Middle school is a “make or break” time for students to stick with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Sometimes it takes a glimpse of the future to make sure they stick with it into high school – and their careers.
That’s just what Rajiv Ramaswami, executive vice president and general manager of the Infrastructure and Networking Group at Broadcom, hoped to bring to a group of 100 middle-schoolers last month at a STEM-focused coding workshop in the Bay Area.
“Engineers have built the things around you – the Internet, computers, cell phones – and you can too,” Ramaswami said. “Think big.”
Rajiv addressed the crowd as part of a new program called Broadcom Presents: Design_CODE_Build, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. These monthly workshops bring together students from underserved communities to inspire them to stick with STEM and give them a hands-on lesson in code. Students get to build and program a Raspberry Pi, navigate a life-sized maze and investigate historic methods of computer programming. Each project-based learning activity is guided by industry experts, some from Broadcom.
Rajiv emphasized that students can become creators of technology, not just consumers. He spoke about growing up in India, his childhood fascination with the trains that his father designed and built, and how his curiosity drove him to study engineering.
“Science explains the world around you and engineering is when you put that science to work,” he said.
Rajiv went into engineering to figure out “how things work.” Today, at Broadcom, he explained how its technology is everywhere.
“We build chips that connect things together,” he said. “Your computer, phone, the Internet – how you get your information. As an engineer, you can change the world. It’s one of the most satisfying careers you can have.”
Watch Rajiv’s full presentation at Broadcom Presents: Design_CODE_Build:
About Rajiv Ramaswami
Rajiv Ramaswami serves as Broadcom’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Infrastructure and Networking Group (ING). In this role, he is responsible for all Ethernet controller, switching and physical layer products, optical solutions, storage products, security and embedded processors. ING’s products and technologies are targeted at enterprise, service provider and data center markets. Products offered by this group include Ethernet controllers for notebooks, desktops and servers, physical layer devices for copper, optical and microwave links, switches and embedded processors for Layer 2 to Layer 7 switches, routers and security appliances — equipment that delivers and manages the flow of voice, video and data services within and across networks.
Ramaswami holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a B. Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras. He holds 34 U.S. patents primarily in optical networking and has coauthored a textbook, “Optical Networks: A Practical Perspective.” He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a Distinguished Alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology.