Graduate School Knowledge Applied in Industry

Pratap Muthana

pratapMS in EE, Binghamton, 2002

I arrived in Binghamton from India in fall 2000 to pursue a master's degree in the ECE department. The first thing that struck me when I arrived at Binghamton University was the courses choices we had available on a semester basis. The courses offered ranged from communication, controls, DSP, packaging and VLSI, to name a few. I was given a teaching assistantship (TA) at Binghamton in the Analog Devices Course during my first semester and for the communication and control lab during my second semester. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working in a classroom with 50 students going over difficulties they had, grading homework and tests and posting solutions.

During my first year at the Watson School, I took a course taught by Professor Harry Kroger. I thoroughly enjoyed the contents and the in-depth manner in which the course was taught. Kroger was also my research adviser for my thesis, which was on the experimental studies of Anderson's criterion for reducing differences in velocities of coupled modes in a buried micro-strip. The work I did with him was my first real research experience. I was exposed to the importance of experiments, scientific data collection and electrical modeling. The work that I did at school gave me the skills that I use in the industry today. We also published a paper on advanced packaging in the IEEE Transactions, a refereed journal.

I then pursued a PhD degree in the area of electronic packaging at Georgia Institute of Technology, investigating the design of high-speed systems using embedded decoupling capacitors. I published over 15 papers in refereed conferences and journals as a first and co-author during my studies at GA Tech. I was able to identify the needs and requirements of the semi-conductor industry in the area of substrate and power distribution network designs.

I currently work for Nvidia in the substrate design group. The work I did at graduate school has definitely helped me from a personal and professional level. As a person with an advanced degree, you join the industry at a higher level as compared to a fresh undergraduate. Enrolling in graduate school is a personal decision. It requires more work, but its benefits outweigh any cons that may come with it. I would definitely encourage students in their undergraduate curriculum to consider enrolling in graduate school.

Last Updated: 1/7/14