Tom MacDonald, MS Candidate

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MS Candidate

Why did you choose to attend WPI?
I chose WPI initially as an undergraduate because of a variety of reasons. First and foremost, the campus had an overall welcoming feeling. I literally had one of those moments where I stepped onto campus and said, “I belong here”. Second, it was a small school. Third, the seven week terms were quite literally the best thing I had ever heard of. I get bored of topics very quickly and the quick pace allowed me to excel.

I chose WPI as a graduate student because I had felt that I still had more to do, more to accomplish at WPI. I fell in love with the undergraduate program and had felt that the graduate program would offer similar results.

What research projects you are involved in at WPI?
I am currently working on a switch-mode, high-frequency (~850 MHz) amplifier design for my thesis under Professor Ludwig.

How have the professors in ECE impacted your life and studies?
While the ECE department has amazing faculty members all around and especially in my areas of interest (analog, semiconductor devices, electromagnetic, and microwave) there is one that really stands out in my mind. That faculty member is actually my advisor, Professor Ludwig, for whom I have developed a great appreciation for the work that he does. Despite teaching a very difficult set of courses, he strives to reach and engage the students. I can rest easy knowing that the extra work that I put in for his classes will benefit other students so that they too can obtain a better understanding of the subject matter.

However, I feel it is not fair to leave out the other stunning professors that I have had the experience of learning from and working with. One of those is Professor McNeill, who amazes me with not only his dedication to clarity but the seemingly unending supply of knowledge in his field. Then there is Professor Makarov that has from the very beginning put plenty of faith in me and my abilities. Yes, this meant I was always undertaking a bit more work than usual but the end results spoke for themselves. I would also like to mention Professor Bitar, since after working as a TA for him have gained a great respect for the knowledge and the zeal that he brings to his courses.

What do you hope to do when you graduate? What would be your ideal job?
My ideal job, as funny as it may sound, is to be a professor of electrical engineering. More precisely, a professor of engineering at WPI would be excellent. It is between that and being President of the United States of America. Thus, it seems my goals are either to teach the best and brightest or to lead my country. Looks like my work is cut out for me…

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
My extracurricular activities include writing novels, drawing in the style of manga, playing guitar, calligraphy, designing circuitry, playing video games, spending time with friends, among others…

Any other comments you would like to include?
It is important to remember that while being an engineer means that we must focus on being rigorous with our science, we should not forget our humanity.



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