Eta Kappa Nu's projects are aimed at giving students opportunities and bringing people of the Penn Engineering communty together. As a student-run organization, HKN's members understand what students need and therefore know how to provide useful academic resources. HKN's social events also help link students with faculty/professionals who provide valuable guidance for those embarking on their future careers.

Senior-Design Freshman Mentoring Program

The Senior Design Freshman Mentoring Program is a program that pairs together interested and motivated freshmen with current seniors working on their senior design projects. The freshmen work side-by-side with their senior mentors, providing assistance, learning new skills, and gaining real hands-on experience. The program typically lasts a semester, and participants are expected to meet with their team on a consistent basis and report their contributions.

In 2016, numerous freshmen were given the opportunity to work on a variety of interesting projects, described below:

Asura: The ASURA Senior Design project aims to improve disaster relief operations and make UAV technology accessible for people doing life-saving work. The ASURA system consists of one or more aerial drones equipped with an infrared camera as well as an intuitive user interface, where disaster relief staff can monitor the situation and control the drone’s flight. In the fall semester, we plan to complete onboard integration and send thermal video data over WiFi, implement computer vision and path planning algorithms, and create the command center user interface.
See the video here.

Clever Crosswalk: Many pedestrian crossing warning systems broadcast a chirping sound to guide the visually impaired. We are designing a warning system that is more directional and quiet, using a sensor and a directed speaker. The sensor detects pedestrians, and the directed speaker emits a warning that is only audible to the targeted pedestrian.

Optimata: Investments in financial securities such as stocks and bonds have been known to be a prudent way to both grow and diversify one’s wealth. Traditionally, the average individual has had the option of either investing in mutual funds, which are designed to track a market index, or try to beat the market themselves by picking stocks. The problem with investing in a mutual fund is that the investments made by the portfolio manager in the fund is not at all personalized to the investor’s idiosyncratic risk profile. Investors can alleviate this problem by picking stocks themselves. However, this is an intellectually tough exercise and unless one has a strong background in accounting, finance, and company specific knowledge, it is very hard to consistently beat the market. Additionally, individual investors are likely to fall victim to one or many psychological biases that result in irrational behavior. Our web application aims to construct an optimally hedged portfolio that not only mitigates financial risk associated with investments made by an individual but also the human capital risk.

Congratulations to the following award winners from the 2015-16 Senior Design Freshmen Mentoring Program:

2016 Best Mentor-Team Award
Project: “Optimata”
Freshman Mentees: Zixuan Zhang, Varun Jain
Senior Mentors: Tushar Garg, Alican Mutus, Arvind Tyagarajan

2016 Best Mentee Award
Project: “Clever Crosswalk”
Freshman Mentee: Arnab Sarker
Senior Mentors: Marcus Pan, Alfred Murabito

2015 Best Mentor-Team Award
Project: “APRo: Application Based Robot”
Freshman Mentees: Rachel Han, Emily Vo
Senior Mentors: Ayinde Alleyne, Alain Hernandez, Nicholas Labarber, Alfredo Muniz, Folasade Oba

2015 Best Mentee Award
Project: “Pitcherup!: A Pitching Training Sleeve”
Freshman Mentee: Mauricio Mutai
Senior Mentors: Moez K. Aziz, Vijay Govindarajan, Ron Park, Cruz Vargas

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