Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Morning "Interview" with Mushfique - from Qualcomm

Mushfique did his undergraduate from National Univ of Singapore and completed his masters with a Thesis from University of Wisconsin. He met our students today in a one-and-a-half hour session. Mushfique did his undergraduate from National University of Singapore and completed his masters with a THESIS titled “Data Compression for Thermal Mitigation in the Hybrid Memory Cube” [Link to his Thesis: CLICK] from University of Wisconsin, Maddison. He met our students today in a one-and-a-half hour session. He currently works at Qualcomm, testing out CPU architecture.

His academic life has been quite turbulent in nature. He first applied and studied at Singapore National University, from which he acquired a first degree in electrical engineering – even though he recognized in the process that computer science was a far interesting area than what he was pursuing. Due to NUS’s restrictions on switching majors, he was stuck with his original choice and forged ahead to pursue it to its fullest. After graduation he got a couple of offers from banking and IT sectors in Singapore, which he accepted willy-nilly. Ironically, when he had to return to Bangladesh due to an administrative glitch, he spent a few weeks in a dejected state.

Mushfique quickly settled for applying to USA for a Master’s degree, which he eventually received from University of Wisconsin, Maddison. He went on to pursue his interests at Qualcomm, where he acquired a job testing out ARM CPUs for production. 

Mushfique had a very lively interaction with the class and addressed a large number of issues that ranged from (1) where to study, (2) which major to pursue, (3) comparative advantage of Comp Engg and Comp Science and Electrcl Engg, (4) the perks of working in a giant company who is also a world-leader in technology, (5) the downside of working in such companies, (6) the importance of managing stress, (7) the fact that working life is full of huge workload which does not get reduced even when you are on leave, (8) the need for doing internships during summers for the students who return to the country from abroad, (9) the need for socializing in an semi-official context, (10) and women in engineering. 

From his experience Mushfique has seen that women in engineering are encouraged all over the world, and there is a high demand to rectify the “mandiego” syndrome, a situation where there are too many men around. He emphasized the riskiness of administration fields such as middle managers, since they are the first to get the axe. He outlined Qualcomm’s strategy for the next fiscal year – an 'Internet of Things' – that helps people to be technologically connected, and all their devices acquire smart capability.

Mushfique laments the lack of opportunity for graduates in Bangladesh, emphasizing the lack of opportunity in the country that forces talented people to migrate elsewhere in search for better opportunity. He also emphasized the need to work in undergraduate research program with professors or take part in internships, since it distinguishes your academic career from the thousands of other STEM graduates every year.

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