For the 6th year in a row, more than 370 students and young professionals hailing from ten IEEE Regions kicked off their New Year with IEEE Rising Stars Conference. The conference was held at Tropicana Las Vegas, Nevada on 3-5 January 2020. IEEE Region 6 hosts this annual conference with a primary goal to inspire and empower IEEE’s future leaders.
A diverse group of attendees gathered at the conference to share ideas, build new relationships, find mentors, and plan their careers. The program was divided into technical skills and professional development to provide the attendees with a holistic approach to their careers.
The program consisted mainly of 20 breakout sessions taking place in 4 rooms in parallel for 45-minutes each. The content of the sessions focused on current technology, personal development, or essential career-building tools. Live streaming of the panel discussions and keynote speakers was made available by IEEE TV for everyone.
The conference technical program consisted of an exploration of the most recent technological trends; life-altering 5G technology, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Space industry, Autonomous Driving and much more. Rising Stars’ stellar speakers and panelists addressed these topics and gave a simplified insight to the audience about the future of these technologies.
Moreover, the conference’s professional development track focused on early-stage career and professional life answering questions such as what to expect in job interviews, how to switch jobs, how to negotiate a salary with an employer, how to startup a company, how to evolve in the ever-changing job environment, and what are the jobs of the future – to name a few. Attendees also learned about what IEEE is offering for continued educations such as IEEE Learning Network, the newly launched platform by IEEE Educational Activities.
The sense of community was omnipresent, especially during the humanitarian technology workshop. Moreover, all the attendees enjoyed the industry mixer event, and our survey showed that an attendee of Rising Stars conference makes an average of 11 new connections during the conference!
One of the highlights of the Rising Stars 2020 conference was the Zombie Apocalypse workshop. The workshop room was full of students interested in learning about HamRadio and its applications. Among the 105 zombie apocalypse workshop participants, 32 participants sat for the HamRadio licensing exam hosted at the conference for free.
The conference ended with a panel discussion on the Next Big Thing, where panelists discussed the future in their interest areas – the world of virtual reality, large strides towards autonomous cars, 3D printing, or artificial intelligence.
This year the conference was sponsored by IEEE Educational Activities, IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee, IEEE GRSS, IEEE Young Professionals, IEEE USA, HP, Northrop Grumman, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Bentley Systems, IEEE Young Professionals, On Semiconductor, Mercer, Locomation, Micron, Amazon web services, and IEEE MTT-S, IEEE PES, IEEE ComSoc, Mouser, IEEE MadC, IEEE Computer Society, IEEE LMAG, IEEE AESS, and IEEE-USA.
The IEEE Rising Stars Conference has ignited the ambition and motivation of its attendees — to innovate — and advance technology for humanity. With 96% of the attendees recommending the Rising Stars Conference to their peers, as well as rating the conference a success, goals are set for 2021. The 2021 Rising Stars Conference will continue with the current success — and is set to achieve new records in the program, participation, and satisfaction.
Let us inspire you, and the future generations next year. We hope to see you at the 2021 IEEE Rising Stars Conference!
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Article contributed by Anis Ben Arfi, General Chair of IEEE Rising Stars Conference 2020 and Mansi Tripathi.