Computer engineering combines some of the coolest aspects of computer science and electrical engineering. Computer engineers are particularly important today because embedded systems, which integrate hardware and software, are increasingly common in robotics, cellphones, MP3 players and elsewhere. Computer engineers are knowledgeable about both hardware and software, so they’re in high demand wherever embedded systems are used.
Computer engineering concerns the design, construction, implementation and maintenance of software and hardware components of modern computing systems and computer-controlled equipment. Computer engineers work with computer systems in a wide range of products, including vehicle fuel-injection systems, medical devices and a vast assortment of household devices. Computer engineers design computer systems and components, develop and test prototypes and help take them to market.
Having evolved over the past three decades as a separate discipline, computer engineering is solidly grounded in theories and principles of computing, mathematics, science and engineering, and it applies these theories and principles to solve technical problems through the design of computer hardware, software, networks and processes.
Engineering education requires strong high school preparation. Pre-engineering students should have had at least one semester of trigonometry and at least one year each in elementary algebra, intermediate and advanced algebra, plane geometry, chemistry and physics, thus preparing them to move immediately into demanding college courses in calculus, calculus-based physics and chemistry for science majors. Pre-computer engineering students should have some experience with elementary programming in a high-level language such as C, C++ or Java. It’s also essential that pre-engineering students be able to read rapidly and write clearly.
The computer engineering curriculum is centered on system-level design, computer architecture and computer applications. This includes circuits and devices, computer systems and engineering software systems. Computer engineering at UT Dallas is a broadly based engineering discipline dealing with the sensing, processing and transmission of information by making extensive use of electrical engineering and computer science principles. The CE program also encourages students and faculty to develop synergies with disciplines outside of engineering such as the life sciences. CE faculty members are actively involved in advanced research and teaching in all major areas of computer engineering, and the school has a large infrastructure of computing and laboratory resources.
The Erik Jonsson School operates one of the largest internship and cooperative education programs of its kind, averaging more than 500 student placements a year at Dallas-area high-tech companies, including Texas Instruments, Research In Motion, Raytheon, Alcatel-Lucent and Tektronix.
The Fast-Track Program enables exceptionally gifted undergraduate students to include master’s level courses in their undergraduate degree plans. When Fast-Track students graduate with a bachelor’s degree, they are automatically admitted to graduate school at UT Dallas. The hours required to complete the master’s degree are reduced by the number of Fast-Track graduate hours completed. So a Fast-Track undergraduate who passed 12 hours of graduate coursework would have only 21 hours of graduate coursework left in order to complete a master’s degree.
Strategically located in the Telecom Corridor, home of the second-largest high-tech economy in the U.S., the Jonsson School recently completed a major public-private initiative that greatly expanded its capabilities and included construction of a new state-of-the-art 192,000-square-foot interdisciplinary research building.
With more than 130 faculty, 4,000 students, and $47 million in research funding, the Jonsson School has six academic departments:
In addition, the school recently added a minor in nanoscience and technology.
Bachelor of Science: Biomedical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering, telecommunications engineering
Master of Science: Biomedical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, systems engineering and management, telecommunications engineering
Doctor of Philosophy: Biomedical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering, telecommunications engineering
Research efforts under way at the school involve such cutting-edge technology as:
Read what recent Jonsson School graduates think about their education and how it prepared them to be successful in their subsequent careers:
Department of Computer Science
Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, EC-33
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Road
Richardson, TX 75080-3021