Electrical Engineering has long played a critical role in undergirding innovations that improve the quality of life, support economic growth, and address societal problems. Its emergence as a separate field of study in the late 19th century paralleled, and was responsive to, the large-scale introduction of telegraphy and electrical lighting. Electrical engineering has continued to play a pivotal role in power and energy distribution, communications, and computation, even as the power-carrying channels have evolved from heavy metal cables to nanowires or optical fibers; the networks of communications have evolved from wires to wireless to neurons; and the basic electrical switches have evolved from vacuum tubes to transistors to carbon nanotubes. The essential technologies that connect society: mobile phones, laptops, wireless communications, downloaded videos, light-emitting diodes, electronic displays, “smart” power grids, and rapidly evolving systems for monetary transactions are all evidence of the impact of innovation in electrical engineering.
The undergraduate EE curriculum emphasizes both depth and breadth within the sub-disciplines of electrical engineering. All students will specialize in electronic circuits and devices while being provided the opportunity explore signals and systems theory, control systems, robotics, optoelectronic devices, integrated circuits, energy systems, computer vision, electronic materials, computer software and hardware, as well as mechanical, biological, and environmental systems. Through this coursework, students also gain experience in the engineering design process, the engineering activity that requires creative synthesis as well as analysis.