(left to right) Students Pratishtha Agnihotri, Ritaja Das, and Bailey Martin

Three University of Utah electrical and computer engineering students attended The Design Automation Conference (DAC) in San Francisco in July, the premiere annual event for design and design automation of electronic circuits and systems. The conference focuses on the latest innovations and advancements in electronic design and attracts researchers, designers, tool developers, students, CEO’s and more each year.

Students Ritaja Das, Pratishtha Agnihotri, and Bailey Martin had the opportunity to listen to panel and paper discussions, hear from numerous keynote speakers, and participate in workshops. This event is an opportunity for young students to learn about specific areas of research that interest them.

Master’s student Das is anticipating joining her Ph.D. program at the University of Utah in December and was excited to hear the different work currently happening in the industry. “It’s really helpful if you know what research is going on in your area of study. Since I’m just starting with my research, this event was great for new insights,” she said.

In addition to attending the panel activities, the students met and talked with industry leaders and potential future employers. “People were very friendly and very open,” Das said. “I was surprised; people in high-up positions were giving us their business cards to contact them for jobs after we finish our programs. It felt very welcoming.”

Das with Synopsys CEO Aart de Geus (right) and VP of engineering, Renu Mehra (left)

Das was especially thrilled to meet and interview CEO Aart de Geus of design automation company, Synopsys. “I was super excited seeing Aart in person because he has been the CEO [of Synopsys] since 2012,” she said.

Initially, Das did not receive the travel grant to attend DAC and was concerned she would not be able to go. Following a discussion with her advisor, the ECE department covered the cost of her travel to ensure she would be able to attend the conference.


Check out Das’ interview with Aart de Geus here.