Patricia Mwove is a computer engineer at Intel in Chandler, Arizona. She is responsible for memory requirements used in vehicle displays, such as navigation, music and communication systems. "Discovering You: Engineering Your World" is produced by NBC News Learn in partnership with Chevron, the American Society for Engineering Education and the National Science Foundation.
Discovering You - Engineering Your World – Patricia Mwove
PATRICIA MWOVE (Computer Engineer):
These black squares that you see, that's actually memory chips.
I'm Patricia Mwove and I'm a computer engineer at Intel. I was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, and I come from a very large family of seven kids. I'm actually the seventh born. There wasn't enough finances to be able to send me to college and so I had family friends that kind of saw the potential in me and decided to assist me to come to the U.S. In 2001, I moved to Tucson to go to school at the University of Arizona to pursue a degree in computer engineering. I was 18 years old and my family saved up all they had, which was $100.
What got me through college was a lot of hard work, and scholarships, and being able to maintain my GPA and I'm definitely grateful for that. I'm also grateful for the people that saw the potential in me and they agreed to host me and help me by investing in my future.
Let me show you what that looks like.
We're currently in the automotive lab. One of the things that I'm responsible for is driving memory requirements and so in-vehicle infotainment is one of the areas where they need memory. In-vehicle infotainment today, it has features to be able to play music, you could be able to answer your phone, there is a navigation system as well. The more displays you have, it actually drives more memory.
That memory is called DRAM, which stands for dynamic random access memory. You can think of it as a human brain. We have long-term memory and short-term memory. The short term memory, which is DRAM, is volatile memory. Volatile, I mean, if power is lost, the information is lost. Non-volatile means if power is lost, information is retained.
I'm responsible for memory requirements, which enables Intel to offer competitive products. Some of the problems that are involved is making sure that the memory is safe and reliable. So whatever you store in the computer, the information is not lost. So for instance, if you save information, you don't want to open the next day and find that it's completely different information.
Collaboration is very important in every single way. Not just one person can build the end to end product. People have to work really well together to be able to deliver something that is successful. I've always thrived when I'm in a role where I'm constantly learning something new. That's one thing that I like about engineering. It's constantly evolving. Everything is always changing so you always have to continuously learn. Do not be afraid to fail and don't feel rejected when you're told no.
Hi, how are you guys?
Know that you have to believe in yourself, and then, also, always strive to have that tenacity always to try things over and over, regardless of what the outcome is.
Patricia Mwove compares how a computer's memory works to how our memory works. In this TIME for Kids story, learn more about the connection between the two and how we can improve our brain's memory capabilities.
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