[MUSIC - "POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE"] SPEAKER 1: All right, folks, we are actually ahead of schedule, which is absolutely amazing and wonderful for our grads. We're going to wait a couple of minutes to let folks get seated, and then we're going to get started.
SPEAKER 2: What gain was it on?
SPEAKER 3: It was on a medium gain.
SPEAKER 1: And while this may sound a bit silly, we are here to celebrate Electrical and Computer Engineering. There are other ceremonies in the building and it is other places, as well. If you're not here for ECE, we're glad you're here, but you're probably in the wrong place.
ALYSSA APSEL: Hello, can everyone hear me? Is this working? OK. Hello. Good morning. And welcome to the 2022 degree recognition ceremony for the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. We are delighted to have you here with us today.
Wow, it's been three years since I've been up here, and it feels weird. I think about 2019, and I think about what a different world that was and my expectations for how things were going to unfold back then and all of the plans that I made. And I wonder what you all must have expected back in 2019, when maybe the most stressful thing in your life was probably your ECE 2100 final. And then everything changed.
Look around you now. You've made it through what can graciously be described as a challenging four years or more. And you've made it to this incredible moment. And I am both honored and delighted to be with you here today.
My predecessor, sitting over there, used to say that this is, without question, the happiest weekend of the year in Ithaca. And he was right. The graduates have reached the end of a successful journey. And we honor them in the presence of our family and friends from all over the world.
People come from almost every corner of the globe to honor our graduates. And we thank you all for traveling so far, because we know this is not a small thing, these days, to be here to join us for the celebration.
All of the faculty, myself included, share in your excitement. It's been a really fun year. Let me quickly introduce the faculty, present, here, on stage with me. So this is Professor Al Molnar-- can you hear me-- Professor Chris Batten, Professor Zhiru Zhang, Amit Lal, Sunwoo Lee, Joe Skovira.
Let's see if I can see past everyone. Francesco Monticone, Peter Jessel, Aaron Wagner, Kirsten Peterson, Dave Albonesi, Tony Reeves, Hunter Adams, Park Doing, Kevin Tang, Francesca Parise, Khurram Afridi, and Cliff Pollock.
Not only is this an amazing opportunity to be together after such a long time, but it's a chance to look forward into the future. And what does that future look like?
Well, if we can judge from our class of 2022, the future certainly looks bright. You are definitely not like the group of graduates that I graduated with almost 30 years ago. For one thing, 35% of you are women. And my graduating class had two women-- two. This class also hails from at least 15 different countries.
And this class has made a true and established commitment to a more just and sustainable world. Some examples of this are evident in your projects. Our 2022 graduates have completed projects that include things like a virtual dog, to enable deaf students to learn surgical techniques without hurting a real animal, they include sustainable crop monitoring systems, a better Roomba, and all sorts of flying, sensing, amazing systems to make the world better or at least more fun.
In the words of Scott Adams' comic strip engineer Dilbert, "Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems available, they will handily create their own." Later today, we will assemble with the whole of the Cornell community in a spectacular ceremony, which will convey, officially, to the graduates their degrees with all the due pomp and honor.
Here and now, we're going to focus on electrical and computer engineering. So while I hesitate to give you this traditional graduation speech full of wisdom and advice, something that you're surely going to get later this afternoon and something that my predecessor would never have done, I'm a mother and a professor, and I really can't help myself, so I'm going to do it anyway. OK.
So in that spirit, let's look at the past few years and then anticipate what lies ahead of all of you, with only maybe the littlest, tiniest bit of advice for the future.
So to our graduates, after an intense period of study, you've finally arrived at graduation. You are now officially engineers. Think about that, you are an engineer, a Cornell engineer. It was not easy to get here. ECE has a reputation as the hardest major in the college. You graduates have arrived here through persistence, hard work, a lot of sweat, and a lot of drive.
You've taken rigorous courses spanning humanities knowledge of electrical science, you've mastered lab equipment and measurement, you have published scholarly discovery, and some of you have even constructed amazing devices that address all sorts of societal issues. Whether it's your struggle through maybe learning circuit design, in ECE 4530, or microcontroller design, in 4760, or maybe it was your M.Eng project or finally writing that thesis and submitting all those papers, each of you has overcome something.
Your creativity shows a good mix of irreverence, thoughtfulness, empathy for others, and cleverness. Amidst all of this fun, you managed to graduate, which is in and of itself a major accomplishment. You are now experts in things like Fermi levels and cache coherence, Laplace transforms and state functions, Miller multiplication, and Green's functions, and a lot of other things people are going to think that you're making up. Most people are not engineers. You are engineers.
To the friends and family members joining us today and for this celebration, I want you to know that these students have worked very, very hard. It's one of the distinguishing characteristics of a Cornell degree. Cornell graduates know how to work. So that is why it might seem strange that on this day of perhaps your greatest accomplishment thus far, I want to talk to you about the other side of Engineering-- failure.
This, too, is a critically important lesson in engineering. What good engineers realize that most other people don't is that the best way to understand how something works is simply to watch it fail. In the words of Thomas J. Watson, computer pioneer for whom IBM Watson Labs is named, the way to succeed is to double your failure rate. Engineers know this. Engineers understand it better than most.
One of my favorite examples of innovation in the face of failure is the story of Intel's misadventure with the original Pentium 4 NetBurst and its current mainstream CPUs. I'm old enough to remember when Intel introduced the enhanced NetBurst architecture called Prescott around 2004.
Prescott was supposed to be the crown jewel in Intel's family of NetBurst-based processors. But instead, it was a fiasco. Intel expected to scale the Pentium 4 architecture up to 5 to 10 gigahertz by doing what it had basically always done, deepening its pipeline, adding transistors, scaling them down, and running faster. Instead, Prescott was only able to reach about 3.5 or 3.8 gigahertz, and that was after numerous revisions.
As the engineers tried to push up processor speeds, they had problems with power consumption. But scaling down device size, which is what they'd always done to combat power consumption, just led to power density problems. So pretty soon, the processor was getting really, really hot-- hot enough to cook itself. AMD had a better processor and was able to dominate the CPU market for a while.
So did Intel collapse in 2004? No. Why not? Because engineers learned from their mistakes. Intel engineers made a big change in direction, putting the megahertz on it's-- pushing the megahertz on a single core design had increased power consumption markedly. And they shifted strategy and developed a dual core processor.
The shift was really important, because for 30 years or more, Intel has simply deepened its pipeline and pushed megahertz ratings. The Prescott failure forced them in a new direction into what became multicore design, which is now how the vast majority of CPUs are designed. At the time this was a big deal.
So faced with failure, Intel engineers did not simply throw up their hands and quit. Instead, they changed the way computers are designed. So what can we learn from this?
Certain things can only be learned from failure-- first, that bad things can happen, and it's OK. Your M.Eng project may not get in on time, but it's better to fix the bugs and get it working eventually. Second, you learn better judgment. If you never get a chance to exercise bad judgment, it's pretty hard to know the difference between the two. Third, you learn resilience. You guys are experts on resilience after these last few years. Finally, you learn the hardest thing of all, that your career, your project, indeed your life is not all about winning and losing.
I worry, sometimes, that the problems that we give in the classes, with simple, correct answers, might not give you the tools that you need to solve real world problems. And then I see your 4760 projects and I feel a lot better about this.
Basically, what I'm telling you is that it's good not to be great at something for at least a little while. OK? Why should you listen to me? Well, because I have a pretty good judgment. How did I get pretty good judgment? Years of exercising bad judgment. Basically a control loop with a really long time constant.
So the advice that I'm going to give you is not "fake it till you make it." Instead, I want you to face it till you make it. Get up, do the work, don't be afraid to fail. Fail. Try again. Do a little better. Fail again. Repeat.
You graduates have been through a lot in the last few years, and none of you would be here if you hadn't already learned how to face some disappointment and keep going. You should all congratulate yourselves on that, as well. It's maybe the most admirable aspect of this pandemic-era graduating class. And it's a lesson that will stay with you.
OK, so that being said, the good news is that you are, one, done working on incredibly hard homework assignments, research missions, final projects, theses, papers, et cetera, at least for a while, and two, are now more capable than most of your peers, in the workplace, to make a better world.
You join an illustrious tradition of more than 100 years of Cornell ECE graduates. Cornell was the first university in the world to offer the electrical engineering degree. Electrical engineering started right here at Cornell. Ezra Cornell made his fortune on electrical engineering and founded this institution to share that with the world.
Today is the 137th commencement of the school, and you are now members of the longest electrical engineering tradition in the world. Ezra Cornell used his fortune, made from Western Union, the first telecommunications company, to endow a university, here, in his hometown of Ithaca. We are, here, at Cornell, today, entirely because of the telegraph and the first electrical communication networks.
Developing the telegraph network led to the field of electrical science. As a result, in 1883, Cornell created the first degree in electrical engineering. We were then housed in Franklin Hall, named appropriately for Ben Franklin, the first electrical engineer, and it's now called Tjaden Hall, and it's over by the art museum. It's still kind of a nice looking building.
In the 1950s, we decided to move to a building that looks like a Howard Johnson's in order to modernize. And hopefully, by the-- and that's called Phillips Hall, as you all well know. And hopefully, by your 20th reunion, you'll come back and we'll have improved on it.
Now your class is off to build the future that Ezra would never have imagined, a future of robots and artificial intelligence, of wireless communications and self-driving electric cars, of quantum computing and wearable devices.
It is your turn to lead us with your future innovations, your successes and failures, your wisdom and advice for the next generation. Everyone here is proud of you. And they are counting on you to carry the legacy of Cornell forward, proudly.
So let's finish up here. You have your cap and gown on. You're thinking that this is all over. But remember, official graduation does not occur until the university president proclaims your rights, duties, and responsibilities of your degree. My predecessor as director, over there, Cliff Pollack, who's a much better speechwriter and generally funnier guy, would always end this address with a pop quiz and a corny engineering joke. The idea being that this was the last quiz, the last thing you have to answer as part of your electrical and computer engineering career.
I'm going to dispense with the quiz. But I'm going to do the joke, and you guys are going to have to fill it in. And this will be the last quiz question of your electrical and computer engineering studies. OK?
So complete this sentence. Two antennas got married. The wedding was lousy, but--
AUDIENCE: It was a great reception.
ALYSSA APSEL: Thank you. Graduates, your work is complete. You have learned how to manage your time, how to solve problems. You've kept your sense of humor. Maybe you've even gotten a little bit of sleep. You've learned how to fail. You've learned better judgment. You've learned resilience. Now and forever, you are Cornell engineers. Congratulations to you, the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering's Class of 2022, and best of luck to you all.
So now we can get this thing really started. And I'm going to pass this over to Professor Aaron Wagner to announce the graduates.
AARON WAGNER: Professor Apsel, I present to you the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering.
SPEAKER 4: It's my honor and pleasure to announce each of the Master of Engineering graduates.
Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
Again, congratulations to the M.Eng class.
SPEAKER 5: It is my distinct pleasure to introduce all the students receiving the Doctor of Philosophy degree in this year.
First up, Ziteng Sun.
Next up, Mausamjeet Khatua.
Next, Neeraj Kulkarni.
Next up, Nitesh Srivastava.
Next, Lekan Afuye.
Next, Di Ni.
Next, Adarsh Ravi.
Next, Daniel Palmer. Next, Edward Szoka.
Next, Kunal Shastri. Next, Haron Abdel-Raziq.
Next, Jiangnan Cheng.
Next, Yi-Hsiang Lai.
And finally, Ecenur Üstün.
And I congratulate all of those receiving their Doctor of Philosophy degree.
ALYSSA APSEL: So in the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, "That's all folks." Thank you for joining us today. This has been a great ceremony. And it's wonderful to be back here after so long. We are all going to gather outside to take pictures and say hello to each other. Congratulations. Yay. Congratulations to our graduates.
We've received your request
You will be notified by email when the transcript and captions are available. The process may take up to 5 business days. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions about this request.
On Saturday May 28, 2022, the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University recognized and celebrated the degree candidates for PhD, Master of Engineering and Bachelors of Science degrees.