Systems Engineering and the Team Engineering Learning Experience
Thirty years ago, Professor Ken Bowles and a team of 70 UCSD students created UCSD Pascal, a portable system used worldwide for teaching computer programming until the 1990s. UCSD Pascal helped usher in the PC revolution by making microprocessors widely accessible to novice programmers.What is most extraordinary is that this innovation was achieved mostly by students at the undergraduate level.This is just the kind of real-world experience we strive to offer our students today.
Our industry partners tell us that in addition to solid fundamentals, the two most important attributes they are looking for in our students are teamwork and systems engineering, namely the ability to integrate engineering knowledge across domain boundaries.
This year we launched our Team Internship program with our Corporate Affiliates Program members and our Teams in Engineering Service (TIES) program with our nonprofit community partners. Like the UCSD Pascal tradition, students learn by doing, applying engineering theory and pouring their creative energy into projects from conceptual design through implementation. Both programs have students from multiple disciplines working together to learn from each other and come up with integrated engineering solutions.
The need for experienced engineers who understand systems engineering has also become a resounding theme among our corporate partners.Together with UCSD's Rady School of Management, we have developed an executive-level short course, architecture- based systems engineering for the enterprise, focused on business integration and enterprise-wide knowledge management.The course was introduced last year with strong industry endorsement, and will be offered again in January.We are now working towards a graduate-level program in systems engineering.
Just a few weeks ago, our CSE department brought the UCSD Pascal team together for a reunion symposium. Dozens of alumni participated, and it was a pleasure to see these folks reconnect. Many have gone on to become leaders in companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Intuit, Sun Microsystems, and their own software companies.
As I talked with our alumni, it became clear to me that the UCSD Pascal project not only launched their careers and shaped their view of engineering, but also remains a defining moment in their lives today.Thus teamwork and systems engineering have a long and successful history for us at UCSD.The experiences of our UCSD Pascal alumni continue to serve as a model as we enhance our curriculum with new systems engineering and teamwork opportunities for our students.