Patrick Wingo

Patrick WingoWhy computer engineering at Penn?

Computer Engineering was the right major for me because it allowed me to explore my interests both in computer science and electrical engineering without sacrificing either the rigor of my study or my ability to explore other interests. The curriculum is set up so that students learn every layer of abstraction in computers all the way from transistors to digital logic, hardware, programming, and modern internet systems. Furthermore, it’s a smaller group of engineers, so you get to know all of the incredibly talented people within the major, and you can learn a lot from them.

What would you say is your favorite computer engineering class?

My favorite class was CIS 380: Operating Systems. I really enjoyed learning about the kernel, process scheduling, and file systems, because they are present in every modern computer and massively impact our lives, but most people are unaware of the incredible engineering taking place under the hood.

How would you describe the computer engineering program to friends or family who aren’t familiar with it?

While electrical engineers focus on electrical systems and tend to optimize physical performance, and computer scientists focus on the algorithmic design and software engineering aspects for enhanced logical performance, computer engineers do both, and that’s not an easy job!

What do you think it takes to be a “successful” computer engineer?

It takes a lot of curiosity about the way things work, and a desire to put together pieces of knowledge from a lot of different classes and studies; we are required to integrate knowledge bases from incredibly diverse fields.

What internships have you done? (Or for seniors, what are you doing next year?)

I’m working as a Forward Deployed Engineer at Palantir Technologies.

What other activities do you participate in at Penn?

I’m currently the President of Penn Architechs, and in the past, I’ve been a consultant with Social Impact Consulting, helped organize Model UN, and I’ve worked on several startups with friends here.