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IEEE VIC Conference and Honors Ceremony

This past week I attended the IEEE Vision Innovation and Challenges Summit and Honors Ceremony at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Texas A&M is sponsored by the IEEE University Partnership Program, which provides us greater access to IEEE National, additional resources, and opportunities to network with other student leaders and industry professionals.

The UPP students arrived a day early to have our own mini-conference, sharing thoughts about what makes our branches unique, what common challenges we face, and what ideas we can learn from each other and bring back to our own branches. I was accompanied on this trip by the former president of the Texas A&M IEEE branch. It was interesting to see how each branch defined membership differently, what their biggest events of the year are, and how they increase involvement on their campuses. Some of the things I heard about that I hope to implement in College Station are increased partnership with IEEE professors, more complex project teams to build off of the workshops that we currently offer, and new ways to engage companies with our students.

During the actual conference, we listened to a variety of speakers talk about the challenges across various fields that IEEE members will likely work on in the coming decades. It was exciting to hear about some of the advances that are being made, as well as imagine the role that I might take in some of these industries. I was particularly intrigued by Wanda Reder's talk about making, moving, and using energy and power, and by Alex Gantman's talk on cybersecurity and how the consumer market will have to adapt to new threats.

The trip concluded with the IEEE Honors Ceremony, which honors individuals and companies who have made a large impact in IEEE fields of interest. Beyond the amazing dinner, entertainment, and set up, it was amazing to hear about the talent, innovation, and perseverance of those in the room. These are the engineers that we have to thank for our current technology, and I felt lucky to be part of the ceremony honoring them.

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