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Can someone help me pick a technical elective

  1. Nov 20, 2007 #1
    I have to choose two technical electives for EE for my junior year
    can someone please take a look at the following course descriptions and see which would be more viable in the future (i.e. with industry needs) and which may perhaps be more enjoyable?

    Applied Photovoltaics
    The use of solar cells (photovoltaic devices) as electrical power supplies based on the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity. The emphasis is placed on applications including system design and construction, although the properties of sunlight, the operating principles of solar cells and the interaction between sunlight and the cells are also treated.

    Electronics B
    Non-ideal effects in electronic circuits and systems: Noise; device noise, external noise, CMRR, PSRR, mixed A/D. Distortion; non-linearity, dynamic range, saturation. Stability and performance sensitivity to parameter variations. Some simple design for stability and performance. Design optimisation. Power-supply distribution and decoupling. Mixed analogue/digital system design, including grounding and shielding. Device modelling in SPICE. Data sheet interpretation. Design of analogue and digital circuits and system components: Non-linear circuits; oscillators, PLLs, multipliers, AGCs, schmitt triggers. Tuned amplifiers. Introduction to filter design; active filters; switched capacitor, op-amp, gm-C. Design of LNAs. Sensors and actuators, PTAT; instrumentation amplifiers and signal conditioning. Design of A-D and D-A converters. Low-level design and optimisation of digital CMOS gates. Gate delay, power dissipation, noise margins, fan-out. Introduction to integrated circuit design.

    Artificial Intelligence
    Machine intelligence. Principles: knowledge representation, automated reasoning, machine learning. Tools: AI programming languages, control methods, search strategies, pattern matching. Applications: computer vision, speech recognition, natural language processing, expert systems, game playing, computer-aided learning. Philosophical and psychological issues. Lab: logic programming assignments.

    Database sytems
    Data models: entity-relationship, relational, object-oriented. Relational database management systems: data definition, query languages, development tools. Database application design and implementation. Architecture of relational database management systems: storage management, query processing, transaction processing. Lab: design and implementation of a database application.

    Operating Systems
    Operating System Organisation and services. Process management: scheduling, synchronisation and communication. Memory management: virtual memory, paging and segmentation. Storage management: disk scheduling, file systems. Protection and security. Distributed operating systems and file systems. Case studies: UNIX & NT. Lab: Programming assignments.

    Information Codes and ciphers
    Discrete communication channels: information theory, compresssion and error control coding, cryptography.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2007 #2
    depends what you want to do...

    but with an EE degree I doubt you'll be doing high level software programming that take advantages of databases (OO or Relational data models) so cross off Database ssytems, Operating systems again, more for the computer science/computer engineer major.

    AI, could be fun, but if your not doing robotics/game programming not sure if it would come in handy (I'm taking this course next semester as a comp sci for s.h.its and giggles).

    So it loks like
    Applied Photovoltaics, Electronics B or Information Codes/ciphers could be useful for an EE but again it depends what YOUR goals are.

  4. Nov 20, 2007 #3
    thanks -

    I was thinking I could tie in AI with fuzzy control for 4th year.

    Applied photo-volataics could help with power electives as that would be my only design course however - it requires a lot of design work which i may not be able to balance with my tougher subjects.
  5. Nov 21, 2007 #4
    Electronics B is a good choice. Electrical circuits is a fundamental and absolutely crucial for any EE or CE. Taking that would help you a lot. AI could be interesting. OS might be interesting too, you don't have to cross that out.

    I would prob stay away from Database systems.
  6. Nov 22, 2007 #5
    Thanks user101
    I put up databases as thats what I'm working with now in my internship. However Its bland as hell.

    I need to choose one more elective from the above.

    Currently I'm sticking with AI and another course - called wireless network technologies. I've heard rave reviews about the assignments. AI will have us program a software 'buggy' to navigate any maze in record time. We'll see how it goes theres still some time.

    Thanks for recomending Electronics B - it sounds tough but i think it'd be vital to some of my 4th year courses. Electronics A was tough.

    thanks for the help
  7. Nov 22, 2007 #6
    If I had a choice:

    Electronics B
    Information Code and Ciphers
  8. Nov 22, 2007 #7


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    Gold Member

    Electronics B is a good choice if you're going to apply your EE in practical trouble-shooting, circuit design, etc. As circuits get miniaturized, minimizing noise, unwanted coupling, etc, becomes pretty important. Sounds like a fun course, too, if you can get in some lab work that illustrates how these problems arise and how they can be minimized.
  9. Dec 15, 2007 #8
    Ian, do you go the the University of New South Wales (Sydney) by any chance ?
    That course description for APV looks incredibly familiar, but 'junior year' is not common terminology in Australia.
    Thought I'd ask to make sure..
  10. Dec 19, 2007 #9
    ahah yeah i do - i grew up in the US and no i won't go out with you :P
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