June 13, 2005
What does setting up a rock concert have to do with electrical and computer engineering? Plenty, according to ECE senior Chris Marshall, who coordinated the light and sound for the stages at spring carnival. Using his knowledge of power distribution, electroacoustics, and signal processing, he helped lead the backstage work for the Shins concert. Let's go behind the scenes with Chris:
Where are you from?
Northern Virginia (McLean, if we're being specific).
What was your role on the carnival committee?
Saagar [Saagar Patel was also an AB Tech Co-Chair] and I were responsible for the coordination of any lighting and sound needs throughout carnival. We provided lights and sound for the two stages as well as for the Shins concert on Friday. We acted as the liaison between carnival committee and AB Tech. I held the same position last year.
Has your coursework in ECE helped you run the shows?
Absolutely! Believe it or not, there are lots of ECE skills required to put on a successful rock concert! While working tech for carnival, I was faced with issues relating to power distribution, electroacoustics, and signal processing. My ECE classes have prepared me to effectively deal with those problems.
What's your favorite part of carnival?
The big concert on Friday night (the Shins [Who composed the sound track for The Garden State] this year). It is very satisfying to see countless hours of planning and setup culminate in a successful concert enjoyed by thousands.
What are your extracurricular activities?
AB Tech and carnival are my main student activities. This summer I am working with an Internet company in Northern VA called Kidz Online. It is a nonprofit group dedicated to teaching kids technology skills through the use of streaming educational videos. Kidz Online is a small company, employing around 30 people at its offices in Herndon, VA and downtown Los Angeles. I have been involved in the company since I was in the eighth grade and have been serving as the Chief Technology Officer since my senior year of high school. I have been working there part-time during the school year and full time during the summers since starting at CMU.
Do you have any research plans next semester?
I will be working with Hyong Kim doing telecommunications/network architecture research [for a CIT honors project].
What are your future plans?
I will be sticking around for a fifth year for the IMB program [Integrated M.S./B.S. Degree], but then after that I plan on entering the telecommunications industry. I would like to work on network architecture or equipment design or something of that nature.
Other ECE students on the 2005 carnival committee included Saagar Patel, also an AB Tech Co-Chair; Robert Timmerman, Power and Safety Co-Chair; and Isaac Dekine, Security Chair.
After a long day of volunteering for carnival 2004, Chris (center), Michelle Birchak (left), and Jonathan Robinson learn how to make funnel cakes with Alpha Phi Omega. Photo by Tom Strong.
Chris (left) at AB Tech orientation last year with Blake Unger Dvorchik. Photo by Tom Strong.
Chris is shown in graduation attire on the cover of the April 2005 issue of Carnegie Mellon Today. Image used with permission.