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Stay safe: coronavirus
Somosmita Mitra

The ECEGSA board encourages you to stay safe. In recent days, we have all become familiar with the concept of ‘social distancing'. ECEGSA will cancel all the remaining events for the Spring semester as a measure to prevent the spread of the virus.

While we will not be meeting again, we would recommend each one of you to be careful and take all necessary precautions. Social distancing is advised along with being prepared for the worst case scenario. We would recommend being prepped in case everything closes but until then just be safe.

This was a good semester and we are sorry that it has to end this way. If you have any additional questions for us, please drop us an email and we can setup a meeting.

The Great Lafayette Commerce group has developed a list of the breweries/restaurants offering new carryout and delivery services as a result of the dine-in closures. Many places are offering new services for their food, but a few breweries are also delivering beer!

Greater Lafayette Restaurant Listing: Carryout and Delivery

Thank you everyone! Have a safe semester!

More information: Coronavirus

Meeting with the Department Head
Rajeev Sahay

The ECEGSA board met with Prof. Peroulis to discuss issues submitted by graduate students concerning the graduate community. The discussed items, as well as Prof. Peroulis’s responses, are outlined below.

1. Topic: Decreased Graduate Teaching Assistants
Response: The number of graduate TA’s are not down this semester according to annual data collected by the graduate office. In fact, the number of required graduate TAs is expected to increase due to our department offering more online courses.

2. Topic: Standardizing graduate Research Assistants’ salaries
Response: Purdue University requires graduate RAs to be paid a minimum of $1300 per month. However, ECE requires faculty to pay their students a minimum of $2100 per month. When this can't be possible, the professors are required to justify the reason for paying RAs less than the department requirement.

3. Topic: Funding guarantee for students seeking to change labs and/or advisors
Response: Prof. Peroulis will consider this for students that are trying to switch labs, but are unable to do so because of funding constraints. In particular, the department will consider providing a one-time bridge funding for a semester (through a guaranteed TA or other departmental means) to help ease transitions for graduate students.

4. Topic: Itemization of differential fees and potentially covering these fees through funding
Response: The differential fees are used exactly for what is stated (i.e., upgrade labs, TAs, lab equipment, etc.). Furthermore, these fees cannot be directly paid with federal money (i.e., funding packages) and, as such, they must be paid by students. Graduate students may be able to take this matter to the college and university administrations, but the differential fees are out of the hands of our department administration.

5. Topic: Availability of more analog courses as well as the addition of more acceptable math courses in ECE
Response: Prof. Peroulis indicated that we may able to handle both of these issues by getting enough attention from the graduate students. Specifically, if the graduate students (preferably by area) can agree on a set of courses that are not currently considered, but should count towards the graduate degree requirements, we may be able to take this to the appropriate faculty for a change. The latter part of this would be handled by the ECEGSA.

6. Topic: The Boiler Circuit does not host the same companies that attend the Computer Science career fair, which non-CS students are not allowed to attend. Furthermore, companies in the field of CE are dropping out year-by-year hurting the CE graduate students
Response: The faculty recognize that this is a problem and their solution is twofold. First, they are hiring new faculty in the CE area to help address this in both the short-term and long terms. Second, the ECE department has a contact in Silicon Valley who connects with students at Purdue to match them with potential employers. The faculty is also considering setting up a portal of some sort to regulate this process and track how many students get placed using this method.

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