On Class Day, professors encourage resilience in the face of the unexpected

Written by
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
May 28, 2024

Princeton ECE celebrated its 50 graduating seniors in a Class Day ceremony on Monday, May 27, 2024, conferring honors and awards for outstanding academic achievement.

"Life is full of the unexpected," said James Sturm, chair and Stephen R. Forrest Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He said he was most proud of the graduates in those moments they had to build on their coursework to solve unanticipated problems. "You had to figure it out on your own and learn from each other." 

Director of Undergraduate Studies David Wentzlaff, professor of electrical and computer engineering, echoed that sentiment. "There will be a number of challenges and sometimes failures," he said. "Reflect on your previous successes. Be resilient. Have the courage to make bold decisions."

“That's what we call leadership,” he added.

Students present their prototype autonomous vehicles to their peers.

Car Lab Demo Day, 2023. Brendan Kehoe, center, and Cady Feng, center right, demonstrated their autonomous vehicle project. Photo by Tori Repp/Fotobuddy

Anna Eaton and Daniel Flyer each won the department's top honor, the Charles Ira Young Memorial Tablet & Medal, recognizing their extraordinary research efforts. Eaton worked with Maria Apostolaki, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and uncovered a key network security vulnerability in routers. Flyer worked with David August, professor of computer science, to advance the simultaneous multi-threading capability of modern CPUs.

Rohit Narayanan and Jarod Wille each won a Sigma Xi Book Award for Outstanding Research.

Sebastian Fisher and Dennis Jacob each won a G. David Forney, Jr. Prize, awarded for outstanding accomplishments in communication science, systems and signals.

Brendan Kehoe and Cady Feng each won a Peter Mark Prize, awarded for outstanding accomplishments in electronic materials and devices.

Jack Monas won the Hisashi Kobayashi Prize, awarded for outstanding accomplishments in computing.

Student presents his research to a professor and other students.

Bashar Eid presented his senior thesis research to David August, a professor of computer science, and students.  

Daniel Simone won the Bradley Dickinson Award for System Design, awarded for outstanding accomplishments in the design and implementation of complex electronic systems.

Kathleen Bishop and Leila Hudson shared the Optical Engineering Award of Excellence, awarded for outstanding accomplishments in optical engineering.

Robert O’Brien and Dara Oseyemi each won a John Ogden Bigelow, Jr. Prize, awarded to those students who have shown the greatest improvement since entering Princeton.

Of the 50 graduates, 10 earned the University's academic honors; eight more earned high honors; and five students earned highest honors.

Twenty-six of the graduates were inducted into one or more honor society: Sigma Xi, for distinguished scientific research; Tau Beta Pi, recognizing outstanding engineering achievements; and Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's preeminent liberal arts honor society.

The students also earned certificates across many disciplines, including Statistics and Machine Learning, Robotics and Intelligent Systems, and Neuroscience, among others. 

The School of Engineering and Applied Science held a separate ceremony to recognize the graduating seniors as part of the full BSE program. SEAS selected three ECE students for awards:

Varun Deb won a J. Rich Steers Award for scholarship demonstrating potential for further engineering study and practice.

Brendan Kehoe won a Tau Beta Pi Prize for service to the School of Engineering and Applied Science. 

Cady Feng won a Jeffrey O. Kephart '80 Prize in Engineering Physics for outstanding work in that subject, and a Lore von Jaskowsky Memorial Prize for well-rounded excellence.

ECE Great Class of 2024

Abigail Aleshire

Sekinat Aliu

Umar Ash-Shafi

Thomas Atwood

Lydia Bayih

David Bershadsky

Kathleen Bishop

Jordan Bowman-Davis

Abigail Brown

Amber Chow

Parker Connelly

Varun Deb

Franchesca Doell

Anna Eaton

Bashar Eid

Kerstin Fagerstrom

Cady Feng

Sebastian Fisher

Daniel Flyer

Angelo Gonzalez

Areeq Hasan

Leila Hudson

Dennis Jacob

Brendan Kehoe

Jeremy Kiil

Vinay Konuru

Deniz Küçükerbas

Elizabeth Medina

Rosy Monaghan

Jack Monas

Lakshmi Murugappan

Rohit Narayanan

Jane Nguyen

Alex Ni

Robert O'Brien

Etiosa Omeike

Dara Oseyemi

Isaac Owen

Emma Patterson

Kenny Poor

Joe Radel

Christopher Roberts

Camille Sevrain

Daniel Simone

Christian Skinker

Elana Sverdlik

Bereketab Tessema

Pranav Thatte

Ladislav Topfer

Chiara Von Gerlach

Miranda Wang

Jarod Wille