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[College of Engineering]

DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING (ECE)

Professor Lloyd A. Morley, Department Head
Office: 317 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 with at least two of the following areas: 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 Objectives

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 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. Students are expected to

Laboratories. Coursework in basic and advanced subjects in electrical and computer engineering is supported by specialized laboratories and continuously updated computer facilities. The laboratories are located in the East Engineering Building, Houser Hall, and the Houser Hall Annex.

Capstone Design Laboratory. The Capstone Design Laboratory is used for senior design projects and includes a wide variety of software tools, electronic components, various analog and digital development kits and instrumentation to support design projects in all fields of electrical and computer engineering.

Control Systems Laboratory. The Control Systems Laboratory is equipped for the experimental study of electrical and electromechanical systems. Direct-current motors and servo-amplifiers are available to implement position and velocity control systems. Analog computer equipment is available for use in simulating systems and as components of control systems. Sufficient equipment is available for students to experimentally determine system models and develop and test original control-system configurations.

Circuits Laboratory. The Circuits Laboratory, which is used in ECE 225, affords the student an opportunity to study both circuit phenomena and the proper use of instruments in measuring circuit parameters and circuit variables.

Communications Laboratory. The Communications Laboratory is an undergraduate laboratory in which students are introduced to amplitude, frequency, and pulse modulation; spectral analysis; frequency and time-division multiplexing; and noise analysis. Special laboratory equipment includes a storage scope, spectrum analyzer, recording wave analyzer, digital noise generator, and A/D interfaces to a dedicated IBM-PC system with signal-processing software packages.

Computer Engineering Laboratory. The Computer Engineering Laboratory uses a network of up-to-date computers, state-of-the-art CAD software, and FPGA development systems to give students hands-on hardware design experience. Students design digital circuits ranging from simple shift registers to pipelined and microcoded microprocessors.

Computer Graphics Laboratory. This laboratory provides equipment for teaching and research in the areas of computer graphics, real-time video simulation, image processing, pattern recognition, vision, and graphics algorithm development. The facilities support C, Unix, assembler, high-resolution color video, scene digitization, and hardware and software development.

Digital Logic Laboratory. The Digital Logic Laboratory is used in ECE 380. Students design and test various combinational and sequential network circuits.

Digital Systems Design Laboratory. The Digital Systems Design Laboratory uses a network of up-to-date CAD software, instrumentation, and FPGA development systems to give students hands-on hardware design experience. Students design simple and complex digital circuits ranging from simple finite state machines to microprocessors.

Electric Power and Machines Laboratory. This facility houses many types of AC and DC motors and generators, transformers, and other devices typically found in the electric-power industry. In addition, suitable instrumentation is available for steady-state and transient monitoring of individual experiments. The laboratory provides an excellent environment for research and studies of fundamental and advanced power-system and electric-machinery concepts.

Electromagnetics Laboratory. The Electromagnetics Laboratory has experimental capabilities for the generation, transmission, radiation, and measurement of radio frequency (rf) and microwave energy and signals. There are facilities for antenna impedance characterization studies, and an indoor anechoic chamber for microwave radiation pattern measurements. The laboratory has a complement of equipment that includes solid-state signal generators, TWT amplifiers, spectrum and network analyzers, and an extensive holding of passive components.

Electronics Laboratories. The Electronics Laboratories are well equipped with modern digital and analog electronic instruments. Students study the theory of electronic instruments and make practical use of instruments in measuring the electrical characteristics of discrete and integrated solid-state electronic circuits, which they design and assemble.

Embedded Systems Laboratory. The Embedded Systems Laboratory serves both undergraduate and graduate students. It plays a central role in the integration of embedded systems through the computer engineering program. It is equipped with up-to-date computers, specialized embedded system equipment, and instrumentation such as oscilloscopes and logic analyzers. The specialized embedded systems equipment includes programmable logic development systems, FPGA development systems, VMEbus-based equipment, and other embedded system components.

Instrumentation Laboratory. Students use this laboratory to study DC and AC circuit phenomena and the proper use of instruments such as oscilloscopes, voltmeters, ammeters, wattmeters, power supplies, and function generators.

Laser and Fiber Optics Laboratories. These laboratories are equipped for experimental studies of laser principles, optical electronics, and optical communications. One laboratory has an air-suspended stable table, many high-quality mirrors, spatial filters, beam splitters, and an argon ion laser. Another laboratory has an air-suspended stable table, numerous He-Ne lasers, diode lasers, fiber optic devices and equipment, acousto-optic and electro-optic modulators, and many other high-quality optical components.

Microprocessor Laboratory. The Microprocessor Laboratory is equipped with a network of personal computers, 6812, 8051, and Atmel microprocessor development systems, FPGA development systems, video terminals, ROM programmers, and additional electronic instrumentation needed for designing and testing microprocessor systems. Software used in the laboratory includes code assemblers and debuggers, C/C++ compilers and integrated development systems, and electronic design automation software.

Graduate programs. The department offers programs leading to the degrees of master of science in electrical engineering, master of science in engineering, and doctor of philosophy. Please refer to the University of Alabama graduate catalog for details of these programs.

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.

Taking the Fundamentals of Engineering examination is a College of Engineering requirement for graduation.

FRESHMAN YEAR
First SemesterHours
CH 131 General Chemistry I (N)4
GES 131 Foundations Engineering I3
EN 101 English Composition I (FC)3
MATH 125 Calculus I (MA)4
History (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective3
___
17
Second Semester
GES 132 Foundations Engineering II2
EN 102 English Composition II (FC)3
MATH 126 Calculus II (MA)4
PH 105 General Physics with Calculus I (N)4
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective3
___
16
 
SOPHOMORE YEAR
First Semester
CS 114 Introduction to Computer Programming3
CS 116 Introduction to Computer Programming Laboratory1
MATH 227 Calculus III (MA)4
MATH 237 Applied Matrix Theory3
PH 106 General Physics with Calculus II (N)4
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective3
___
18
Second Semester
CS 124 Introduction to Computer Science (C)3
ECE 225 Electric Circuits3
ECE 380 Digital Logic4
MATH 238 Applied Differential Equations I3
PH 253 Introduction to Modern Physics3
___
16
 
JUNIOR YEAR
First Semester
ECE 332 Electronics I (W)4
ECE 340 Electromagnetics4
ECE 370 Signals and Systems3
ECE 383 Microcomputers (C)4
MATH 355 Theory of Probability3
___
18
Second Semester
ECE 326 Electric Networks3
ECE 333 Electronics II (W)4
ECE 350 Electromechanics3
PH 301 Mechanics3
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective or
    history (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective13
___
16
 
SENIOR YEAR
First Semester
IE 203 Engineering Economics3
Electrical engineering elective with laboratory24
Electrical engineering elective with laboratory24
History (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective3
___
14
Second Semester
ECE 494 Capstone Design3
Electrical engineering elective23
Electrical engineering elective23
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective or
    history (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective43
Professional elective33
___
15
 
Total: 130 hours

1This elective must satisfy the College of Engineering in-depth requirement.
2Students must complete ECE elective courses in at least four of the following areas: communication, computers, control, electromagnetics, electronics, optics, and power.
3The professional elective must be chosen from the list of professional electives approved by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
4The College of Engineering Core Curriculum requires a minimum of 9 hours of HU, L, or FA courses and 9 hours of HI or SB 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 design experience. Areas of specialization may include computer architecture, digital and analog integrated circuit design, microprocessor-based systems, computer graphics, and applications-oriented study in other disciplines of electrical engineering.

Taking the Fundamentals of Engineering examination is a College of Engineering requirement for graduation.

FRESHMAN YEAR
First SemesterHours
CH 131 General Chemistry I (N)4
GES 131 Foundations Engineering I3
EN 101 English Composition I (FC)3
MATH 125 Calculus I (MA)4
History (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective3
___
17
Second Semester
GES 132 Foundations Engineering II2
EN 102 English Composition II (FC)3
MATH 126 Calculus II (MA)4
PH 105 General Physics with Calculus I (N)4
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective3
___
16
 
SOPHOMORE YEAR
First Semester
CS 114 Introduction to Computer Programming3
CS 115 Introduction to Computer Programming Laboratory1
MATH 227 Calculus III (MA)4
MATH 237 Applied Matrix Theory3
PH 106 General Physics with Calculus II (N)4
___
15
Second Semester
CS 124 Introduction to Computer Science (C)3
ECE 225 Electric Circuits3
ECE 380 Digital Logic4
MATH 238 Applied Differential Equations I3
MATH 355 Theory of Probability3
___
16
 
JUNIOR YEAR
First Semester
ECE 332 Electronics I (W)4
ECE 370 Signals and Systems3
ECE 383 Microcomputers (C)4
MATH 301 Discrete Mathematics3
History (H) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective3
___
17
Second Semester
CS 325 Software Development and Systems3
CS 357 Data Structures3
ECE 326 Electric Networks3
ECE 333 Electronics II (W)4
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective or
    history (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective13
___
16
 
SENIOR YEAR
First Semester
CS elective33
ECE elective33
ECE 484 Computer Architecture3
ECE 480 Introduction to Computer Engineering (W)3
ECE 481 Introduction to Computer Engineering Laboratory1
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective3
___
16
Second Semester
ECE elective33
ECE 486 Embedded Systems3
ECE 487 Embedded Systems Laboratory1
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective or
    history (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective43
Professional elective23
___
16
 
Total: 129 hours

1This elective must help satisfy the College of Engineering in-depth requirement.
2The professional elective must be chosen from the list of professional electives approved by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
3The restricted-area elective must be selected from a list approved by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
4The College of Engineering Core Curriculum requires a minimum of 9 hours of HU, L, or FA courses and 9 hours of HI or SB courses.

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