For the 4th consecutive year, over 270 students and young professionals from North America kicked off their new year 2018 with the IEEE Rising Stars Conference on Jan 6-8, 2018 at Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas. IEEE Rising Stars Conference is an annual student and young professional conference hosted by IEEE Region 6. The primary goal of the conference is to mould future leaders and empower them with latest technological trends and professional development.
Attendees gathered at the conference to share ideas, build new relationships, find mentors and create new experiences. The program was designed in a way to provide a complete package of technical and professional development for both students and young professionals. The stellar speakers of Rising Stars covered the top technology trends in 2018 such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Autonomous Driving, Space Discovery and Computer Software. The professional development track was developed to answer these questions: what to expect in a job interview, how to switch jobs, how to negotiate a salary with the employer, how to start up a company and how to evolve yourself in the ever-changing job environment. Also, there was a ‘Young professionals in Industry’ panel discussion, networking sessions, and corporate mixer/ resume review. The sense of the community was astonishing; every student was eager to learn and every professional was happy to share their knowledge, which is the essence that Rising Stars wants to achieve.
Keeping up with the current trends in technology, specifically in the areas of cybersecurity, the conference started with the ‘Capture The Flag’ competition where over 45 students participated.
Rising Stars was also the first event of Jim Jefferies after taking on as the IEEE President for 2018 on the 1st of January. The conference had a lineup of amazing keynote speakers: Kevin O’Malley (Engineering Director at Google), William Hurley (Strange works Inc.), Jin Bains (Head of Connectivity Lab at Facebook) and Andrew Rush (Made In Space President).
The second day consisted of 4 breakout sessions focusing on current technology, personal development, and essential tools for building a career. The attendees were not disappointed, quoting one of the attendees,
It’s not like reading a forum online, being part of a school community, or the basic concept of being able to learn something, it’s shaking someone’s hand and knowing that they understand your goals and that they believe in the path you’re taking, it’s empowering. – Diana Dang, University of Calgary
The third day was an award ceremony, to honor the winners of the CTF cyber security competition, EPICS in IEEE Project competition and IEEE Region 6 awards. The conference ended up with a panel discussion on the ‘Next Big Thing’, where the panelists discussed the future in their areas of interests – the world of virtual reality, large strides towards autonomous cars, 3D-printing and artificial intelligence.
Organizers are thankful to sponsors, IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee, Digi-Key Electronics, Coughlin Associates, Centry, The University of New Mexico, Incose, IEEE Young Professionals, Early Warning LLC, EPICS in IEEE, AESS, Advanced Test Equipment Rentals, ActioNet, IEEE Standards university, and MTT-S and to co-sponsors, IEEE Computer Society and IEEE TEMS. Also, the organizers are extending their thanks to the 26 speakers who enlightened the audience on technological innovation and professional development.
At the IEEE Rising Stars Conference, it was possible to ignite the ambition and motivation among attendees to innovate and to do advancements in technology for humanity. With 95% of attendees recommending Rising Stars Conference to their peers and rating the conference was successful, goals are set for the 2019 Rising Stars Conference to build on from the current momentum while achieving newer records in terms of program, participation, and satisfaction.
Let us inspire you, and the future generations next year, see you at the IEEE Rising Stars Conference 2019 next January!
Article contributed by IEEE Rising Stars 2018 organizers