Tomorrow's Engineers: Yiwen Jiang

Yiwen Jiang, E21, aspires to use her computer engineering training to continue designing things that improve people's lives.
Yiwen Jiang, E21
“If I have a strength as an engineer, it’s my ability to learn new things,” says Yiwen Jiang. “I think as an engineer it is really important to not be intimidated by new things.” Photo: Courtesy of Yiwen Jiang

Yiwen Jiang, majoring in computer engineering, is a student leader of the IEEE-HKN chapter at Tufts and involved with the Women in Technology (WiT) student group. She is also first author on a recent paper in Scientific Reports that describes an application of thread sensors to classify head motion in real time, with potential implications for tracking health and performance.

When I started taking engineering classes, I fell in love with the idea of how the knowledge we learned in class is so closely related to the real world. More importantly, we are given opportunities to see and understand the discrepancies between the theory and the real world and ways we have to account for them when we design. 

The junior and senior design classes have been especially great. The class provides a gateway to the real-world work environment, from our usual school environment. We are constantly being reminded to do things that would provide efficient communications and get work done, rather than do things just to turn the homework in and get the grade. I really appreciated the emphasis on teamwork and collaboration too.

Another highlight has been the chance to be part of an exciting discovery with smart threads by working with Tufts Nanolab. When I decided to major in electrical engineering, I wasn’t thinking of the medical field, but after I read how machine learning and image processing algorithms were being used in CT scans to diagnose COVID-19, it inspired me to look into electrical engineering applications in the medical field.  

As a student of engineering, you have to learn to be willing to acknowledge your mistakes. I think one of the fastest ways to learn is through making mistakes, but you have to admit it to learn from it. It might not need to be a huge mistake—many times it’s just as simple as admitting that there is always room for improvement. If I have a strength as an engineer, it’s my ability to learn new things. I think as an engineer it is really important to not be intimidated by new things. 

My dream job is to continue working on designing things that would improve people’s lives. I have interests in lots of areas, but there isn’t a specific area or job that I want. I’m planning on going to graduate school and would love to explore a bit more, so I’m staying open-minded. 

This excerpt is from "Who Are Tomorrow’s Engineers? Meet Five with Big Ideas" by Laura Ferguson, Tufts Now.