Alex Layton
Professional Statement


The summer before I started high school, I put together my first computer from the parts of about ten old computers. I found the motherboard with the most RAM slots and put as much memory as I could into it. Then I figured out how to connect the two best hard drives in a master-slave configuration. I eagerly turned it on only to find it had no operating system installed. Once I installed Windows, my first computer was finally complete. Later, in high school, I taught myself some basic programming, writing tic-tac-toe for my calculator. I am a hands-on engineer; I enjoy applying what I know to create things and do experiments. My favorite classes have been lab courses, such as ECE 207 and 337.


During my undergraduate career I have had the opportunity to participate in a few research projects. Being involved in such work has prepared me for a career and allowed me to develop various skills.

The main area of my research is the application of signal processing in agriculture, such as yield mapping or optimization of fertilizer or pesticide application. This research is supervised by Professor Krogmeier. My first experience with research was the undergraduate research course ECE 379 (VIP). My team started a project to make a system for using measurements of a vehicle's air suspension pressure, augmented with angle and temperature measurements, to determine its weight. Possible applications of this would be determining if a vehicle is of legal weight while on the field, and creating yield maps for corn silage harvesting. My main task on the team was to write the embedded software. I wrote a program that could calibrate and measure angle, temperature, and pressure sensors, given a set of known measurements. The concept from this VIP project has been continued and expanded in my senior design project. The team has been designing a wireless system to take the aforementioned measurements at multiple axles of a semi to calculate its weight.

The second large part of my research is a project lead by Professor Ogg in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences to develop his program called TimeScale Creator (TSC). This software visualizes large amounts of geological data. It also generates charts with various plots that the user can use to understand datasets and their relations over time more clearly. TSC is used by geologists worldwide for many applications, including research, education and hydrocarbon exploration. The project has members from various fields, such as EAS, CS, and ECE, at both the undergraduate and graduate level. I worked on developing a more efficient data format for TSC, and creating a new back-end to use that format. I also wrote a program to convert data from the old format to this new one. This interdisciplinary work has allowed me to refine my ability communicate and work as a part of a team.


The skills and abilities I gained from my experience will help me to be useful as an employee. The software skills I was able to refine will make me invaluable for tasks that involve developing or modifying computer programs. I can implement advanced algorithms, and debug complex software. Additionally, all my experience with micro-controllers has enabled me to design and debug both hardware and software for embedded applications. My communication and team working skills will allow me to get work done as a part of a team, be it a team of engineers or of people from other professions. I am able to convey my ideas to others, as well as utilize advice from others.

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Professional Statement

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