Nearly everything we touch each day – from coffee machines to cars, smartphones, and wearable devices – is powered by computing systems designed and built by computer engineers. Computer engineering impacts every aspect of our lives. Sensors and networking technology allow for the management of logistics and the inventory systems that facilitate access to the foods and products necessary to daily life. Today’s vehicles are equipped with multiple computing subsystems that control engine operation, performance, in-vehicle infotainment, climate control, and much more. Hospitals and health care providers increasingly rely on computer engineering systems to provide medical services from administrative tasks to microsurgery using robotic arms.
Computer engineers are the architects of the miniature city that is a microprocessor. Computer engineers decide on the number and configuration of processing units that perform billions of mathematical operations per second; they design the interconnected infrastructure between these processing units so they can exchange data at mind boggling speeds; and they build the memory architecture and other peripheral units that support microprocessor operation. A career in computer engineering is a lifelong voyage full of exciting opportunities to innovate through diverse projects with a direct impact on our world.
Computer engineering offers opportunities for all types of designs and innovations, such as designing the architecture of a new computer, integrating electronics and sensors into a new embedded system, or controlling the process of the smart grid. There is a great demand for computer engineers who can do it all—from designing computer hardware, components and software, to developing next-generation products and appliances that contain embedded systems. As computer technology becomes more essential to commerce and daily life, companies will need computer engineers who possess a well-developed set of skills and who can quickly adapt to change. To meet the challenges of the future, these companies will turn to computer engineers for innovative solutions and technological leadership.
The computer engineering department offers Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in computer engineering, as well as an accelerated dual degree in which students can earn a BS and an MS in five years. All of our degrees are grounded in in-depth study of software, hardware, and integration of systems.
The department’s faculty members are actively engaged in state-of-the-art curriculum development and focus their research on significant areas of study in computer engineering, including computer architecture, integrated circuits and systems, networks and security, computer visions and machine intelligence, and signal processing, control and embedded systems.
Full-time faculty members from 9 countries
International Academic Partner Institutions
Affiliated PhD Programs
The computer engineering program mission is “to provide outstanding career-oriented education in computer engineering and engage students in leading edge research.”
The computer engineering program mission is dedicated to furthering RIT’s mission to in preparing students for successful careers “through a unique blend of curricular, experiential, and research programs delivered within a student-centric culture." In addition, the computer engineering program’s mission is consistent with the goals of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering. These include the college’s focus to:
educate students to meet the immediate and future needs of industry and to support the intellectual development and growth of its graduates throughout their careers;
perform research that is focused on providing viable solutions to the real-world problems facing our global society; and
partner with industry to accelerate economic growth both regionally and nationally.
The computer engineering department offers a BS degree in computer engineering and two accelerated dual degrees in which students can earn a BS and an MS in five years. The computer engineering BS degree begins with basic principles of science, mathematics, and technology. The curriculum also includes courses in software engineering, computer science, electronics, embedded systems, computer architecture, networks, signal processing, and integrated circuit design, in addition to professional electives and liberal arts courses.
In addition to the doctorate programs offered by the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, many of our faculty members serve as advisors to students pursing doctoral degrees at RIT in which a focus of their research pertains to computer engineering or one of our research areas.
The computer engineering master's degree emphasizes the adoption of design methodology and the application of sophisticated engineering tools to the design and development of computer-integrated systems.
The curriculum for the electrical and computer engineering Ph.D. provides the knowledge and skills to form successful independent researchers by providing disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses, research mentorship, and seminars.
Students gain a foundation in digital systems design, an understanding of computer organization, and an introduction to embedded systems programming. They also build on this core through elective courses in the areas of hardware design, architectures, networks and systems.
Faculty members and students from the Department of Computer Engineering are actively engaged in advancing technology in information processing computing systems through various projects funded by federal and state agencies, as well as industry. The research within the Department of Computer Engineering reflects the fundamental role of computing in today’s information age, addressing a broad span of technological challenges that include securing the cyber-physical space, advancing communications and networks, improving industrial processes by integrating Internet-of-Things devices, and harnessing the Artificial Intelligence revolution by bringing to life self-driving vehicles and new computing paradigms. Through participation in cross-disciplinary Ph.D. programs in Engineering, Computing and Information Sciences, Microsystems Engineering, and Imaging Science, the research activities reflect the diversity of computer engineering, advancing transformative technologies in hardware, software and computing systems, sub-systems, devices and processes. Current research within the Department of Computer Engineering is organized into the following tracks:
This track deals with hardware resource management, instruction set architectures and their close connection with the underlying hardware, as well as the interconnection and communication of those hardware components. Some of the current computer architecture challenges that are being tackled in the Department of Computer Engineering include energy efficient architectures, high performance architectures, quantum computing, graphic processing units (GPUs), reconfigurable hardware, chip multiprocessors, and Networks-on-Chips.
Modern processors demand high computational density, small form factors, and low energy dissipation with extremely high performance demands. This is enabled by the nanoscale and heterogeneous integration of transistors and other emerging devices at the massive-scale. This research track focuses on designing computers with emerging novel technologies in the presence of severe physical constraints; investigating dynamic reconfigurability to exploit the power of nano-scale electronics for building reliable computing systems; solutions for post Moore’s Law computing, such as neuromorphic technology, and studying the applicability of emerging technologies to address challenges in computing hardware of the future.
The prevalence of networked computing devices of all sizes and uses have transformed our way of life. Ubiquitous access to data through these devices with reliable performance and security assurance while meeting end-user quality of experience expectations presents exciting challenges for engineers and scientists. Adaptability to meet the demands from ever-increasing data traffic, and resilience to environmental uncertainty, system failures and cyber-attacks requires advances in hardware, software and networking techniques, as well as the application of innovative transformative technologies, such as machine learning. This research track focuses on intelligent wireless and sensor networks, cryptographic engineering, and predictive cyber situation awareness.
Visual information is ubiquitous and ever more important for applications such as robotics, healthcare, human-computer interaction, biometrics, surveillance, games, entertainment, transportation and commerce. Computer Vision focuses on extracting information from image and video data for modeling, interpretation, detection, tracking and recognition. Machine Intelligence methods deal with human-machine interaction, artificial intelligence, agent reasoning, and robotics. Algorithm development for these areas spans image processing, pattern recognition and machine learning, and is intimately related to system design and hardware implementations.
This research area is concerned with algorithms and devices used at the core of system that interacts with our physical world. As such, this area considers the sensing, analysis and modeling of dynamic systems with the intent of measuring information about a system, communicating this information and processing it to adapt its behavior.
What if computing materials were sourced in conflict areas? Or manufactured in facilities that emit higher than average toxic emissions? Researchers today are examining the development of computing systems from a different perspective, one more in line with sustainability rather than just power, performance and speed.
Photonics Media features Don Figer, director of the Center for Detectors, computer engineering BS/MS student Irfan Punekar, and Stefan Preble, professor in the Department of Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering.
Dr. Cory Merkel, an assistant professor in RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering and director of RIT's Brain Lab, will be presenting his work on neurochip applications at the 2021 Intelligence in Chip: Tomorrow of Integrated Circuits (ICTIC).
The BS degree in computer engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org. For Enrollment and Graduation Data, Program Educational Objectives, and Student Outcomes, please visit the college’s Accreditation.
The computer engineering department offers a variety of resources for our students, including academic support, curriculum flow charts, handbooks, and more. Visit our Student Resources page for more information.