Madeline Burris, '14
Hometown: Flagstaff, Arizona
Degree: BS, Robotics Engineering
Why did you choose WPI?
The fact that WPI offers a Robotics Engineering degree, the percentage of students who graduate already placed with a job, the feeling of being an actual person and not just a number, and the retention rate from freshman to senior year.
How has WPI's philosophy of Theory and Practice, as well as working with teams, been beneficial to you during your time at WPI?
When you graduate from college and get a job in the real world, you're not going to sit in a classroom, listen to a lecture, go read a book and repeat. Engineers do real work and they do it in teams. WPI provides that experience and prepares us for this before we even hit the field. We actually have the skills employers are looking for in employees.
What do you consider WPI's greatest strengths?
I love the strong history and sense of tradition that is prevalent on the WPI campus. The professors and students are glad to be here and are proud to be a part of the unique WPI community.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
I would be rather pleased if NASA would pick me up, but ultimately I want to build robots that help people, whether they're working in industry or in earthquake wreckage or on another planet.
One morning during my ECE 2010 lab, Professor Sergey Makarov came in just as we finished and were ready to present our final product. Professor Makarov enthusiastically jumped on the opportunity to help us (as usual.) When everything was ready for us to turn on the power and view our arch, he turned the lights down and before we knew it we were not only watching our arch vary in frequency as we adjusted our potentiometers, but were listening to a form of Morse code used back before WW2 through a mechanism Professor Makarov had brought with him.
We also found ourselves in the middle of a history lesson on how this form of Morse code had come about and had been used to send messages across the Atlantic! Professor Makarov always makes it so that you leave enlightened and smiling!
Groups or extracurricular activities in which you participate at WPI:
- Resident Advisor
- Women in Robotics Engineering
- Student Alumni Society