Computer Engineering

Students in a Biomedical Engineering class of Dr. Andrew DiMeo in Engineering Building III on Centennial Campus. Photo by Marc HallComputer engineering, the fastest growing engineering field for the past few years, is a very broad discipline which addresses the relationship and interactions between software and hardware in solving real engineering problems. This includes such diverse areas as: biomedical devices, home automation, games and toys, environmental controls, automobile control systems and intelligent vehicle highway systems, industrial robotics, voice/speech recognition, computer intelligence, networking, and wireless communications.

The phenomenal growth in this field has been fueled by rapid advances in integrated-circuit microprocessors and solid-state memories, which have brought about enormous computing power in small packages and at low cost. The telecommunications system provides a perfect example of the integration of the newest technologies in a large, complex, electronic system controlled by computers and micro-processors. Fiber optics, networking and wireless communications are among the many technologies incorporated into the telephone system in recent years. Computers have been added to control the system and provide many specialized custom services. One of the most important tasks of the computers is to determine the best path for routing a call and to complete the connection to the destination.

What sets computer engineering apart from either electrical engineering or computer science is that it combines expertise in both electronic hardware and software design. The computer engineer has the understanding to evaluate the possible trade-offs between hardware and software and to provide the best system at the lowest cost, that is, the optimum design for a computer-based system. In different jobs or at different times, the computer engineer may focus more on software or on hardware, but an appreciation for the integration of the two is always implicit in the work.

Courses include:

Introduction to Computer Systems, Computer Systems Programming, Intro. to Embedded Systems, Electric Circuits, Fundamentals of Logic Design, Analytical Foundations of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Linear Systems, Electromagnetic Fields, Microelectronics, Design of Complex Digital Systems, Technical Electives, Senior Design Project- semester long activity involving teams of students applying engineering and basic sciences to the total design of hardware and software systems. Consideration of the design process including feasibility study, preliminary design detail, cost effectiveness, development and evaluation of a prototype, and a written report and presentation are included.

Additional Information:

A Closer Look at Engineering

In’s and Out’s of Engineering CODA

Video-Engineering Majors Exploration

Video-The Creativity of Engineering at NC State

14 Grand Challenges for Engineering

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  • Understanding of information processes
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