Computer Engineering Areas of Specialization
Each student must select an option area within their major (EE or CmpE). See the option area descriptions below and refer to the Technical Electives for Areas of Specialization table for a listing of required and suggested elective courses. Each student must formally declare an option area before graduation and complete the specified courses required by the respective option area.
Architecture and Design
The architecture and design of a digital system, especially a computer, is a description of the basic components used to build it and the interconnection structure between those components. At the lowest level, these components are electronic digital-logic circuits. At higher levels, they consist of functional blocks such as memory, data paths, arithmetic units, and control units. At each level, the design process consists of defining the interconnection of components to achieve an appropriate tradeoff between cost and speed for the specified application. Companies producing computers and microcomputers for stand-alone and embedded systems hire architecture and design engineers.
An embedded system is a computer system designed to do a few dedicated tasks, usually with real-time computing constraints. It is embedded in a specific device, providing complex behavior to simpler hardware and mechanical parts. Examples of devices containing embedded processors include microwave ovens, automobiles, tractors, HDTVs, DVRs, GPSs, internet routers, and cell phones. In fact, if a device contains any electronics, it most likely contains one or more embedded computers. Any company whose products involve electronics most likely hires embedded systems engineers.
Multimedia and Networking
The Networking and Multimedia option covers the principles, algorithms and tools that control not only internet-based computer networks, but also information and sensor networks. Courses in multimedia address compression of text, speech, audio, images and video for efficient storage and transmission over wired and wireless networks. The compression and packetization techniques used take into account the communication requirements associated with applications such as video conferencing, interactive TV, video on demand, and Web TV. Courses in networking describe the design and performance of 1) the Internet and its applications and services, 2) communication networks needed in the development of Smart Grids, and 3) wireless sensor networks. The objective of this option area is to provide students with powerful approaches to analyze and design distributed and decentralized networked systems. Students with this background can find employment in the network division of many vibrant industries, and can successfully contribute to the advancement of next-generation computer networking and media technologies.