Fall 2020 semester, and I often tell them that they are the program trailblazers who discover each day a bit more about how unique and innovative the Embedded Systems and Internet of Things program is, while also showing us what an incredible group of trailblazers they are. The cohort-based model of the program means our students complete the four semesters together, developing relationships and learning from each other as they go. When looking back at my own college experience, the best part by far was the people I met and the relationships I developed along the way, and I’m glad to say that our program cultivates this experience. The benefits of being  part of a small cohort of students on a smaller campus also means our students receive individualized attention and support from their instructors, who are University of Maryland, College Park instructors and industry professionals.

With all of this in mind, Dr. Gomez and I know that the best way for prospective students to truly learn about the ESIOT bachelor’s program is from its current students. So, we created an introductory program video from their perspective. I invite you now, then, to watch our program video and browse the ESIOT website, to learn more.

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