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ECE Announces Computer Engineering Minor

Computing technology is inescapable in the world today. Faculty members in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering recognized a void regarding hardware and software knowledge that crossed the Clark School’s engineering curriculum. 

“Computing is everywhere, and it particularly permeates many fields of engineering. A number of engineering students want to become literate in core computing fields, even if they major in another field, “ says Uzi Vishkin, professor of electrical and computer engineering and computer science.

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that job growth in computing-related positions and particularly software-related jobs outpace nearly any other category (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014). The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 222K new jobs will be available for applications and system software developers during the decade ending in 2022.  Accounting for the rate of retirement in this established field, an additional 330K positions will be open in that time period.

In effort to support the educational and professional development of all Clark School engineering students, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will offer an undergraduate minor in Computer Engineering beginning in the fall 2015 semester. This course of study is open to any engineering major who has completed the necessary pre-requisites.

The Undergraduate Minor in Computer Engineering will introduce students to core hardware concepts—such as computer architecture, digital logic design, and digital circuit design—as well as core software concepts—such as algorithms, discrete mathematics, and programming. Students will also learn how hardware and software interact at the interface, for example in embedded systems, and have access to an array of elective courses, including hardware design tools, system programming, microprocessors, computer architecture, computer security, cryptology and parallel algorithms.

“Whether you are in engineering, physics, mathematics, or any other field of study that has been affected by computing, you are likely to benefit from gaining a deeper understanding of computer hardware and/or software,” says Donald Yeung, associate professor of electrical engineering and director of computer engineering education. “Unfortunately, this has been extremely difficult to do because the computer engineering major consists of so many courses with many prerequisites. By offering a compact minor, we hope to make computer engineering accessible to students across campus enabling them to apply this knowledge in their primary fields of study.”

The minor will require 18 credits of coursework; students must complete two minor prerequisites prior to enrolling. Admission to the minor computer engineering course requires ENEE150: Programming concepts for Engineers and MATH141: Calculus II. Students who have already taken ENEE150, MATH141 and 200-level classes in digital logic design and digital circuit design will need fewer credits of coursework to complete the minor requirement. Students interested in the minor must have completed at least 30 semester credits, satisfied all prerequisite course and grade requirements, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applications must be received no later than one year prior to the anticipated semester of graduation.

For more information about the new computer engineering minor, contact eceadvise@umd.edu.

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June 1, 2015


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