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DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING (ECE)

Professor Jeff Jackson, Department Head
Office: 101 Houser Hall

Electrical engineering, the largest of the engineering fields, is the application of mathematics, sciences, and electrical and electronic technologies to the needs of society. This broad and diverse discipline touches almost every aspect of people’s lives and occupations, from communication systems such as cellular phones, radio, television, and the Internet to computer systems, including personal computers, and the hidden processors that control automobiles and household appliances.

Electrical and computer engineering at The University of Alabama offers programs in traditional electrical engineering and in computer engineering. Electrical engineering students get deeply involved in technical areas including: communication systems, computers, control systems, electromagnetics, electronics and microelectronics, power systems, and signal processing. Students in the computer engineering option specialize in the software and hardware components of modern computing systems. The programs provide a sound foundation for entry into the engineering profession, and opportunities for graduates are extensive, often depending only on the interests of the individual. Graduates work in most industries, including the computer, telecommunications, power, aerospace, manufacturing, defense, and electronics industries. They design high-tech devices ranging from tiny microelectronic chips to powerful computers that utilize those chips to efficient telecommunication systems that interconnect those computers. They design and operate a wide array of complex technological systems, such as power generation and distribution systems and modern computer-controlled manufacturing plants. They are also involved in sales, marketing, testing, quality control, and research. With additional training, they may even contribute in other professions, including education, medicine, and law.

Program Educational Objectives and Program Outcomes

The mission of the undergraduate electrical engineering and computer engineering programs is to provide high-quality and broad-based education in electrical engineering or computer engineering that emphasizes critical thinking and communication skills and prepares graduates for professional careers and a lifetime of learning. The faculty has adopted the program educational objectives listed below for the electrical and computer engineering undergraduate programs. The department has included a process to provide continual improvement of the curricula. Graduates will:

  1. Excel in engineering careers and/or postgraduate education utilizing knowledge of electrical or computer engineering disciplines and underlying fundamental principles of science and mathematics, engineering analysis, problem solving and design.
  2. Expand their knowledge of current and emerging issues in electrical and computer engineering and continue career-long professional development through engagement in life-long learning.
  3. Grow professionally and advance throughout their engineering careers utilizing skills in effective communication; responsible, multidisciplinary teamwork; and adherence to principles of professional accountability and ethics.

To facilitate attainment of these career-long objectives, the department has defined a set of program outcomes and associated assessments to demonstrate that, by graduation, students have:

The following paragraphs describe the undergraduate curricula in electrical engineering and computer engineering. Graduate students and students participating in the Scholars Program should consult the graduate catalog for information on all cross-listed and graduate-only courses. More information about various programs within the department is available in the Electrical and Computer Engineering office.

Electrical Engineering Curriculum

'The overall goal of the electrical engineering program is to prepare students for engineering careers within the discipline. The first year and a half of the electrical engineering curriculum includes basic courses in mathematics and physical science, broadening courses in humanities and social science, and foundation courses in engineering. The next three semesters provide the core education in electrical engineering, with courses in computers, electronics, circuits, systems, and electromagnetics. The last year of study includes technical electives to allow students to concentrate in selected areas of the discipline. For seniors, the department offers advanced courses in computers, communication, control, electromagnetics, microelectronics, materials, and power.

Students must select two electrical engineering electives with labs. The elective areas are computers, microelectronics, electromagnetics, power systems, communication systems, and control systems. Materials that describe each area are available in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering office.

FRESHMAN YEAR
First Semester Hours
   
CH 101 General Chemistry I (N) 4
DR 100 Engineering Sketching 1
EN 101 English Composition I (FC) 3
GES 131 Foundations Engineering I 2
History (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective1,3 3
MATH 125 Calculus I (MA) 4
  ___
  17
   
Second Semester  
ECE 125 Fundamentals of Electrical and Computer Engineering 2
EN 102 English Composition II (FC) 3
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective1,3 3
MATH 126 Calculus II (MA) 4
PH 105 General Physics with Calculus I (N) 4
  ___
  16
   
SOPHOMORE YEAR
   
First Semester  
CS 160 Computer Science Concepts 1
ECE 285 Programming for ECE 3
MATH 227 Calculus III (MA) 4
MATH 237 Applied Matrix Theory (MA) 3
PH 106 General Physics with Calculus II (N) 4
  ___
  15
   
Second Semester  
CS 351 Computer Science Programming III 2
ECE 225 Electric Circuits 3
ECE 380 Digital Logic 4
MATH 238 Applied Differential Equations I (MA) 3
PH 253 Introduction to Modern Physics (N) 3
  ___
  15
   
JUNIOR YEAR
   
First Semester  
ECE 332 Electronics I (W) 4
ECE 370 Signals and Systems (C) 3
ECE 383 Microcomputers (C) 4
MATH 355 Theory of Probability 3
PH 301 Mechanics 3
  ___
  17
   
Second Semester  
ECE 326 Electric Networks 3
ECE 333 Electronics II (W) 4
ECE 340 Electromagnetics 4
ECE 350 Electric Power and Machines 3
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective1,3 3
  ___
  17
 
SENIOR YEAR
   
First Semester  
ECE 492 Capstone Design I 3
Electrical engineering elective with laboratory 4
Electrical engineering elective with laboratory 4
History (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective1,3 3
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective1,3 3
  ___
  17
   
   
Second Semester  
ECE 494 Capstone Design II 3
Electrical engineering elective 3
Electrical engineering elective 3
History (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective1,3 3
Professional elective2 3
  ___
  15
   
Total: 129 hours
   
1 Students must satisfy the College of Engineering in-depth requirement (minimum of 6 hours in one discipline).
2 The professional elective must be chosen from the list approved by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
3 The College of Engineering core curriculum requires a minimum of: 9 hours of HU, L, or FA courses; 9 hours of HI or SB courses; 6 hours of FC courses; 6 hours of W courses (300 and 400-level ECE courses); 12 hours of N courses (8 hours of calculus-based physics); 12 hours of MA courses (MATH 125 or higher); 6 hours of C or FL courses.

Computer Engineering Option in Electrical Engineering

The computer engineering option is offered within the electrical engineering department in order to give students a broad knowledge of the software and hardware components of modern computing systems, detailed computer-systems design, and the role of computer systems in various engineering disciplines. A primary goal of the program is to prepare the student for a computer-oriented engineering career with emphasis on computer applications within various subdisciplines of electrical engineering. The computer engineering option includes a broad spectrum of electrical engineering and computer science courses, as well as electives to allow the student to study a specific area in depth and to gain additional design experience. Areas of specialization may include computer architecture, integrated circuit design, microprocessor-based systems, sensor networks, image processing, robotics, and applications-oriented study in other disciplines of electrical engineering.

FRESHMAN YEAR
First Semester Hours
   
CH 101 General Chemistry I (N) 4
DR 100 Engineering Sketching 1
EN 101 English Composition I (FC) 3
GES 131 Foundations Engineering I 2
History (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective1,4 3
MATH 125 Calculus I (MA) 4
  ___
  17
   
Second Semester  
ECE 125 Fundamentals of Electrical and Computer Engineering 2
EN 102 English Composition II (FC) 3
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective1,4 3
MATH 126 Calculus II (MA) 4
PH 105 General Physics with Calculus I (N) 4
  ___
  16
   
SOPHOMORE YEAR
   
First Semester  
CS 160 Computer Science Concepts 1
ECE 285 Programming for ECE 3
MATH 227 Calculus III (MA) 4
MATH 237 Applied Matrix Theory (MA) 3
PH 106 General Physics with Calculus II (N) 4
  ___
  15
   
Second Semester  
CS 260 Foundations of Computer Science 3
ECE 225 Electric Circuits 3
ECE 380 Digital Logic 4
MATH 238 Applied Differential Equations I (MA) 3
MATH 355 Theory of Probability 3
  ___
  16
   
JUNIOR YEAR
   
First Semester  
ECE 332 Electronics I (W) 4
ECE 370 Signals and Systems (C) 3
ECE 383 Microcomputers (C) 4
History (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective1,4 3
MATH 301 Discrete Mathematics 3
  ___
  17
   
Second Semester  
CS 351 CS Programming III 2
CS 360 Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis (C) 4
ECE 326 Electric Networks 3
ECE 333 Electronics II (W) 4
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective1,4 3
  ___
  15
 
SENIOR YEAR
   
First Semester  
ECE 480 Digital Systems Design 3
ECE 481 Digital Systems Design Laboratory 1
ECE 492 Capstone Design I 3
Professional elective² 3
Restricted-area elective3 3
Restricted-area elective3 3
  ___
  16
   
   
Second Semester  
ECE 484 Computer Architecture 3
ECE 486 Embedded Systems 3
ECE 487 Embedded Systems Laboratory 1
ECE 494 Capstone Design II 3
History (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective1,4 3
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective1,4 3
  ___
  16
   
Total: 128 hours
   
1 Students must satisfy the College of Engineering in-depth requirement (minimum of 6 hours in one discipline).
2 The professional elective must be chosen from the list approved by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
3 The restricted-area elective must be chosen from the list approved by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
4 The College of Engineering core curriculum requires a minimum of: 9 hours of HU, L, or FA courses; 9 hours of HI or SB courses; 6 hours of FC courses; 6 hours of W courses (300 and 400-level ECE courses); 12 hours of N courses (8 hours of calculus-based physics); 12 hours of MA courses (MATH 125 or higher); 6 hours of C or FL courses.

 

 

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