Nat'l Society of Black Engineers

CSUF Engineering Team Bests a Stanford Team on Last Question in Regional Contest

December 12, 2006

By Russ Hudson

A 19-year-old sophomore, facing a ticking countdown clock set for 20 seconds, answers correctly to pull the Cal State Fullerton chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers ahead of a Stanford team in last month’s multistate NSBE tournament.

“I couldn’t help it,” said a beaming Bryan Moore, a computer engineering major and one of four members of the CSUF team. “When I gave the answer to ‘what is the inverse function of X3-5?’ I just had to stand up and raise my hands over my head in victory.”

NSBE Judges
Facing the judges in the final round of the competition are, from left, Ima Udo-Okon, Clyde Hill, Shiana Innis and Bryan Moore.

The CSUF team came in fourth in the NSBE’s Academic Tech Bowl contest, after USC, another team from Stanford, and University of Arizona. Dozens of teams from the western United States competed in the Tech Bowl during the NSBE’s Far West Regional Conference. Region 6 has about 3,000 members.

Competition questions are based primarily on the Engineering in Training Program exam and include queries based on mathematics, C++ and other programming languages, as well as such questions as “What is a ‘post’ condition?”

“But they throw in some different questions, too,” said Moore, shaking his head slightly. “Things like, ‘Who was the first national president of NSBE?’”

NSBE team
Rama Unnikrishnan, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, second from left, congratulates engineering student, from left, Ima Udo-Okon, Shiana Innis, Bryan Moore and Clyde Hill for their efforts at the recent National Society of Black Engineers tournament held in Newport Beach.

In addition to Moore, the CSUF team is includes senior electrical engineering major Shiana Inniss, and freshmen Ima Udo, an electrical engineering major, and Clyde Hill, who is majoring in computer science.

Four years ago, the Fullerton NSBE chapter was moribund. Then Miguel Martinez, academic counselor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science’s Center for Academic Support in Engineering and Computer Science, recruited current chapter president Michael Alston Jr. and a few other enthusiastic students as NSBE members and rebuilt the chapter. This year, there are 25 members.

“We’re keeping this chapter alive and thriving. We have a mission,” said Martinez, who serves as chapter adviser. “This chapter’s members go out to high schools and middle schools to tell them about engineering, computer science and about this college at Fullerton. We want them to know about this university and to tell them what engineering is and that it can be a great way to go. We especially go to urban schools, where there are more low-income students who might be the first in the family to go to college. They tend to get less exposure to engineering.

“But our real goal is to let all those students know they’re welcome here and we will support them.”
A Cal State Fullerton chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers recently competed at the NSBE tournament in Newport Beach. Titan attendees included, from left in back, Ima Udo-Okon, chapter Vice President Bryan Moore, Shiana Inniss, Mkpong Akpan and Ryon Powell. From left in front are LaTanya Ducksworth, Elizabeth Gomez, chapter President Michael Alston, Clyde Hill and Derrick Okoth. Udo-Okon, Moore, Inniss and Hill were in the group that surged ahead of a Stanford team to take fourth place.