To celebrate Mentoring Month this January, EPICS in IEEE would like to thank the mentors supporting our student teams! 2022 was the pilot year for the EPICS in IEEE mentoring program and the program received significant interest from IEEE members. The committee matched several of our teams with mentors and has members interested in lending their knowledge and experience to our teams in 2023.  Our mentors had a significant impact on our student teams by sharing both technical and professional expertise to help the students grow as their project progresses. EPICS in IEEE checked in with a few of our mentors to hear about their experiences so far. 

Samarth Deo, past Chair of EPICS in IEEE, currently serves as a committee member and industry mentor to the Reducing Chicagoland Ecological Footprints project, was able to see firsthand the team’s progress during a recent visit. He very much enjoyed the students’ brilliance in creating such a simplistic, yet impactful solution to combat a wide-scale problem. “This Chicagoland project is one such example where students from different disciplines can come together to solve a unique problem in a rather simplistic way,” Deo says. “I’m looking forward to seeing the end results.”

Dr. Ruby Annette is an AI Researcher and also the mentor for The Design and Development of a Head-mounted Assistive Device for the Blind Using Computer Vision team located in Bangalore India. When asked about her motivation to become an EPICS in IEEE mentor, she had this to say:  “Moving from the academic setting where I enjoyed mentoring students the most as a Senior Assistant Professor to an industry setting as a Machine Learning Engineer, I always longed to share my knowledge and expertise to mentor young minds in projects that can create an impact in the lives of people. IEEE EPICS gave me the opportunity to mentor the team of college students of the “The Design and Development of Head-mounted Assistive Device for the Blind Using Computer Vision” team and I cherish this mentoring experience. I am very glad that I could contribute to the technology that could impact the lives of many blind students using Computer Vision.” 

Another mentor coming from the IEEE Atlanta Section helped the Henry County Aquaponics in the Park team get their project off the ground. Yusuf Samet Yaras, a research faculty member at Georgia Tech said that “The most valuable experience for me was mentoring a team with each member having a completely different background. Communicating, let alone mentoring, such a diverse team was definitely outside of my comfort zone. I needed to adapt and learn how to effectively bring the team onto the same page to work towards a common goal. Developing this soft skill of collaborating with a team from diverse backgrounds through mentoring was an invaluable first-hand experience that will help me grow as a researcher.”   

Mentors have a huge impact on student service learning projects and EPICS in IEEE is thrilled with the launching of our mentoring program. Hear from our Spatial Extent Monitoring of Coastal Sunny-day Flooding project from North Carolina State University (NC State) on how mentors have impacted their EPICS in IEEE project in the below video. 

The EPICS in IEEE committee plans to match mentors with teams for our Access and Abilities projects over the next few weeks. If you think you have the skills and are interested in helping a student team, please fill out our interest form. To learn more about mentoring an EPICS In IEEE team, click here to view our FAQs about becoming an EPICS in IEEE mentor.