IEEE Albuquerque Section


Archive for 2017

UNM Student Branch participates in the IEEEXtreme Programming Competition

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

The UNM Branch of IEEE participated in the IEEEXtreme Programming competition, an
international, 24 hour coding competition. It was officially scheduled to start on October 14,
2017 at 0:00:00 UTC and end at 23:59:59 UTC the same day. During the 24 hours, teams of
three collaborated on a broad range of programming challenges. This year, over 3,000 teams
competed worldwide and contained a mixture of undergraduate and graduate students.

Three teams from UNM participated in the competition: DLC, Team3, and
MetalGearZappa. Team DLC had team mates Dante Orona Yang (Freshman, Electrical
Engineering), Charley Bickel (Freshman, Computer Science) and Lee Smith (Senior, Computer
Engineering). Team3 had Christian Page (Junior, Electrical Engineering), Alec Schuster (Junior,
Electrical Engineering), and Mark Perea (Freshman, Computer Science). MetalGearZappa had
team mates Francisco Viramontes (Senior, Computer Engineering), Isaac Torres (Senior,
Computer Engineering), and Christopher Zapotocky (ECE Graduate Student). The three teams
settled in rooms within the UNM ECE Building, monitored by proctors who fed the participants
and consulted guidelines for each challenge.

After 24 hours, though tired, the competitors and proctors considered it a learning
experience. “This competition was a great way to test student’s skills and expose them to
different programming problems that exist,” said Rebecca Kreitinger, the IEEE student branch
president and a proctor for the event. “Even though it was 24 hours of hard work, it was a great
time and was very rewarding for all of the participants.”
The UNM branch of IEEE intends to participate in the competition next year, for anyone
who would like to participate.

Here are some pictures of the UNM Student Branch members in action.

Left to Right: Dante Orona Yang, Charleyy Bickel, Lee Smith, Isaac Torres, Christopher Zapotocky, Christian Page, Francisco Viramontes, Mark Pera, and Alec Schuster

Back Row (left to right): Lee Smith, Charley Bickel, Dante Orona Yang, Francisco Viramontes, Isaac Torres, and Mark Pera. Front row (left to right): Christian Page, Alec Schuster

Left to Right: Charley Bickel, Lee Smith, Dante Orona Yang

Left – Isaac Torres. Back Right – Christopher Zapotocky. Front Right – Francisco Viramontes

Left to Right: Christian Page, Alex Schuster, Mark Perea


The IEEE Albuquerque Section would like to congratulate the UNM Student Branch of the IEEE for their participation at the IEEEXtreme Competition and hope to see them again at the next one.

Thank you,


2017 Section Treasurer.

September 2017 Section meeting minutes

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

The Albuquerque Section of the IEEE meets on the last Tuesday of the month. The meeting is open to any Section member and it is free of charge for students. The meetings take place at Yanni’s on Central, at 11.30am, except for December, June, and July.

If you want to attend or have questions for the Section officers, please contact Gilberto (Treasurer) at

Here are the approved minutes for the September 2017 meeting.

Thank you,


October 2017 New Mexico Tech’s IEEE Student Branch Activities

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Here is some of the activities that the New Mexico Tech IEEE Student Branch had in October.

The NMT student branch has bi-weekly meetings with their members. Below you can see picture of their October 11th meeting that was attended by 22 members.

A couple members, Zach and Austin, attended the Fall Region 6 conference in Boise, ID. Here is their feedback:

“[The picture below] is from the R6 Fall Meeting in Boise, ID (Austin and I are in the middle of the group, he is to my left). There was a dinner on Friday night. Austin and I not only met many other IEEE members there, but we also got a personalized tour of Boise from Sean Collision, one of the local members attending the meeting! On Saturday, we participated in two Student Leadership training sessions. We took away much from this training, including the discovery of very useful IEEE mentoring and career tools we will use in future semesters. We also networked with other Student Branches. In between the training sessions, there was a very interesting VR Technical Talk given by Duane Mathes and at the end of the day they held a Cybersecurity Programming Challenge. Altogether it was incredibly beneficial to our Student Branch. We have shared the notes we took at the training with the UNM Student Branch, so both branches will benefit from the 2017 R6 Fall Meeting.”

The NMT Branch also organized a Machine Learning workshop in October. The picture below is a screenshot of the output of a project in which they trained a Machine Learning algorithm to classify low-pixel images with positive results.

The NMT Student Branch meets bi-weekly. If you have any questions, would like to join the branch, or would like to attend any of their meetings or events, please contact the branch’s president, Zach Harris, at



2017 Albuquerque Section Treasurer.

The IEEE Albuquerque section, the 2017 STEM symposium, and chocolate !! — Workshop Report

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

Report from the STEM Symposium.

As we have informed you before, the Albuquerque Section participated in this year’s New Mexico Public Education Department STEM Symposium. Previous posts included a description of the workshop that some of our members prepared for the event and pictures from their meetings. Here, we are providing a report of the Symposium, and more pictures!!

Rebecca Kreitinger (student member, IEEE), Turtle Haste, and Hy Tran (senior member, IEEE) led a workshop on engineering practices for New Mexico teachers on Friday June 2, 2017, at the NM Public Education Department (NMPED) STEM Symposium. About 60 teachers participated in this session entitled “Breaking Chocolate: Engaging Science and Engineering Concepts”

Although the presenters have not yet received the formal feedback from the teachers who participated, verbal feedback from several attendees was positive, and several teachers commented that they intended to use many of the material and concepts presented on measurements, calibration, and the iterative nature of engineering practices.

A few photos from the session are included in this post from the event.

Hy Tran will be presenting both the concept behind the workshop and some lessons learned at the NCSLI (National Conference of Standards Laboratories) conference in August 2017 in Washington DC. The presenters desire to eventually turn this workshop, and STEM outreach collaborations between the professional engineering communities and the science teacher community, into a submission for a peer-reviewed publication.

The Albuquerque IEEE section is hosting all the electronic resources for the teachers at their website:

Here are some pictures from the Symposium:

Teachers brainstorming how to break the chocolate (and of course, measure the breaking strength.)



One team is testing out how to measure the geometry of the test before unwrapping the chocolate and testing.


This group is ready to perform an experiment and collect data.


The Albuquerque Section would like to thank again Rebecca, Turtle, and Hy for their hard work and spirit of service. We will continue looking for opportunities to further the IEEE mission among our members and our community.

Thank you,

Gilberto (2017 Treasurer)


The IEEE Albuquerque section, the 2017 STEM symposium, and chocolate !! — Workshop materials

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

As a follow up to our 25 April post on the participation of the IEEE Albuquerque Section at this year’s STEM symposium, here we are offering a number of materials that are part of the workshop. Please download and share with anyone you know who can make use of them.

But first, let me recognize the hard work of the people who had the initiative to participate in this symposium and are the authors of these materials. Thank you:

Rebecca Kreitinger, UNM EECE ‘2019 (current IEEE UNM Student Branch President)

Turtle Haste, MSED, NBCT, Science teacher at Desert Ridge Middle School

Hy D. Tran, PhD, PE, FASME, Sandia National Labs

Workshop materials:

  1. Handout – Uncalibrated Ruler
  2. STEM Symposium Presentation
  3. Student Guide
  4. Educator and Student Guide

This website will continue to host additional materials as they become available.

Thank you,


2017 Albuquerque Section Treasurer.

2017 IEEE Albuquerque Section Awards — Banquet ceremony

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

The Albuquerque Section of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE), announces the winners of its 2017 Excellence Awards competition in several categories. The Albuquerque Section represents the interests of IEEE members in the greater Albuquerque area. The IEEE is the largest professional organization in the world with ~ 400,000 members, 300 local Sections and 1,150 Chapters in 10 Regions worldwide.

The awards banquet was held at Delish on 15 May with the presence of IEEE and Sigma Xi officers, members, and guests.

2017 IEEE Albuquerque Section Officers: From left to right: Ray Byrne – vice Chair, Gilberto Zamora – Treasurer, Jason Neely – Chair, and Lee Rashkin – Secretary:

The 2017 IEEE awards were presented by the Section Chair, Jason Neely

The 2017 IEEE award winners are:

2017 IEEE Outstanding Engineer
David Schoenwald, Sandia National Laboratories; Nominator: Ray Byrne.

2017 IEEE Presidential Scholar
David Balata, Computer Science Department; Sponsor: Jason Neely.

2017 IEEE Albuquerque Section Outstanding Young Engineers
Sheng Liu, Sandia National Laboratories; Nominator: Igal Brener

Zhen Peng, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Nominator: Edl Schamiloglu


2017 IEEE Albuquerque Section Outstanding Graduate student

Hamide Siedfaraji, Electrical & Computer Engineering; Nominator: Christos Christodoulou

Sadhvikas Addamane, Electrical & Computer Engineering; Nominator: Ganesh Balakrishnan

2017 Albuquerque Section IEEE Fellows
Raymond Byrne, Sandia National Labs
Bryan Oliver, Sandia National Labs

The UNM Sigma Xi Chapter announces the winners of its Excellence Awards competition for 2017.  The UNM Chapter of Sigma Xi is dedicated to furthering the goals of Sigma Xi in the Albuquerque area. It recognizes individuals in our community who excel in science and engineering research and teaching. For more than 3 decades the Chapter has co-sponsored a Distinguished Lecture Series on Science & Society themes to inform New Mexicans about important science issues of the day that impact their lives.

The 2017 UNM Sigma Xi Chapter officers (from left to right: Ray Byrne – President, Harjit Ahluwalia, Mike Jackovich, George Oltman, and Jackie Ericksen):

The 2017 Sigma Xi awards were presented by the UNM Chapter President, Ray Byrne:

2017 Junior Division Finalists at the Central New Mexico Science & Engineering Challenge

The Central New Mexico Science & Engineering Research Challenge awardees in the Junior Division and ISEF finalists were feted on Thursday, 27 April 2017 at the EXPLORA (near the Museum of Natural History and Science)

Isabella Thomas, Immanuel Lutheran Middle School, Animal Sciences
Bijan Tabrizian, Cleveland Middle School, Behavioral & Social Sciences
Angelina Espindola, Prince of Peace Lutheran Middle School, Biology & Microbiology
Aidan Fitzgerald, Albuquerque Institute of Math & Science, Chemistry
Violet Frazier, Jefferson Middle School, Computer Science ) Lindsey Dunbar, Jefferson Middle School, Earth & Environmental Sciences
Cole Romig, Jefferson Middle School, Engineering
Ana Maria Perez, Albuquerque Academy, Mathematical Sciences
Milidu Jayaweera, Albuquerque Institute of Math & Science, Medicine & Health Sciences
Oliver Reuben, Jefferson Middle School, Physics & Astronomy
Henry Dryden, Jefferson Middle School, Plant Sciences
Liam McGee, Jefferson Middle School, Energy & Transportation

2017 Finalists for the INTEL International Science & Engineering Fair, Los Angeles.
Jarek Kwiecinski, Albuquerque Institute of Math & Science
Fernando Guerrero & Richard Romero, Early College Academy
Skyler Hughes, Albuquerque Institute of Math & Science
Rusty Ludwigsen, Rio Rancho High School

2017 Outstanding Science and Math Teachers
Reggie Tyler, Science Teacher, Albuquerque Institute of Math & Science, Nominator: Bobby Cordova

Philip Watje, Math Teacher, Albuquerque Institute of Math & Science, Nominator: Bobby Cordova

2017 Superior Undergraduate Students
Corey Carlos, Electrical & Computer Engineering; Nominator: Rebecca Kreitinger
Kalyn Rose Thayer, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Nominator: Karlett Parra

2017 Excellence in Graduate Research
Jessie Williamson, Biology Department, Nominator: Christopher Witt

Yamhilette Licon Munoz, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Department; Nominator: Karlett Parra

Aidan Kelly Grummer, Physics & Astronomy Department; Nominator: Sally Seidel
 2017 Sigma Xi Noteworthy Technical Support Person
Anthony Gravagne, Physics & Astronomy; Nominator: Wolfgang Rudolph

After the presentation of the awards, John Matthews, Professor of Physics & Astronomy, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, presented the talk: ‘Extreme Universe from 1963 to 2017.

Initiation of New Sigma Xi Members

Congratulations to all the 2017 winners !!!

The IEEE Albuquerque section, the 2017 STEM symposium, and chocolate !!

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

A message from our member, Hy D. Tran, PhD, PE:


Dear colleagues,

We would like to invite Albuquerque engineers and scientists to participate in the 2017 STEM Symposium, a K-12 teacher professional development conference sponsored by the Math & Science Bureau  of the New Mexico Public Education Department (MSB, NM PED:

This event typically occurs in early June, and brings together K-12 math and science teachers from all over New Mexico to look for ways to more effectively teach math, science, engineering, and technology (STEM).

The math and science outcomes for K-12 education in New Mexico, on average, have been poor. The science standards currently in use date from 2003—consider that this is before the iPhone! NM PED is recommending changing the science standards to an integrated standard that includes inquiry-based teaching, engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts. A major component of NM PED’s plans is greater professional development for the K-12 teachers in science and engineering content.

What better source for content than us, the professional scientists and engineers in New Mexico?

We are working with volunteer science and engineering professionals to develop a short workshop (say 90 minutes) in collaboration with K-12 science/math teachers, with these goals:

  • Content aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS, see
  • Content involving crosscutting engineering science practices, appropriate to the student groups (elementary, middle, high school)
  • A scalable curriculum that teachers who attend can not only teach, but  can also use easily to train other teachers at their home schools

Why should we, the professional engineers and scientists in New Mexico do this?

  • This is important to society. Well educated populations, whose education includes STEM topics and engineering practices, whether or not they pursue a science or engineering career, are good for all of us.
  • Teachers are a great leveraging entry point. While many of us enjoy volunteering in classrooms, helping teachers has much greater impact in addressing a larger population.
  • You get to work with engineers and scientists in other disciplines.
  • You get to exercise your creativity and skills! This should be a really fun activity!

We are already making progress !!

Our proposed workshop about measuring chocolate strength. Yes, chocolate. The premise is that we can teach valuable engineering lessons while having fun and using readily available resources. Yes, it also a good excuse to have chocolate. We will be posting our progress and our participation at the STEM symposium. There may be meetings where you can come and help us making this a great workshop. Please stay tuned.

Here are some pictures of our experiments:

Setting up the experiment. The objective is to find out how what it takes to brake the chocolate bar.

Measuring things before pieces of chocolate fly across the room. Note the different orientation of the chocolate bar. Engineering takes trying different configurations of your experiment.

Trying the setup. But you need to come back to see what happens…

If you want to help and participate at the workshop, please contact Dr. Tran at

See you there,

Gilberto (Albuquerque Section Treasurer).

2017 IEEE Albuquerque Section Awards — Open for nominations

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Each year the IEEE Albuquerque Section recognizes the efforts of its membership to improve the organization and bring merit to our profession.

This year’s awards will be presented at the annual IEEE – Sigma Xi banquet on May 15th. Nominations are now open for the following awards:

• Outstanding Engineering Educator
• Outstanding Young Engineer
• Outstanding Engineer
• Outstanding Entrepreneur
• Outstanding Undergraduate Engineering Student
• Outstanding Graduate Engineering Student
• Outstanding Service

You can download nomination guidelines and forms (.doc):









Nominations will be accepted until March 31st and recipients will be notified by May 5th.

Please send your completed nomination package according to the guidelines to the Section Chair, Jason Neely, at:, and Professor Harjit Ahluwalia at:

We look forward to recognize outstanding members of our IEEE Section.