Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tau Beta "Pie" Honored

With pie in their hair and pi in their name, a UC San Diego honor society took home the “most outstanding chapter” title for 2006-2007.

Flip through the 133 page record of the 2006-2007 activities of UCSD’s engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi, and you’ll see why.

Flip to event 24 to get to the pie-toss fundraiser – part of last year’s E-Games during Engineer’s Week at UCSD.

Tau Beta Pie Toss Special problems:
“More thought should have been given to the cleanup since whipped cream is oily and did not come off very well,” the students wrote in their annual report.

Overall Results:
“People were excited to get pie-d and other students liked the idea of throwing pies at other people.”

Tau Beta Pi has a lot more going on than pie.

Honor society members taught engineering and science fundamentals to 75 fifth grades at Spreckels elementary school last year and tutored extensively within UCSD.

The current tutoring schedule is available here.

The pie-throwing engineers also cleaned up local beaches, cooked a full Thanksgiving dinner for a local family in need, helped with trail restoration, walked in MS Walk 2007, helped run the Sally Ride TOYchallenge and participated in the Sally Ride Festival, which is an event that exposes 5th to 8th grade girls to opportunities for careers in science and engineering.

Education is not just about crunching numbers and potato chips in the library all by yourself. This honor society gets that. UCSD’s Tau Beta Pi chapter brings students together and encourages interactions with engineering professors and with other students.
Sometimes professional development is the goal of the events. Sometimes the goal is fun.

“We were selected not only because we hold many events throughout the year but also because of the quality of our events,” said Nadia Cheng, the 2006-2007 Tau Beta Pi president. Cheng graduated from UCSD in June with a degree in aerospace engineering and has started a Masters Degree program in mechanical engineering at MIT. She will be working on a robotic slug that can change shape and move through small holes.

Alex Lee (‘08 Bioengineering) served as last year’s tutoring coordinator and Matthew “Max” Gianas (‘07 Mechanical Engineering) was the outreach coordinator.

Tau Beta Pi is open to the top eighth of juniors and top fifth of seniors at the Jacobs School. To be initiated, you need to put in 15 hours of work for the honor society. Members are encouraged to continue participating in activities long after the minimum service requirement is met.

Madeline Chiu – (‘08 Bioengineering) – is the current president of UCSD’s Tau Beta Pi chapter.

“I think our department mixers are really great. They are open to any student and you get to interact with professors and other students in a relaxed environment,” said Chiu.

“We’re here for all Jacobs School students. Don’t be a stranger!” Chiu said.
Check out the 133-page annual report here.

Nov 15 Update: The UCSD student paper, The Guardian ran a story on this award. You can read the Guardian story here.

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