The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association, or ECEDHA, is one of the biggest trade shows that Digilent goes to, and I was lucky enough to be able to go this year. ECEDHA features a conference with lots of seminars, and an exposition where companies like Digilent get to show off the cool things they have to offer students.


This year we were platinum sponsors and got the huge booth right in the center of the conference.

Our huge booth.

Our huge booth.

I talked to a lot of department heads about all the the demos that we premiered at the Expo.


Such as, the ZYBOt:


A close-up of the ZYBOt.

ECEDHA was my first trade show, so for the first time I was able to experience all the steps in putting on a trade show. Including troubleshooting.


The vibrations of the airplane made the Zybot fall apart… oops.

The LED snake game:


James demonstrating the LED board with the snake game.

The Box Monster:


The Box Monster in action at our booth.

A close up of the box monster.

A close-up of the Box Monster.


We also introduced our product cards. Our product cards offer a brief summary of each product in a convenient size. Unfortunately, the product cards for the Zybot and the Analog Discovery didn’t make it with us. They mysteriously disappeared.


At the conference, Digilent had three seminars. In the morning, Clint gave a talk about student-owned hardware and why it helps students retain more material. Then Larissa hosted a feedback session, where she asked the department heads what they want from Digilent and what bundles they might want to see in the future. We gave project boxes for the department heads to create their own bundles.

A project box full of stuff.

A project box full of stuff.

The last session we had was a panel on starting a makerspace. Turns out a makerspace is not about the money you put into it, but the people in the community and the energy they offer. Our makerspace only turns out awesome stuff because of the people who bring their creativity and knowledge.


We learned a lot about academic customer needs, and I got to learn about a lot of different graduate schools, so for me it was especially successful.


Larissa talking with a department head.


James talking with a department head.


If you are interested in any of the demos we brought to ECEDHA the links are included in the list below:


LED snake game

Monster Box


We’re glad to have seen you at ECEDHA, and hope to see you next year too!

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About Author

When I started school I wasn’t interested in any of things I’m passionate about now. In fact originally I started out wanting to study art. But then I decided I didn’t want to have people telling me what to create, so I changed to music. Then I decided I didn’t want to ruin a hobby by making it my career. At the same time my Physics class was teaching a unit on the physics of music, and I thought that was way interesting, so I changed to physics. Then by the time physics was over I decided that the coolest part of physics was electricity and magnetism, and I may as well get a degree that transfers directly into a career. So while all this was happening, I was attending Shoreline Community College, and during that time I found my passion, or rather presented itself repeatedly, until I realized, maybe I should take a hint from the universe. While at community college, I was asked to help at the high school by tutoring chemistry students. Then I was asked to help at the elementary school by being a math Olympiad coach. I continued both because I found I really enjoyed it. I also had an opportunity, and was hired to be a tutor in the Math Learning Center at the Community College, a job I really loved. At the same time I was working as a Nanny, which I had been doing for several years, the main reason because I could and would answer the hard questions the kids asked honestly (i.e. why is the sky blue). I then was recommended by the patrons of the MLC to the transfer tutoring center (private tutoring,) and developed a wait list of students. Through all these opportunities at some point I realized that I loved watching people go from totally lost, to masters of a subject. I was also forced to admit that having all these opportunities continually renewed, I must have been somewhat good at it. So I decided I wanted to teach, which fits with my mission oriented personality. I saw a serious lack of passionate ECE professors in the institutions I attended. At WSU I continued this trend by being ask to TA for computer science and electrical engineering, being a TA for a total of 4 semesters. This continued by getting an amazing opportunity in my first semester at Washington State University to work at Digilent, an educational company. So even if I didn’t want to teach, turns out I can’t avoid it. Luckily it is my main passion.

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