Smartphones, laptops, autonomous cars, cardiac pacemakers, blood pressure monitors, and more. These devices all embed computing systems into electrical components. And these systems require an electrical engineer with an understanding of computer engineering to help make them function efficiently. This option is part of the electrical engineering BS program.
Computing Engineering BS vs. Computer Engineering Option
What’s the difference between the computer engineering BS degree and the computer engineering option in the electrical engineering BS degree?
Students in the computer engineering BS learn to design computer hardware, components, and software in order to develop next-generation products and appliances that contain embedded computer systems. In the computer engineering BS, emphasis is placed on computer science, software engineering, data structures, object-oriented programming languages, and to a lesser degree on electrical engineering circuits and electronics. Students complete four computer programming courses as part of the curriculum.
Students in the computer engineering option of the electrical engineering BS learn to design using hardware description languages, verify through simulation, and physically implement and test custom digital circuits and systems, including computer systems. Furthermore, they learn how to configure and use analog and mixed-signal circuits. All of these are essential components of microcontrollers, which in turn are used in application-specific and embedded systems. Great emphasis is placed on the hardware-software interface through the coverage of high-level and assembly programming languages in the two computer programming courses they take, which are tailored toward electrical engineering. In addition, they will study digital signal processing, radiation and propagation, power electronics, control systems, communications, circuit theory, computer architecture, computer-aided design, embedded systems, solid-state devices, microelectromechanical systems (MEMs), and robotics.
Courses in Computer Engineering
The computer engineering option includes advanced elective courses designed to provide a depth of understanding in computer engineering as it relates to electrical engineering. You’ll take courses in digital systems, embedded systems design, design of digital systems, and design of computer systems.
Multidisciplinary Senior Design
Multidisciplinary Senior Design is a two-course sequence in your final year of study. It’s a capstone learning experience that integrates engineering theory, principles, and processes within a collaborative team environment. Multidisciplinary student teams follow an engineering design process, which includes assessing customer needs, developing engineering specifications, generating and evaluating concepts, choosing an approach, completing systems and subsystems designs, and implementing the design to the extent feasible, for example by building and testing a prototype or implementing a chosen set of improvements to a process. You’ll apply the knowledge you have learned in the classroom and from your co-op experiences to this design project. Students in the computer engineering option are expected to work on a design project that focuses on embedded systems.
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All engineering majors are required to complete four blocks (approximately 48 weeks) of cooperative education experience. For students in the clean and renewable energy option, your co-ops are expected to take place in companies that develop or design embedded systems, digital systems, electronics, or solid-state devices. A sampling of companies that hire RIT students in the computer engineering option for co-ops and for full-time employment include Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, Syracuse Research Corporation, Raytheon, Applied Physics Lab at John Hopkins University, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Draper Labs, and many more.