What is Electrical and Computer Engineering?
Engineering has changed the way we live, work, communicate, interact and play. Engineers are in the business of creating what is not; in a sense engineers create reality. Engineers design elegant solutions to complex real-world problems. Electrical and computer engineering are high-tech fields that constantly drive innovation in today’s digital age. Graduates in these fields are creative problem solvers who use complex electronic circuit designs in conjunction with innovative software to confront global challenges. Today’s society thrives on electronic systems that vary in size and complexity from nanoscale integrated circuits to gigawatt power plants and everything in between. Electrical and computer engineers impact the future of the very technology that makes our modern lives possible—anything from inventing a life-saving surgical implant to harnessing the forces of nature to power our cities.
Electrical engineering deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism to solve commercial, societal and global issues. Thanks to the likes of many early pioneers, electrical engineering became an identifiable field at the turn of the 20th century when the electric telegraph and power supply became commercially available. Today, the electronic systems in use are much more complex and range from miniature microprocessors to gigawatt energy conversion systems. Electrical engineering now covers a broad range of subtopics including power systems, electronics, microelectronics, control systems, signal processing, telecommunications, bioengineering, sustainable and renewable energy, electromagnetics and many more. Electrical engineering is an ever-evolving field that is constantly changing and bringing new technologies to the forefront of society.
Computer engineering by definition is a discipline that incorporates elements from both electrical engineering and computer science; in a sense, it's a hybrid field of engineering that bridges the gap between electrical engineering and computer science. Computer engineers learn the basics of electrical engineering, but where the electrical engineer continues on with advanced electronics design, the computer engineer branches off into computer system design and software design. Computer engineering covers many fields including computer architecture design, embedded system development, networking, signal processing, high-performance computing, mixed-signal design, hardware-software integration, operating systems and many more. Computer engineers can work in a hardware or software design capacity, but they often do both.