Many CS departments at U.S. universities were offshoots from math departments in the 1970s, and the emphasis on providing a rigorous mathematical foundation for the computing disciplines is still evident in many CS curricula. This high level control is based on sophisticated mathematics techniques and is typically developed by Electrical Engineers (although, in recent years, control theory is increasingly found in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering). The design and analysis of those motors would likely be done by Electrical Engineers. Often, this is done using canned building blocks (gates and flip flops) developed by circuit level VLSI designers. The technical electives you would likely have taken would have further focused on digital computing systems, the circuits that go into them, and the software that runs on them. Department advisers and faculty members can help answer many of your questions. Likewise, if you have taken no Control Theory, you won't be attractive to recruiters looking for that skill.Numerous recruiters have mentioned that the course selection a student shows on a transcript is crucial. ... Archived. Computer Science is traditionally more concerned with the theoretical underpinnings of computation and of programming; thus one typically finds courses in programming, algorithms, numerical analysis (how do you guarantee a number produced by a computer program is accurate), and the theory of computation (what can and cannot in principle be computed) in Computer Science departments. A significant theoretical branch of CS is concerned with proving properties and limits of computing systems using these abstract models. "Getting it right" is a big concern due to the complexity of the task involved. Since engineering is the application of the principles of basic science to the solving of problems within constraints (that is, building things! This draws heavily on physics, particularly solid-state physics. Electrical & Computer Engineering Deciding between Electronic Engineering vs Computer Science. You will have completed three courses in circuit design, a course in linear system theory and signal processing, and will have completed a significant engineering project as a part of the Capstone course.If you were to choose CpE, however, you would have received additional training in computer programming, computer architecture and organization, and networking. At the intersection between CEN and CS are courses in computer architecture (the basic construction and low-level programming of computers) and operating systems, which are as likely to be found in either or both programs. As a computer science major, you would spend your education taking classes in subjects such as algorithms, computer progra… (801) 422-4012 People who pride themselves on being computer engineers are proficient in computer science, and they can also be involved in hardware or software development. Therefore, you’ll probably find system operations and computer architecture courses in a computer engineering degree as well. Does this mean CS doesn't include the study of computer architecture and digital logic? Provo, UT 84602 You can learn more about these here. Basically, electrical engineers are involved in the design and manufacture of a wide range of electrical products as well as generating electrical power etc. It is possible that the robot may need to wirelessly communicate with either other robots or with a base station. Computer engineering is also a term that can be used to describe a person who has a background in electrical engineering. 1. Both are very good fields, your interest is the main thing to consider. At that (later) time you likely will have enough experience with the curriculum to make an informed decision. Deciding between Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering- Help. Then, we will discuss the degree-specific courses as a way of helping you see how they differ. So, what are some things you might use to make this decision? Electrical and mechanical engineering are two different streams in the field of engineering that is a broad term encompassing many other disciplines such as computer, telecommunication, civil, mining, information technology, and so on. A long-established and highly regarded aeronautics firm, the Boeing Company continues to be the top provider of jetliners for passenger and other commercial transport purposes. 0. The good news is that if you are a student at BYU, you generally may not have to decide which path to follow until you have been in your program of study for a few semesters. Sub-micron device (transistor) development, modeling. You can often make the switch between degrees with minimal penalty for a number of semesters. While computer engineers often work as programmers, most system level programs such as programming languages and operating systems are designed by computer scientists. Meet with them regularly. Both CEN and CS study the use of the digital computer […] 5,564 open jobs for Computer engineering intern. The design of those actual physical sensors would typically be done by Electrical Engineers. As you see, there is a definite continuum with few precisely defined boundaries. Search Computer engineering intern jobs. Then compare those to what you will learn in the various courses in both programs of study as well as what you find interesting. The reason is that the term VLSI itself refers to a broad range of topics including: Item 1 above can be the task of physicists, chemists, chemical engineers, or manufacturing engineers, as well as electrical engineers. microprocessors) and software development—each which drive computing advances in industries ranging from aerospace to healthcare. Integrated circuit manufacturing (also called fabrication or processing). Top Electrical Engineering Companies To Work For. If you took technical elective courses outside the department they would likely have come from Computer Science (CS).If you were to choose EE, you would have received additional mathematics training. Computer scientists know more about underlying theory of computation, programming languages, and operating systems. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers undergraduate programs leading to the BS in electrical engineering, engineering physics, and computer engineering, and the BA in electrical engineering and society. Students considering a career centered on computers and computing often ask for clarification about the difference between computer engineering (CEN) and computer science (CS). It includes building computing systems and technological devices. Talk to potential employers, talk to the faculty, talk to the department advisor, talk to family friends. Computer engineering programs largely developed in engineering departments strong in electrical engineering. As you investigate the field, be careful using terms you are not very familiar with. There are philosophical as well as practical answers to these questions. Electrical Engineering and Electronics and Communication Engineering may sound similar but are completely different and deal with the different aspects of electricity and transmission of electricity altogether. The main difference between electronic and computer engineering is that electronic engineers place more focus on the diodes, circuits, semiconductors and other small components that are used for a computer's circuit board.Computer engineers have a working knowledge of these items and may even work with these components in their daily jobs. You may simply find it easier to fill out your study list with the courses you want to take, based on your career goals, if you choose one degree over the other. To help make this a bit more concrete, consider the design of a robotic system such as a mobile ground robot. The design of the actual algorithms to do that obstacle identification or RADAR processing would likely be done by an Electrical Engineer, but the implementation of those algorithms in software is often done by a Computer Engineer or Computer Scientist. Highlight the common core shared by both degree programs. Computer Engineering (CpE) grew out of Electrical Engineering (EE) and so it should come as no surprise to you that the two degree programs share much in common. CS curricula can be said to concentrate more on the computational process at an abstract level as opposed to how the computation is accomplished with metal and silicon (wires and transistors). Electrical and computer engineers work in a variety of fields including biomedical engineering, the aerospace industry, and intellectual property law. To start with, we will discuss the common courses between the two degree programs to show this commonality. Point out to you as a student when you need to decide which degree program you wish to take. You would have then focused your studies on electromagnetics (electromagnetic waves) followed by a variety of topics such as control system theory, communication theory, advanced analog electronic circuits, and advanced electromagnetics (including antennas and fiber optics). This higher level of abstraction precludes much attention to the physical detail in the building blocks employed. We took all of the same classes and split off so EE could do more in Radio Waves and Electromagnetic stuff while CpE could do more programming and system/circuit design. Thus, your choice should not depend so much on that as on what you want to do. The requirements outlined in the above table include only required courses. I am attending Clemson University next semester and I can't quite make up my mind on which field I want to major. Deciding between Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering- Help. I'm having a lot of trouble deciding whether I should go into mechanical or electrical engineering. Help you as a student understand the career ramifications of this choice. For example, the statement that the goal of the CpE degree program is to prepare students to design computing systems does not imply that having an EE degree rather than a CpE degree will preclude you from doing so. The BYU ECEn department publishes flowcharts on its website ( that can help you understand its two degrees’ requirements and map out a course of study. You will find them taught in CpE and in EE. Electrical engineering is an engineering discipline concerned with the study, design and application of equipment, devices and systems which use electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism.It emerged as an identifiable occupation in the latter half of the 19th century after commercialization of the electric telegraph, the telephone, and electrical power generation, distribution and use. Be Aware of Multiple Meanings. Computer engineers research how to build all varieties of computing systems from smartphones to integrated circuits. Get the right Computer engineering intern job with company ratings & salaries. Each of these programs can be tailored to provide preparation for graduate study or employment in a wide range of fields. 450 Engineering Building The purposes of this document are the following: The last point is perhaps the most important in that you need to understand that if you are uncertain, you can postpone your decision (with minor modifications) until you are well into the program of study within the department. Computer engineers typically design not only the hardware, but also much of the software in computer-based systems. If you enjoy learning complex theory, then computer science could very well be the choice for you. As you take courses in electronics, digital logic, computer organization, and signals and systems you hopefully will begin to understand what parts of these two degrees are attractive to you and can then pursue the corresponding major. Discover our most recent ranking of the best universities for electrical engineering here. Hi all, I was told to post here from r/engineering. These kinds of engineers are also the architects of the system being built and so require a very broad training in most areas of EE and CS. They include things such as advanced digital systems design and testing, electronic circuits, electromagnetics, VLSI design, CAD tools, systems performance modeling and analysis, etc. The design of the antenna for producing the radio waves used for this communication is done by Electrical Engineers. A robot needs the ability to sense its surroundings using cameras, RADAR, Laser rangefinding, etc. They may simply feel they are not representative of what that person has encountered in the work force. ), computer engineering is engineering applied to computers and computer-based systems. The Electrical Engineering (BS) program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, When you visit a faculty member to get some counsel on your program of study the first question asked will be: "what do you want to do?" The development of the means of encoding those communications onto radio waves is also done by Electrical Engineers. Electrical and computer engineering involve the same core subjects. The choice of which to pursue largely comes down to your interests. Thus, Computer Scientists often view a computing system in terms of what it can do rather than how. In EE there is no end of intense abstract theoretical concepts (try fields and waves, electromagnetics, microwaves, etc.). The use of the term vs. in the title of this document is misleading --- there is no competition between the degree programs. The programming of the communications protocols used is typically done by Computer Engineers. Using the above VLSI example again, it is clear that if you eventually decide that VLSI (at any of the 5 levels given) is where you want to work, you will benefit greatly by taking courses across the whole range. The development of the silicon chips to transmit and receive that information is done by a combination of Electrical Engineers (for the analog circuits) and Computer Engineers (for the digital circuits and overall circuit organization). Electrical engineering specializations. Robots are typically powered by electric motors powered by batteries. The design of that specialized computing system would likely be done by Computer Engineers. For example, assume you have heard of company X and you understand they do the design and manufacture of VLSI integrated circuits and you decide you are interested in that field for whatever reason. You just won't find the skills required to construct a working computer system taught in most CS curricula. The label CpE or EE is insufficient to tell a recruiter what you may be qualified to do (or be interested in doing).Plan your path carefully. There is a big argument to be made for following your passion rather than automatically choosing the career with the highest salary. Computer engineering students, on the other hand, are somewhere between computer science and electrical engineering. You could specialize in the following areas of electrical and electronics engineering: power generation and supply, communications and media, computer systems and robotic systems. However, computer engineers usually write the programs for computer-based systems. Both electrical engineers and computer engineers are involved in developing, programming, and enhancing electrical circuits, systems, and devices. Conversely, some ECEn programs are decidedly CS-ish - BYU's current ECEn Department includes 4 faculty with PhDs in Computer Science from other universities. Your Employability Depends on Your Course Selection - A Lot! Much of the above discussion may not make sense to you until you have had some experience in the core classes for these two majors. Then, you have a better chance of making a good decision. If you took technical elective courses outside the department they would likely have come from Physics or possibly Mechanical Engineering.As you can see from this description, after receiving the foundation, Computer Engineers focus to a large extent on using that foundation to help them design and analyze digital computing systems. Computer Engineering and Computer Science – Similarities and Differences Students considering a career centered on computers and computing often ask for clarification about the difference between computer engineering (CEN) and computer science (CS). Many can be found in the business world where their technology and their problem-solving, time-management, … And as an electrical, computer, software, or cyber security engineer, you get to be one of the first people to see and develop the new technology people use every day—from new robots that can do surgery and new devices that help doctors care for patients to the next-generation of smartphones your friends will use and electronic systems used in next year’s cars. The design, analysis, and operation of electrical and electronic systems are now dominated by computers, a transformation that has been motivated by the natural ease of interface between computers and electrical systems, and the promise of spectacular improvements in speed and efficiency. Your choice of courses can have a dramatic impact on your career path. Computer engineering, on the other hand, is a field at the intersection of electrical engineering and computer science. Both disciplines study the inner workings of computers and both study hardware as well as software aspects of computer systems. At my school the difference between EE and CpE was primarily Analog vs Digital. Other layers of software are responsible for controlling the robot by planning its path through its environment. The differences are those of emphasis. Courses in digital logic design and processor interfacing which build on an engineering student’s knowledge of electronics and circuits are typically found in CEN programs. To put it easily, electrical engineering is a rather broad subject and may even provide the students with basic knowledge of electronics and communication engineering. Electrical engineers create, research, design, develop, manufacture, and market new devices. I don't have much programming experience, but I did take an introductory class and I'm not doing as well as i had thought, but I still think if I work hard enough I can so well in it! Students considering a career centered on computers and computing often ask for clarification about the difference between computer engineering (CompE) and computer science (CompSci), and how Duke's undergraduate curriculum reflects this relationship.. Duke has a unique interdisciplinary environment — several faculty members have appointments in both Computer Engineering and Computer … However, you should educate yourself about the jobs market and desired skills. Both degree programs follow a common core of physics, mathematics, statistics, chemistry, digital electronics, linear circuits, electronics, and introduction to computer programming.After finishing either program you will have received an introduction to computer programming and data structures, and you will have built a solid foundation of mathematics, statistics and probability, physics, and chemistry. If you have taken no Computer Architecture courses, don't expect to find employment designing the next generation CPUs for Hewlett Packard. There are philosophical as well as practical answers to these questions. Electrical engineers concentrate on the laws of physics that govern electricity, magnetism and light to develop systems and services. The design of those components may be done by Electrical or Computer Engineers, but more commonly would be done by Mechanical Engineers. Talk to recruiters and see what skills they are looking for in candidates. As an EE, you need serious physics,especially for analog electronics. College of Education and Human Development, College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture, Experiential Programs Innovation Central (EPIC), Coordinated Operating Research Entities (CORE). You know what I mean. That said, remember the point above - the lines are fuzzy at times and there are certainly exceptions to this statement. A dynamic professional field, computer engineering offers varied career paths in both hardware engineering (e.g. It might also combine that information with the processed RADAR data to determine the distance to obstacles and notify other software running in the robot system of those obstacles. However, built into the requirement structure are limitations on how many courses you can take from the other degree program. That is, each degree opens different doors to you as a student after you leave the department and at the same time may close others. Brigham Young University While seemingly a step in the right direction, an answer of "VLSI" is not much more helpful than "something technical having to do with circuits." Mechanical vs Electrical Engineering . This is very electronics- and circuits-intensive design work. On the contrary. Both electrical engineering and computer science occupations pay wages much higher than the $37,690 median salary for all occupations in America. So many engineers these day's generation fall under the software field or study Computer Science. The Computer Engineering Program offers a strong emphasis on engineering mathematics and other basic engineering science as well as a firm grounding in computer science. Some CS programs are decidedly CpE-ish and some are not. At this point the emphasis is clearly on managing complexity of chips or systems containing many millions of transistors. Happily, however, that will likely not happen until your 3rd or 4th semester of study. Give to ECE, PROVO, UT 84602, USA | 801-422-4636 | © 2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This is not quite as circuits intensive as above, the goal being to design large building blocks (arithmetic units, memory interfaces, control units). Circuit complexities are lower (fewer transistors) because the goal is to develop integrated circuit building blocks with nearly optimal speed/size/power characteristics. They simply represent different emphases in your course of study. Both CEN and CS study the use of the digital computer as a tool that makes possible much of modern technology and the overlap between the two fields is significant. These courses will likely be both very theoretical comparing to … In other words, computer engineers build computers such as PCs, workstations, and supercomputers. Eventually, the cost of switching will become prohibitive as you realize you have taken a number of classes which will not apply to the other major. Computer Engineering (CpE) grew out of Electrical Engineering (EE) and so it should come as no surprise to you that the two degree programs share much in common. It could be easy to get confused by the variety of computational programs available. Computer Engineering degree. Faculty can be a great aid in helping you understand the bounds of your interest area and devising a program of study to help prepare you in that interest area if you choose to do so. Any given person familiar with EE, CS, or CpE may take issue with the insights provided here. Following, in no particular order, are points you might take into account for your decision. Both degrees require the same number of credits. Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) consists of three eight-month academic sessions either following first-year Engineering or following a transfer program from first-year Science. Computer science professionals also need to be able to communicate with their teams, but their work tends to involve more problem-solving skills. Prospective students searching for Chemical Engineer vs. Electrical Engineer found the following related articles and links useful. Only some part study Chemical Engineering. One such set of application programs would take data in from the cameras and other sensors and operate on that data. Other branches of CS are concerned with the use of computing systems to solve a vast array of problems from managing airline reservations, to computer animation, to producing systems software (languages, compilers, operating systems) to make computing systems usable. However, computer scientists certainly know enough about hardware to analyze computer system operations and to interact with hardware engineers. For example, the software might process the data to identify obstacles in the path of the robot or identify other features from the camera feed. Students in CS, CE, or Electrical Engineering will all study programming and basic computer operation. The current job market is very strong for both Electrical Engineers and for Computer Engineers. Computer science majors follow the Arts and Sciences curriculum while Computer Engineering majors follow an Engineering curriculum. As mentioned previously, computer engineering is considered to be a sub-discipline of electrical engineering. It does. Close. Computer Science Courses includes Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Operating System, Software Engineering, Data analysis, Data Security/Defensive Programming, User Interface/Experience (UI/UX) Design etc. Some Skill Sets Cross Over the Boundary. Computer Engineering focuses on the practical aspects of development and use of computers. VLSI integrated circuit design - system level. nections between electrical engineering and computer technology, but also from the traditional emphasis in electrical engineering curricula on physical sciences per- tinent to information processing; the extensive exper- ience in teaching mathematically oriented subjects re- In short, use every means available to understand what is entailed in the various sub-disciplines of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Most obviously, such robots are constructed from physical components such as a frame along with levers, gears, cables and pulleys, etc. The impact of computers has nowhere been more revolutionary than in electrical engineering. Computer engineers build hardware while computer scientists generally do not. Early on you will be taking core classes that are required for both majors. Learn more about the similarities and differences between the two disciplines, including the skills you’ll need, career options, and how to … A common complaint is that the process engineers don't really understand the design they are manufacturing and that the designer does not sufficiently understand the silicon technology being used. To start with, we will discuss the common courses between the two degree programs to show this commonality. Electrical engineers apply electrical, electronic and magnetic theory to obtain solutions for problems related to the development, design and operation of electrical hardware and software, control systems, electrical machines and communications systems. I'm in doubt between Electronic and Computer Engineering and Computer Engineering (in terms of software). The difference is in the 400-level electives courses.The use of technical electives means that neither degree will lock you out of courses from the other degree program (provided you satisfy the prerequisites). VLSI integrated circuit design - circuit level. If you are at the start of your career, however, deciding whether to pursue computer science vs computer engineering can be challenging. Find those resources and carefully study them to help you make the best decision possible. VLSI integrated circuit design - logic level. They often employ sophisticated abstract mathematical or logic-based models of computing systems as ways to understand their capabilities. At UMaine, Computer Science is a department in the College of Arts and Sciences, while Computer Engineering is a program within the College of Engineering. Computer Engineering and Computer Science – Similarities and Differences. The key thing is to meet with the department advisor and map out a path to graduation in one of the majors. The second year is common to both Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. Items 3, 4, and 5 are very much within the scope of both EE and CpE with Item 3 more of an EE topic and Item 5 being more of a CpE topic. Point out the differences between the degree requirements. The Boeing Company. Students should have sufficient background in high school mathematics so that they can take first-year calculus in … Of course not. Large, complex, and sophisticated computer-aided design (CAD) tools are required to accomplish this work. At the heart of a robot is typically a full-fledged computing system which runs a specialized operating system and multiple applications programs. Students in the Electrical Eng… Help you as a student understand why you might choose one degree over the other. They also build computer-based systems such as those found in cars, planes, appliances, electronics, phones, communication networks, and many, many other products. These systems might consist of custom digital circuits to perform some task, or they might be software-programmable computing systems consisting of digital circuits combined with software.In contrast, after receiving the same foundation, Electrical Engineers focus less on digital or computing systems and more on other topics including electronic circuits, electromagnetics, optics, signal processing, and semiconductors.All of these sub-topics are important in their own right. The emphasis here is more on dealing with the complexities of higher transistor-count chips. This is what we do in room 487 CB in those white bunny suits. Don’t feel badly if this is the case with you. Computer engineers focus mostly on the design, implementation and applications of computers and computer-controlled equipment, including computer architecture and software engineering. Computer Engineering integrates electrical with computer science. The difference between these two degrees is the difference between the two colleges: the aim of science is to deepen a basic knowledge of a specific field, while the aim of engineering is to combine innovation and technology. Computer engineering exists at the intersection of technology and innovation. These building blocks include logic elements (gates and flip flops) as well as analog components (amplifiers, DACs, ADCs, static and dynamic memory cells). Item 2 may be done by electrical engineers but also by physicists. Remember, the line between EE and CpE is fuzzy at best.
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