The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024
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The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
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Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
No. 13 A&M upsets No. 5 Virginia in dominant fashion, 4-1
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • May 17, 2024

No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Real problems, real engineering

What’s the best thing that can happen to an engineer? A potential investor walking up to you to say, “I love your idea and I want to invest in it.”
Now put the above scenario in the following context: take up a real world challenge, come up with the most feasible solution, design your prototype and pitch it to potential investors — all within 48 hours. This was the whole theme behind Aggies Invent, an event organized to get engineers at A&M to solve real world problems by “making the Internet of things come alive.” Add entrepreneurial skill building, rapid prototyping skill development and amazing food to this marathon engineering exercise and you have a recipe for arguably the most exciting event on campus from the College of Engineering.
As an international graduate student who’s never participated in an event like this before, I had my reservations regarding how much could possibly be achieved within a tiny two day window. Moreover, it was no Hackathon, where you would have to write code until the clock ran out or you paralyzed your fingers. Prior to the event, I did not know which problem statement I would work on, who I would team up with and most importantly, I wondered how I would ever sell something I’ve only worked on for 48 hours. But when I walked out of the Engineering Innovation Center Sunday at 7 p.m. to breathe fresh air for the first time in two days, I was relieved, proud and inspired.
I and my team were tasked with getting two drones to talk to each other. None of our team members had prior experience in such a project before and if it wasn’t for the EIC staff, graduate mentors and some geniuses from other teams we wouldn’t have been able to exchange GPS coordinates between drones over a wireless network.
At 4:30 a.m. Sunday, I and a few others watched the weekend’s work fail spectacularly — the drones communicated nothing but junk to each other, and it appeared we would have nothing to show for our work. We decided however to persevere, and to give up more sleep. At 8 a.m. we read the right GPS coordinates for the EIC, and it was the best feeling. The Saturday all-nighter is something I will not easily forget. Building things, troubleshooting codes, shooting promotional videos and bonding over coffee, I felt all the more invigorated and impassioned as an engineer.
Watching others do some incredible demonstrations and bring their A-game under pressure for the final pitch was both inspiring and humbling. And although at the end of it all no one walked up to me and said they’d be interested in investing in my project, I realized how engineers can continually shape the world by creating things or adding value.
Srinivas Harshal is a Science and Technology writer for The Battalion.

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