Murray Hill, NJ
Electrical Engineering, Cooper Union
B.S. - Computer
Science, New York University
M.S. - Computer
Science, Columbia University
specializing in creating ventures and commercializing technology
from concept to market. He is also a visiting assistant
professor at Rutgers University, teaching operating systems
design and distributed systems design.
One skill that
Krzyzanowski believes is essential for engineers is the ability
to write well.
"We also have people who, as undergraduates, studied things like
Philosophy. Somehow they also seem to have a very interesting outlook on
how to build things and how user interfaces should work. These days, I
would think Graphic Design is good a thing as any if you're interested in
constructing user interfaces or having a strong presence on the web."
Paul Krzyzanowski works at Bell Labs and teaches at Rutgers University.
His dual roles in the worlds of business and academia give him a unique
perspective on the needs of future engineers. He advises, "Unless you're
really pressed for getting a job after your undergraduate degree, you
should study something you like and maybe go to graduate school to perfect
or to fill in some gaps in, say, computer science or electrical
Experience has taught Krzyzanowski that an engineer need not confine
himself to his field in order to be good at it. "I find that people with a
background in Physics tend to make wonderful computer scientists, often
better computer scientists than people with a degree in computer science.
We also have people who, as undergraduates, studied things like
Philosophy. Somehow, they also seem to have a very interesting outlook on
how to build things and how user interfaces should work." He also suggests
Graphic Design as a possible major for those interested in user interfaces
or the Web.
One skill that Krzyzanowski believes is essential for engineers is the
ability to write well. "It astonishes me how incredibly poorly some
[graduate students and seniors] write, and it's something that's really
worth spending time on. Read a lot to find out what good writing is. Write
a lot, and get peers to review it. If you want to contribute to the field,
you're going to have to write about it, and, if you're not going to write
well, people are not going to be very receptive."
There are two aspects of the world of work for which students should be
prepared. One is the need to continue learning throughout their careers.
Krzyzanowski explains that you can't "just finish school and resign
yourself to watching I Love Lucy episodes in the evening and doing your
work during the day, and that's it. You really have to stay on top of
things, and that's getting really hard to do because there's just so much
going on." In addition, he warns students to be prepared for the human
element in the workplace. "I think, if they read Dilbert comics, they have
a pretty good idea of what's out there in the real world. There's a lot of
senseless insanity, and, if you're lucky and you get good management in
the real world, good management hopefully will protect you from a lot of
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