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UW Engineering Group Reaches New Audience with Outreach

May 23, 2017
man showing poster to another man
UW Professor Suresh Muknahallipatna, right, guides Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead through a Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering workshop using raspberry pi technology last summer. (UW Photo)

Four individuals from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Wyoming recently performed outreach education on the East Coast.

UW College of Engineering and Applied Science Professor Suresh Muknahallipatna and three ECE students -- Josiah Batson, Cena Miller and Vivaswat Shastry -- taught the concepts of the raspberry pi, a small and affordable computer, at Miami Dade College in Miami. The UW group worked in partnership with National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) personnel, including Rich Loft, director of technology development in NCAR's Computational and Information Systems Laboratory, and Raghu Raj Prassana Kumar, an NCAR project scientist.

The team taught 20 Miami Dade faculty members how to program simple projects with a raspberry pi. The device, which costs $35 or less, can run a full Linux operating system, the same system used by supercomputers and smartphones.

“This was the first time we conducted the raspberry pi workshop for university engineering and computer science faculty,” Muknahallipatna says. “The enthusiasm, participation and response were amazing. The experience and feedback are different from the workshops conducted for high school teachers and students.”

A group at the Miami Dade workshop used sensors to measure temperature, pressure and humidity, while another created a word-frequency histogram from the complete works of Shakespeare using a raspberry pi Hadoop cluster. One team created a project that sent messages to users on their cellphones using flame sensors.

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