One of my proudest moments during my time studying Computer Engineering was working and completing my senior design project. Senior year, all engineering majors have to take a senior design course which allows them the opportunity to partner with a corporation to solve an engineering problem. Computer engineering majors get to choose from two other engineering courses and independent study to fulfill the senior design requirement outside of the traditional senior design course. I chose to do an independent study.
Embarking on independent study required a lot more work than I anticipated. I had to find a professor to advise me and draft my own project proposal before getting approved to do an independent study course. Luckily, I had spent my entire undergrad doing research under the late Dr. Steven Levitan who was more than willing to advise me and help me with my project and proposal. After all that was done and approved, the real work began.
The goal of my senior design project was to design a model that can predict future consumer spending patterns based on past stock index and consumer index data. I used public stock index and consumer index data of the Food and Beverage, Housing, Apparel, Transportation, Health, and Entertainment sectors to analyze and determine correlations and trends. My thought was that this was going to be an easy 1-to-1 correlation, however, based on my data that was untrue. Using Linear Regression Models, I concluded that in order to understand consumer spending trends, it requires more than just financial data and a lot of external factors need to be considered.
I presented my project at the Senior Design Expo at the end of the semester and Dr. Levitan was so proud of the work that I had accomplished on my own. I owe him a lot for allowing me to independently think and take risks all under his support and guidance to be able to present something that I can talk about proudly for years and years to come.
Finding the right people in your life that will support you and help steer you in the right direction will take you a long way. It’s important to take risks and opportunities that will challenge you and allow you to learn and grow as person as well as allowing you to discover your passions.
- The Engineer