Image of Shannon Lee in her remote work space

Shannon Lee – Class of 2020

In her own words interviewed Senior Year

  • Hometown: San Francisco, CA
  • Favorite ECE Course: Introduction to Field and Waves (ECE 134) and Integrated Circuits (ECE 120A/B)
  • Senior Project (ECE 188A/B/C): IMPRESS Lidar (InspeC02) 
  • Student Organizations: Los Ingenieros, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), MESA Engineering Program (MEP)
  • Last Book Read/Author: Othello by William Shakespeare
  • Interesting aside about Shannon: I enjoy baking, cooking and playing games with my family

Your favorite

  • Hobbies: Watching movies, baking, hanging out with friends
  • Band/Performer: Taylor Swift
  • TV Show: Stranger Things
  • Movie: Me Before You
  • Book: Seven Daughters & Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen

Favorite things about

  • Electrical and Computer Engineering Department: The department is very good at communicating with the students and making sure to hear our feedback. The advisors are very friendly and always willing to help/give advice to the students. 
  • UCSB: Everyone is super supportive of each other and there are always people just enjoying the beautiful campus. There’s always a group that you can be a part of because of the diverse population. 
  • Santa Barbara: The weather is so nice in Santa Barbara. The pier and beaches have really nice views and many interesting activities and events. Overall, Santa Barbara is a very relaxing place to live in while studying.

Shannon and Electrical Engineering

  • Why EE: Initially I wanted to study physics because I enjoyed all my physics courses in high school, but I also enjoyed learning about the applications of these concepts. I heard from my high school counselor that electrical engineering is a good challenge and that there’s a lot of possibilities in terms of career options since I had no idea what I wanted to do. And because no one in my family has ever been an engineer, I wanted to explore a different path.
  • Why Shannon chose UCSB's EE program: When I first started looking into the program, I saw that there was a 5-year BS/MS accelerated program. I also heard that UCSB had a very good program in engineering. When I came to visit the campus for Spring Insight, I was very surprised about the lab experiences and the emphasis on undergraduate research.
  • How did you hear about UCSB's EE program: I heard about the program from looking at the website while searching for colleges.

Advice Shannon gives to students/parents

  • Students and Parents often ask, what can you do with an Electrical Engineering degree? Electrical engineering is a very broad area of study, you can go into materials, signal processing, circuit design, semiconductor physics and many others. There’s so much you can do either with software or hardware, too. After getting a degree, you can go into graduate school or industry or even start a company.

The Curriculum

  • What have you learned that has surprised you the most so far? Capacitors and inductors play a part in adding impedance or admittance in transmission lines which can be calculated using a Smith chart.
  • What has your experience been like taking the Math and Physics core classes? My experience taking the Math and Physics core classes have been pretty good especially since they really prepare you for the upper division courses. Although they were challenging courses, the rest of the classes build on concepts from previous courses, so it is crucial to really understand the applications of certain skills. I would recommend using the CLAS (Campus Learning Assistance Services) tutoring services if you are having trouble. It would also be a good idea to ask the TA’s or professors for help and forming a study group with peers who are going through the same material.
  • What was your most challenging but rewarding course and how did you overcome it?  In my experience, the most challenging but rewarding courses were ECE 137A/137B (Circuits & Electronics I and II). Although I had seen some circuits and systems in ECE 10 (Circuits, Devices, & Systems) series, we had to design and build our own systems in the lab. My partner and I would spend time simulating on a computer, building the projects on breadboards to test it out and soldering all the components together. Besides the labs, the course also had a pretty good amount of homework that helped you get an understanding of the concepts.
  • How has your Senior Electrical Engineering “Capstone” Project (188A/B/C) experience been so far? My experience in Capstone has been rather nice. This course has taught me a lot about project management as well as the financial and legal side about working on engineering projects. It is a very good course to introduce you to what professional engineers may do!
  • Are there any specific classes that you are looking forward to and why? I really enjoyed integrated Circuit Design & Fabrication (ECE120A/B) and Electromagnetic Fields & Waves (ECE 144) so I am looking forward to Semiconductor Device Processing (ECE 220A/B) because it teaches different fabrication processes. The course will introduce gallium arsenide as well as silicon technologies.
  • What area do you want to specialize in and why? I want to specialize in nanotechnology and opto-electronic devices. I really enjoy the integrated circuits classes and I also want work on devices.
  • Have you had any on-campus research opportunities at UCSB? I had the opportunity to be in the Edison Summer Research Program that grants funding for STEM students to do on-campus research over the summer. I had the chance to work with Professor Jonathan Klamkin and his team at Integrated Photonics Laboratory where I worked on the IMPRESS Lidar project. It was a very rewarding experience and I highly encourage students to try to engage in research.

Preparation for UCSB

  • What prepared you the most for studying engineering in college? While in high school, I took AP Calculus BC (Math 3A/3B) which allowed me to start with Math 4A. I also took some AP Physics courses while in high school which helped me through the physics series.
  • Are there any classes that you suggest ECE students take before entering UCSB and why? I would really recommend taking AP Calculus BC and AP Physics courses before entering UCSB because it would really help you have a better foundation. Taking AP Calculus BC would help you skip through Math 3A/3B which can lighten your load. Taking AP Physics would allow you to get a much deeper understanding in the physics series. Programming classes like AP Computer Science would also be beneficial.

Student Life at UCSB

  • What is campus life like for electrical engineering students? Most engineering students usually can be found studying in the library, working on projects with lab partners, or working on homework. There’s always groups of electrical engineering students together helping each other and learning from each other. There are also engineering organizations that students join for networking with industry professionals, professors and other students.
  • Describe the social scene in IV. There are many engineering organizations on campus for ECE students to join. But besides that, there are many other social organizations for all students to be a part of outside of their classes. IV is a place where students hang out after they finish their schoolwork. Off-campus, there are many great places for outdoor activities which can allow students to enjoy the nature and also get in some exercise and fun.
  • Describe your housing experience frosh year to present and give advice/feedback about housing and where to live. I first came to UCSB during the summer before freshmen year for the Freshman Summer Start Program (FSSP) where I lived on campus in San Nicolas Residence Hall. It was next to the lagoon, De La Guerra Dining Common and really close to all the campus buildings because it was on campus. Then I lived in Santa Rosa Residence Hall my second year, which was another freshmen dorm. I think living on-campus during your first year would be a great way to transition into the campus environment and meet other freshmen. I lived off-campus my third and fourth year in UCSB apartments, which I would recommend because it is less expensive. Living off-campus in apartments also gives a little bit more privacy than living in the residence halls where you had to share public spaces with everyone living there.

Future Plans...

  • What are your “big picture” plans/aspirations after graduation? In the future, I will be pursuing a Master’s degree at UCSB after I complete my Bachelor’s degree in the 5-year ECE BS/MS accelerated program. One of my greatest interests is working on fabrication of integrated circuits to help pioneer the newest electronic devices. With the preparation in my coursework, my goal is to enter into industry and become a design automation engineer at Intel.