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Electrical Engineers vs Computer Engineers 
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#1
Jan206, 05:05 AM

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What is the main difference between the two fields? And also, which pair of classes would you guys think would be more important for Computer Engineers: Calculus of Several Variables and Complex Variables, or Modern Algebra and Discrete Math?



#2
Jan206, 11:53 AM

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#3
Jan206, 02:00 PM

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As for the class selections, I have to say that the Discrete Math courses that I took in college have not turned out to be useful in the real world. But I use complex math multiple times a day, so I'd recommend the Complex Variables track. 


#4
Jan206, 02:27 PM

P: 442

Electrical Engineers vs Computer Engineers
So you don't really use the discrete math in the real world? Did you actually take a complex variables class, or did you just pick it up as you went through your EE major?



#5
Jan306, 09:55 AM

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I didn't take a complex variables class (don't think it was offered at the time), but you use a lot of complex math in your other signals and systems classes. It would have been nice to pick up a full class on the subject earlier, to help with the intuition in the other classes. 


#6
Jan306, 02:02 PM

P: 442

So even though you don't use the discrete math at all, do you at least think that learning about it gave you a greater undersanding of the subject of digital electronics?
And where do you work Berkeman? 


#7
Jan306, 03:10 PM

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I work at www.echelon.com. We were a startup about 16 years ago when I joined, and thankfully now we are public and doing well. As you can tell from our website, we invented LonWorks technology, which is basically a networking technology that is optomized for multidrop monitoring and control applications, as opposed to data transfer applications like pointtopoint Ethernet. LonWorks networking technology has become the standard for many applications like building automation, factory automation, and energy monitoring (like with our Networked Energy Services electric meters). I worked at Bell Labs, HP and on my own as a design consultant before joining Echelon, and over the years I've done lots of different kinds of design work. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I think that engineers that can mix several EE disciplines have extra value to a company, because they can really tie together multiple parts of a design. Whether it's helping out in the architecture planning, or even just helping out other engineers to get their work done on schedule during crunch time, having skills in multiple practical areas really pays off. When we interview candidates for positions in our R&D Lab, we look for a mix of analog, digital, software and IC design skills. You don't have to be a hotshot in all categories (just a couple), but being able to work in some depth with all the different specialties is a big help to the team. I picked up a lot of my RF and analog background mostly after I got out of college, and I wish that I'd taken more of those classes in school, as opposed to the digital theory classes. I'd also recommend that you take at least software classes in compilers, OSs, data structures and C++ if you can. You'd be surprised how much software you write, even as a hardware EE. Also, I'd recommend picking up a little extra probability math, and then taking an indepth communication theory class or two. There is just so much going on in the communication field right now  understanding the math behind communications is a very important foot in the door at many companies right now, especially some of the ones on the leading edge.... Also try to build practical projects on your own if you can. Maybe make a habit of building a kit project over each semester break, and a couple of them over the summers. Build more complicated projects on your own using microcontrollers as soon as you can, and get comfortable designing and building practical stuff with them. When you build realworld projects, it really helps you to start to understand what is important in designing and building stuff, and helps you to "learn to ask the right questions" of yourself and your teachers. Good luck! Mike 


#8
Jan306, 04:31 PM

P: 442

And the Discrete Math class that I would take is offered through the computer science dept and not through the math dept and I do think that they focus on application. 


#9
Jan306, 04:34 PM

P: 442

Your job sounds very cool berkeman. That is exactly what I would like to do.



#10
Jan306, 04:40 PM

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#11
Jan1606, 08:45 PM

P: 393

I see computer engineering as a specialization in EE. In my school you can do CE or EE but over 80% of students do a dual degree in ECE since both programs are very similar and only a few courses differentiate the two.



#12
Jan2006, 06:01 PM

P: 303

yeah computer and ee is pretty close. Computer eng. will take more classes relating to computer than EE.
Does anyone know the typical entry level salary for computer egr? I'm graduating soon 


#13
Jan2006, 08:47 PM

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#14
Jan2106, 02:39 PM

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ya....berkeman's job sounds quite thrilling.... 


#15
Jan2206, 02:54 AM

P: 442

Are you a computer engineering major EvLer? If so, what year?



#16
Jan2206, 10:37 AM

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#17
Jan2206, 11:28 AM

P: 1,123

I don't know much about either EE or CE, but I do know that Discrete Math is a requirement for CEs here. Also, unless your Modern Algebra class is an applications class, I would not think that it would be much help for computer engineering, as when I took it last semester we did nothing applied at all.



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