A Career in Coding

Posted on May 4 2017 - 8:00am by Amanda Subler

Matt Campagna is a computer engineering student who’s hoping to revolutionize how athletes are diagnosed with concussions. Right now, it’s up to coaches and trainers to determine on the spot after an athlete takes a hit, whether he or she has suffered a concussion.  It’s very subjective.  And specialized equipment that can help them make the diagnosis quicker,  is very expensive.  

That’s why Matt co-founded Reflexion Interactive Technologies with a couple of friends.  They’ve developed a  two-foot by six-foot video touch screen, called Reflexion Edge, that uses light patterns to test athletes for a number of things, including reflexes and memory. It’s fast, the test takes just 30 seconds.  It’s easy to use, a trainer can hook his or her laptop up to it to test the athlete and get the results. It even folds up and can be carried in a duffel bag.  And it’s affordable, costing around $600.  Matt says the system can detect if an athlete suffered a mild concussion, something a coach or trainer may not pick up on.  Matt and his friends recently debuted the Reflexion Edge at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.  They are also performing research on the system with athletes at Penn State University.

Matt is running his company while attending Case Western Reserve University for computer engineering.  He describes computer engineering as the “glue” between computer science and electrical engineering.  For his Reflexion technology, he worked on writing the driver to drive the electronics in the system.  As a computer engineer, Matt says you’re writing code sometimes like a computer scientist but the code you are writing is actually mimicking hardware or mimicking circuits, so it can be more like electrical engineering.

How did he get interested in computer engineering?

Matt says he first started by teaching himself how to code.  He just looked up some tutorials online and started.  But he quickly learned he wanted to do more.  That’s when he started working on robotics.

Advice on making it as a student entrepreneur

Matt says if you’re a student entrepreneur, it can be hard to find support for your product or idea.  His advice is that if you’re passionate about what you are trying to do, then you can be successful.

Working with fellow student entrepreneurs

Matt says it’s been awesome being able to work with other student entrepreneurs because they face the same struggles.  They are all trying to juggle classes, with running a business and it can be great to get advice from or bounce ideas off each other.

Importance of Paying It Forward

Matt says as an entrepreneur you need to focus on your strengths and then find others, advisors or mentors who can give advice in the areas where you may need help.  And he says it’s also important then, to pay it forward.

Resources available to student entrepreneurs

Matt has access to a number of resources at Case Western Reserve University.

To learn more about Reflexion, visit: http://reflexioninteractive.com/

EDUCATION:

Matt is working on a Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

SALARY:

The average salary of a computer engineer is about $70,000 but can vary greatly according to Payscale.com

For more information visit:

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Bachelor_of_Science_(BS_%2F_BSc)%2C_Computer_Engineering_(CE)/Salary

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