I am writing this note to encourage kids who didn't necessarily do great in math or physics to still go for ECE at Cornell. My specialty was parallel processing and digital signal processing and I have had a terrific 25 years since graduation, using my skills to land some outstanding jobs and work on really interesting stuff.
I have been working on video compression algorithms for most of my career, using the basic DSP theory I learned at Cornell to apply to many practical applications. I worked on developing the H.264/AVC video standard, the basis of most internet video, where recently it was noted that a full 50% of all internet traffic consists of H.264 bits.
Recently I have been attending standards meetings to define the next-generation video compression algorithm: H.265. With lots of power positioning recently with Google giving away VP8 for free and traditional broadcasters trying to keep their territory, it is an exciting time for internet video, and it all started for me with ECE at Cornell.