Image for Algebra Innovators Club organises first workshop

Algebra Innovators Club organises first workshop

The European Commission has called microchips the ‘unsung heroes’ of electronic devices, while the new European Chips Act, which was adopted by the European Parliament last week, should help double the production of microchips in the EU and reach the goal of 20% market share by 2030. Microchips are often used in combination with FPGA technology where flexibility and quality of performance are of equal importance. The application of this technology and its significance in industry was discussed in greater detail at the first educational workshop held at Algebra by Filip Gembec, a student of Software Engineering and member of Algebra’s Innovators Club. The workshop was organised for Algebra students, teaching assistants, professors and other interested participants, while for many it was the first encounter with the practical applications of FPGA. The participants were introduced to the tools and elements needed to create a 4-bit calculator with a selection of functions, without the use of software, completely from hardware blocks.

“FPGA chips are a modern technology of reprogrammable digital control chips that enable enviable speed of architecture development of integrated digital circuits. At the workshop, we covered the fundamental concepts of FPGA, such as architecture, programming and design, and practical applications of FPGA, using the example of calculators. I hope that the workshop will encourage participants to keep learning to use this technology and that in the future they will employ FPGA to develop their projects. I am grateful to Algebra for the opportunity and I believe that this is only the first in a series of training sessions that we will hold on this topic, especially since FPGA technology is used in numerous industries – telecommunications, automotive, data centres, commercial electronics, and automation, associated with industry 4.0.”, said Gambec.

The workshop was held as part of Algebra Innovators Club, recently launched with the aim of developing entrepreneurial skills and a proactive approach of its students while still in their studies. The Club’s mission is to encourage creativity, innovative thinking, exchange of knowledge and experiences through training, and it is open to all interested students, regardless of the study program they attend at Algebra. Through workshops and working on innovative projects, in a motivating environment students will collaborate with mentors who will support them in realizing their ideas. The club was formed by Algebra’s lecturers and students, while the head of the Club and one of its founders is Silvio Papić, Head of Systems Engineering studies at Algebra:

“I believe that it is very useful for the students and their future life and career, to learn to think critically about the world around them and to take all the information they receive with a grain of salt. This is also one of the goals of our Innovators Club – freedom of thought and realisation of ideas that will contribute to the technological and social development of the Croatia. I find this particularly important today, since we live in a time when the information we receive comes to us unfiltered, and in this mass of content, it is sometimes difficult to recognise the real value and essence of material which we later need to learn to manage properly”, said Papić, adding, “our goal is not to develop the skills for memorising and repeating information, but to encourage students to use abstract thinking and to ask the right questions, which has already proven critical in using artificial intelligence tools, which we do not shy away from at Algebra, but consider them a natural continuation of the advancement of technology that will help the best to become even better.”

Algebra’s Innovators Club has also participated in its first competition, Inova Mladi 2023, bringing in excellent results – as many as three medals and the main prize. Inova mladi is the largest exhibition of youth innovations in Croatia, bringing together the accomplishments of young innovators from Zagreb and other guests from all across Croatia and abroad since 2001. At the I3G innovations exhibition in Ivanić Grad, members of Algebra’s Innovators Club Marin Radić and Filip Gembec also won honorary awards.

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