Seizing the Power of Experiential Learning

Kaden Du, E’25, electrical and computer engineering, is taking full advantage of the experience-powered education at Northeastern. So far, he has conducted research in a faculty lab on energy efficient circuits and systems, worked on co-op on circuit board design and programming, joined the Generate student-led product development studio, and went on a Dialogue of Civilizations to Tanzania.

Growing up, Kaden Du, E’25, electrical and computer engineering, played the computer game “Minecraft” and enjoyed the engineering and problem solving it involves. He continued this interest in high school. Du says, “I really enjoyed circuit analysis as well as physics.” He entered Northeastern University’s College of Engineering as an electrical engineering major, later adding computer engineering as a combined major.

Du found a mentor at Northeastern in Associate Professor Aatmesh Shrivastava, as well as work in his lab, the Energy Efficient Circuits and Systems Group, which focuses on analog chip design. Du’s research for the group includes software for systems-level proof-of-concepts for integrated circuits. Now at his first co-op at MIT’s The Engine by startup Notch Technologies, Du focuses on circuit board design and programming. He says, “I’m really enjoying the fast-paced environment and projects with a great team of smart people. I look forward to my days at work and I’m learning a ton. We make metamaterials—an artificial material that manipulates radio waves. I work personally with developing control systems for antennas.”

In addition to his work on co-op, Du is active with Generate, Northeastern’s student-led product development studio. Generate teams build innovative products for student entrepreneurs and industry clients, gaining diverse hardware and software development experience. Du leads the development of a project called “RoboUmp”, which is an embedded system using computer vision to be a robotic umpire at baseball fields. He is also involved in the Taekwondo Club and runs a radio show for Northeastern’s WRBB: “Talking about music is something I look forward to every week.”

Du completed a Dialogue of Civilizations program in Tanzania in the summer after his first year on climate science, engineering, and policy. Dialogue of Civilizations programs are faculty-led programs offered during either the summer after a student’s first or second year. They focus on critical issues facing society at both the local and global levels. Students spend 30 days abroad with a faculty leader from Northeastern to learn about a specific topic or course subject on location, ideal for students looking for a short-term international experience. “It was interesting to go to a place I’d never been before. I learned a lot from cultural exchange. [The program] taught me a lot of interdisciplinary things.”

Looking to the future, Du is tentatively planning on the PlusOne program where for one additional year of study he’d earn a master’s degree at Northeastern. “After that, who knows. I like school, so I’d consider pursuing education further, but I’ll see where things take me.”

Related Faculty: Aatmesh Shrivastava

Related Departments:Electrical & Computer Engineering