Fall 2013 Brings Record-breaking Number of New Students to CMU-SV-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fall 2013 Brings Record-breaking Number of New Students to CMU-SV

Incoming SE student Mia Manalastas and her teammates work on a collaborative Lego building challenge at CMU-SV Orientation.
Incoming SE student Mia Manalastas and her teammates work on a collaborative Lego building challenge at CMU-SV Orientation.

For the 2013-14 academic year, Carnegie Mellon University is welcoming 133 students to the Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View, Calif. — the largest entering class since the campus was established in 2002.

CMU's Silicon Valley campus (CMU-SV) offers graduate degrees through the College of Engineering, focusing on research related to mobile computing, security, the Internet of Things, machine learning and software as a service. The MS in Software Engineering and MS in Software Management programs are available exclusively in Silicon Valley. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering also has MS-ECE and Ph.D. programs at CMU-SV, and the Information Networking Institute (INI) offers a bicoastal MS-IT program.

"It's always exciting to welcome a new group of students, and I'm thrilled about the energy they bring to the campus," said Gerry Panelo Elizondo, director of Student Affairs for the Silicon Valley campus.

CMU-SV's total enrollment in 2013-14 is also a record high for the 12-year-old campus. Elizondo said the accomplishment is "fantastic evidence of how strong our engineering programs are."

Ninety-eight students are beginning their graduate studies this year, while 35 are arriving from Pittsburgh for the second year of the bicoastal MS-IT program. ECE sent 20 full-time students to the MS program, as well as 7 new ECE Ph.D. students. The MS in Software Engineering will see more than 40 new students, with 75 percent attending full time, and the Software Management program is adding 29 students, half attending full time. They join approximately 70 returning students in the second year of part-time SE and SM programs and in the Ph.D. program.

The four-day Orientation began Thursday with welcome events for full time students in the SE, SM and ECE programs. Orientation staff gave tours of CMU-SV's spaces and labs in the NASA Ames Research Park, highlighting some prominent Moffett Field landmarks like Hangar One and the military "brig" in the basement of Building 19. On the second day, part-time students from SE and SM joined in for workshops, discussions with program faculty and a Lego-based teambuilding exercise.

Working with the Legos was a great introduction to classmates, said SE student Mia Manalastas. At first, she and her teammates were "able to take on roles we weren't all comfortable with," and could get a feel for how they could work as a team. One of the most important lessons Manalastas took away? "Plan for failure."

Students from INI arrived on Saturday for introductions, tours and their own turns with the Legos. Many were already in the Bay Area for summer internships at local companies, including VMWare and Adobe — a key experience in the bicoastal program. "It's very real-world," said student Yang Piao. MS-IT students will spend the fall semester in practicums, followed by final coursework in the spring and summer.

Almost 60 students in the entering class are international students, many having arrived in the US only in the past month. Shishir Kinkar, an SE student from India, said orientation was an "amazing" and welcoming experience, and one that isn't common at Indian universities.

"We're not being overwhelmed," he said, though he added it will still probably take "a couple of weeks to get used to" life at CMU-SV.