ECE 69400-001 Spring 2020 Course Information (Syllabus)


The ECE Graduate Seminar, ECE 694, is designed to provide opportunities for professional development of graduate students, raise their awareness of various issues that they may face in their professional careers, and provide them opportunities to survey research seminars of their interest. This objective is accomplished by attending ECE 694 seminars, submitting resumes to the peer review process, submitting votes for the peer review process, or attending alternative seminars.

There are 15 lectures throughout the semester, each worth ONE credit and a student will need 19 credits to get a passing grade for ECE 694. Five additional credits can be obtained by handing in three resumes and submitting one electronic vote survey as described below, or by attending five additional research seminars.

Please note the overlap with ECE 400:  Typically less than 10% of the students in the class have taken ECE 400 in their undergraduate degree here at Purdue. These few students will find a strong overlap between some of the external speakers here in ECE 694 and ECE 400. This overlap of the external seminar speakers with ECE 400 is understood and cannot be changed. Unless these students are enthusiastic about hearing a seminar again that they attended a few semesters ago, it is suggested that alternative seminars should be attended.

Attendance and Grading Policy Statements

ECE 694 is a class for which students will receive either a “satisfactory” or an “unsatisfactory” grade.  There are NO letter grades “A”, “B”, “C” etc.   19 credits are required to obtain a satisfactory grade.  The standard way to achieve 19 credits will be by

  • attending the in-class 15 lectures/seminars – each worth ONE credit
  • submitting three substantively different resumes & VMock evaluation by NOON on Feb. 20th, April 2nd, and April 14th where each resume & Vmock counts as one credit
  • an electronic resume review result by NOON of April 20th. Missing credits can be made up by the policy described below.

Part of obtaining the credit for seminar attendance depends on the student’s ability to follow the rules stated in the section “PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR POLICY STATEMENTS”.

Your total points in Blackboard should be at least 19 to pass the course.

If a student does not satisfy the attendance requirement to receive a satisfactory grade by Friday, May 1st at 5 p.m. (the Friday BEFORE finals week) she/he will receive an unsatisfactory grade – no exceptions or extensions! Please plan ahead and attend some extra seminars.

Your attendance will be taken. However, ultimately, it is your responsibility to keep track of your attendance record on Blackboard. All attendance and makeup seminars will be posted in Blackboard as soon as possible. Students are required to follow-through with the attendance of other seminars with Lori Carte as outlined below.

Multi–Stage Peer Resume Review

Your resume reflects your professional accomplishments and career.  Your resume is a “living” document that evolves over time. Some aspect of this course are intended to teach you about what should be on your resume, when you graduate in a few years from now. A resume is full of substance – you need to prepare the substance you will document in a few years.  This substance does not just magically materialize one month before you graduate.  Therefore, you should think about what you would like to have your future resume say about you.  Resume content preparation takes years!

Beyond the substance content – the actual typeset preparation of a resume also takes a lot of effort and iterations.  This course has a couple of structured exercises that have the following intended outcomes:

  1. While everyone in the class already has a resume that was used for the graduate school admission, almost no one in class has experience in the perspective of a manager who needs to read through many resumes as part of a hiring process.  There are two exercises in this course where each student has to opportunity to feel the joy and pain of a hiring manager who has to plow through 80+ resumes in a very short time and pick three “best resumes”.  One exercise will be in class with paper resume copies.  The second exercise will be a homework assignment with electronic voting on a pdf copy of the resumes.       
    The desired learning outcome is that you understand more how your resume will be read, and then use that experience to make your resume more readable and more powerful.
  2. Down the line you will most likely need to target specific employers with specific jobs.  Your resume will need to be customized for each specific application.   One exercise will let you target your resume for one of six specific job openings we share with the class. The desired learning outcome is that you appreciate the need and learn the skill of resume customization.         
    The goal setting towards one of six specific job announcements also makes the peer review voting more specific.  That specific job announcement target is based on student feedback from previous years.
  3. You can enhance your graduate school experience by spending some time away! At an internship! Such internships will help you get exposure to the “real world”, help you structure your work better when you return to your graduate work, and also develop a professional network that will help your future career.  For internships you may need to cast the web widely through the Purdue Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) and have a more “generic” internship resume. The desired outcome of this exercise is for you to have a resume that you can post on the CCO web site to plan for future internship. 

In this seminar course you can generate five of the 19 needed credits by:

  • Submitting three subsequently improved resumes (one credit each)
  • Spending the time on voting electronically on a set of electronic resumes (one credit)

The resume improvement process will be in multiple phases which includes three resume collections and multiple uses of these collected resumes during classroom times:

Resume collections, resume credit rules, and classroom usage of these resumes:

  • Resume preparation: Design your resume as described below.
  • VMOCK - Automated resume evaluation:  Purdue CCO is testing a new commercial service called “VMock” which uses machine learning algorithms to evaluate resumes.  You will receive an account login to VMock in a few days.  Please note that the Purdue CISCO Spam filter tends to block emails from VMock.   You will need to release it from CISCO SPAM. You will need to upload the pdf version of your resume into VMock and download the evaluation and suggestions.       
  • Resume and VMock evaluation submission:  You will need to submit the resume via email copy to  Please use the following naming convention:   YourName_Resume_X.pdf where X is the digit 1,2,3 for three different submissions.  Only if you submit the resume and if your name is logged in VMock will you be given ONE credit.
  • Resume collection Version 1:  Feb. 20th:                      
    Customize your resume for an application to one of six provided job announcements.   Imagine that there really are just these six jobs in the world and you have to pick one and make your past experience relevant to one of these jobs. Run your resume through VMock. Send YourName_Resume_1.pdf to  We will call this document resume “Version 1”.  This electronically submitted resume and the VMock evaluation will be worth one credit towards the total of 19 credits needed to get a passing grade for ECE694.
  • Classroom use of resume “Version 1”: All “N” collected resumes will be numbered 1 through N, assembled into a single large file, copied (N+i) times, and distributed in class on March 5th.  Each student attending the class will play the role of a hiring manager and review all these N resumes that were handed in.  Each student will vote for their three favorite resumes. We will tally the votes and discuss the three resumes with the most votes.
  • Resume collection Version 2:  April 2nd:

With your experience as a hiring manager you are asked to improve your resume with the target for a specific job opening.  Run your resume through VMock. Send YourName_Resume_2.pdf to  We will call this document resume “Version 2”.  This resume and VMock evaluation “Version 2” will be worth one credit towards the total of 19 credits needed to get a passing grade for ECE694. Ms. Lori Carte will very briefly evaluate if you have made substantive changes compared to your resume “Version 1”.

Please note:

  • You will only get one credit for this resume “Version 2” if you have made substantive changes from “Version 1”.  If we deem that there are no substantive changes then there will be no credit.
  • You can get one credit for resume “Version 2” if you did NOT hand in a “Version 1”.  Please note that in this case you already have to make up the missing “Version 1” by attending an additional external seminar.
  • Classroom use of resume “Version 2”:
    • April 9th:  Each student should bring five hard copies of her/his own resume. 
      We will discuss your experience as a “hiring manager” and opportunities to improve your resumes in light of your experience reviewing a large set of resumes in a very short time.  The resumes with the high number of votes will be discussed in more detail.  We will hold a Resume review workshop which will consist of interactive small group sessions to review and improve individual resumes. 
    • These experiences should enable you to dramatically improve your resume Version 3 to be collected April 14th.
  • Resume collection Version 3: April 14th: NOTE this is a TUESDAY     
    Improve your resume, run through VMock, and send YourName_Resume_3.pdf to  We will call this document resume “Version 3”.  This resume and VMock evaluation “Version 3” will be worth one credit towards the total of 19 credits needed to get a passing grade for ECE694.      
    Ms. Lori Carte will very briefly evaluate if you have made substantive changes compared to your resume “Version 2”.          
    Please note:
    • You will only get one credit for this resume “Version 3” if you have made substantive changes from “Version 2”.  If we deem that there are no substantive changes then there will be no credit. 
    • You can get one credit for resume “Version 3” if you did NOT hand in a “Version 1” and a “Version 2”.  Please note that you will have to make up the missing “Version 1” and “Version 2” with two additional external seminars.
  • Voting for the best resume Version 3 – a homework exercise: April 20th – NOTE THAT IS A MONDAY:      
    On Thursday April 16th you will receive access to an electronic copy of all the resumes and a personalized link to a voting survey.   In that survey you will need to vote for your three favorite resumes.  Please also note the time you spent on this resume exercise. Your resume voting is worth one credit.  The votes will be briefly discussed in class on April 23rd, be prepared to discuss your votes!

Submitting your individually, substantively improved resumes and the VMock evaluations is considered MANDATORY by their respective due dates.  You will need to attend one additional seminar for each missed resume & VMock hand-in.  I.e., you may have to attend three additional seminars!  The resume review exercise requires a significant and overwhelming number of resumes. Therefore, the resume submission is strongly encouraged and incentivized. One credit will be given if you submit your resume vote electronically by NOON of April 20th.

To receive credit, you must submit your resume electronically to by Feb. 20th, April 2nd, and April 14th and submit an online survey vote by NOON of April 20th.

Personal Identification – Privacy

If you do not wish to reveal your personal information on your resume, change your name, address, and any other personal information inside the resume! Please follow the naming convention in the file submission to ensure that we know your name.  Please use the following naming convention:   YourName_Resume_X.pdf and YourName_VMock_X.pdf where X is the digit 1,2,3 for three different submissions.  

If you choose to reveal your proper name, identification, email, or phone number on the resume then you agree to have your name and information released to the members of the class, the administrative staff, the relevant ECE 694 lecturers, posting for everyone in the class on blackboard, and the associated recycling bin, which will contain the material after class.  There is no commitment here that your resumes will be shredded!

Very brief resume guidance for ECE 694

  • Make your resume fit on a single page – if you submit a document with more than 1 page, any additional pages will be discarded and NOT included in the distribution.
  • Do NOT write what you have done – write about impact!
    Think STAR:       
  • A resume is NOT a reflection or representation of all things you have done in your professional and personal life. 
  • A resume is the first step towards getting an interview with an employer.  Please realize that you will not be hired for what you have done as a task in the past but for your perceived capabilities in:
    • Scientific discovery and problem solving
    • Ability to prepare publications and presentations
    • Independence of judgment and decision making
    • Working in a team as a peer, supervisor, and employee (e.g. mentor junior students, support senior students)
    • Ability to report results to a supervisor
    • Ability to interact and communicate with customers
    • Administration, general contributions, and interpersonal skills

Make-Up Policies

Especially towards the end of the semester the reasons to miss the scheduled lectures seem to increase. At the same time the list of available external seminars becomes shorter. Students are strongly encouraged to attend various additional seminars throughout the semester so that by the end of the semester they are not in a crunch to make up for missed seminars.

If the student does not hand in a substantively changed resume and VMock evaluation on time on NOON of Feb. 20th, April 2nd, and April 14th, then three additional seminars must be attended (one for each missed resume). If a student does not participate in the only resume voting exercise by NOON on April 20th, then the one additional seminar must be attended.  Blackboard will show a “1” if you turned in a resume & VMock or voted and a “0” if you did not.

Students can make-up credits through attending:     
         - alternative research seminars      
         - alternative on-line seminars        
The processes for these alternatives are described below.

Alternative Research Seminars

Students can select “external” seminars from the list below:

  1. CoE (College of Engineering) Communication Workshops –  See the offerings at
  2. Future Engineering Faculty and Professionals Workshop Series - See the offerings at
  3. ECE area seminars
  4. ECE seminars of prospective ECE faculty
  5. Biomedical Engineering seminars
  6. Nanotechnology seminars
  7. CS, Physics, and Chemistry seminars
  8. Exceptional, University wide seminars (to be approved by the instructor)

Explicitly excluded seminars are:

  1. MS defenses, PhD Prelims, PhD defenses
  2. Informational events such as club call-outs, industrial hiring seminars/socials
  3. Student-organized peer seminar series with working groups or ECE areas.

To establish credit for attending one of the seminars above, complete a current “ECE 694 Seminar Credit” form, and deposit it in the box outside of WANG 2080 within 48 hours after the seminar. Credit forms can be found in blackboard.

Alternative Online Seminars on Professional Development

  1. features a Professional Development Seminar Series where past ECE 694 seminars have been videotaped via the student to receive credit for “attending” an online seminar in this series, the student has to leave a meaningful review of that specific seminar under their name (i.e., not anonymous) on nanoHUB. Meaningful implies here a written reflection on the critical message(s) of the seminar (i.e., some sort of proof that the student actually listened to the seminar) and an honest ranking that appears to be justified by the review. I.e., “Awesome seminar; I learned a lot!” or “Bad seminar, I was not interested” do not qualify as meaningful.  Please be open and constructive in your criticism – a bad review does not mean that you will not get credit for listening, but means you participated in hopefully improving the new version of that seminar that may be re-taped in future. Once the review and ranking are visible publically with your name the student needs to send the link of the review to for approval and proper attendance credit assignment.

Professional Behavior Policy Statements

This seminar course will bring in a variety of different, well experienced, and distinguished speakers, many of them from outside Purdue. Students in attendance of the seminar are expected to pay the appropriate respect to the speakers. As a sign of respect to the speakers the following rules will be enforced:

  1. No open laptops, no cell phones, no PDAs, iPhones, Androids, etc. (except when specifically requested by an instructor in the class for voting or feedback).
  2. No “resting” in your chair or on your desk (closed or open eyes).
  3. Punctual appearance in the seminar room. The class starts promptly at 3:00 p.m.; the administrators distribute attendance sheets and leave at 3:00 p.m. If you arrive after the departure of the administrators, your attendance will not be counted.
  4. Your attendance sheet contains a feedback form on the back. The meaningful completion of the feedback sheets is mandatory. If you hand in your attendance sheet WITHOUT a meaningful feedback, you will receive no attendance credit.
    All of the speakers have, in the past, taken the student feedback very seriously and will get copies of the feedback forms.
    Students will be given five minutes at the end of the seminar to fill out the feedback form.

Students: How would you feel if an instructor gave you an “F” grade for your whole semester’s work after the first lecture? ….
As a corollary, please do not fill out the forms with a blanket “very good” hash mark five minutes after the seminar has begun!

Please do not write blanket statements such as “very good” or “boring” without textual justification.

If you violate requirements 1, 2, and 4 above, your attendance sheet will be collected by the course instructor and you will not receive a credit for attending the lecture. A repeated violation of these requirements will result in an unsatisfactory grade in this class, irrespective of the number of attended lectures.

Summary of Due Dates and Notes

ALL submissions are due at NOON, 12pm on that day!

  • Feb 20th:     Resume and VMock evaluation Version 1 submission: Customize your resume for an application to one of six provided job announcements.   Imagine that there really are just these six jobs in the world and you have to pick one and make your past experience relevant to one of these jobs.  Send YourName_Resume_1.pdf and YourName_VMock_1.pdf to
  • March 5th:   Bring an electronic device that provides you with email and web-page access.   We need you to vote electronically in class.
  • April 2nd:    Resume and VMock evaluation Version 2 submission. Send an electronic copy of your improved resume and VMock evaluation YourName_Resume_2.pdf and YourName_VMock_2.pdf to
  • April 9th:     Bring five paper copies of your resume version 2 to class for a peer review workshop.
  • April 14th:   Resume Version 3 submission. Send YourName_Resume_3.pdf and YourName_VMock_3.pdf to
  • April 20th:   Vote for the three best resumes through a survey link that will be sent to your Purdue email via Blackboard.
  • May 1st:      If a student does not satisfy the attendance requirement to receive a satisfactory grade by Friday, MAY 1st at 5 p.m. (the Friday BEFORE finals week) she/he will receive an unsatisfactory grade – no exceptions or extensions! Please plan ahead and attend some extra seminars.

Major Campus Emergencies

In the event of a major campus emergency, course requirements, deadlines and grading percentages are subject to changes that may be necessitated by a revised semester calendar or other circumstances. In such an event, information will be provided through the course web page.

Mental Health and Well-Being

Purdue University is committed to advancing the mental health and well-being of its students. If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and/or in need of support, services are available. For help, such individuals should contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at (765)494-6995 and during and after hours, on weekends and holidays, or by going to the CAPS office of the second floor of the Purdue University Student Health Center (PUSH) during business hours.

Students with Disabilities

Purdue University strives to make learning experiences as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on disability, you are welcome to let me know so that we can discuss options. You are also encouraged to contact the Disability Resource Center at: or by phone: 765-494-1247.          


Should you have any questions regarding this course, the professor in charge is Professor Gerhard Klimeck (phone: 49-49212; email at: Ms. Lori Carte handles course logistics and can be reached at 49-46442 or by email at Her office is room 2080 in the WANG building.

You should check the web site each week to determine if there is a scheduled ECE 694 seminar or if you need to locate an outside seminar for that week. You can also obtain ECE 694 credit forms at the web site as well as a copy of this handout.