What is ECE?

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) is a broad discipline that encompasses a wide range of activities and is at the forefront of modern technology. Electrical and Computer Engineers model, design, fabricate, characterize and analyze devices and systems that can sense information or perform complex computational, communication, control as well as electrical power generation and distribution. A primary goal involves the use of electricity and electromagnetism for the generation, transmission, processing, storage, conversion, and control of information and energy. In a parallel theme, the fundamentals of circuits, systems, and algorithms associated with the design of programmable systems are used for computing, communications, control, or signal processing.

Previous innovations in electrical and computer engineering have had a dramatic impact on the way in which we work and live: the transistor, integrated circuits, computers, radio and television, satellite transmission systems, lasers, fiber optic and wireless transmission systems, robotics and medical electronics. A major challenge for the future is the need for increasingly faster and more sophisticated methods of handling information at lower powers and reduced costs for the advanced communications and information-handling systems of the future. Today, the quest for increased speed and decreased energy consumption are driving electrical and computer engineering to novel materials and devices that have nanoscale features, and, systems and networks made with them; accordingly, electrical and computer engineering deals with key elements of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Thus electrical and computer engineers are at cutting-edge of the human interface of the technological “magic” that we see in so many areas of human endeavor.

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