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Computer Engineering and Physics

  1. Apr 25, 2010 #1
    Hi, I am approaching the end of my freshman year as a computer engineering major and I have a few questions about future coursework.
    At my school the computer engineering program is a joint program between the electrical engineering and computer science departments with about 70% EE classes and 30% computer science classes. Right now I am in an electricity and magnetism physics class and I really don't like it very much. A big part of my dislike comes from the professor I think, but also I am not enjoying the material as much as I did in my mechanics class. I am definitely interested in learning about computer hardware and how it works though. I am registering for my classes next semester, and if I stick with the computer engineering program I will be taking an intro to circuits class and an intro to digital design class. Are these classes and future computer engineering courses similar to the things that are studied in electricity and magnetism class. I really can't see myself enjoying studying 3 more years of that stuff, but part of myself is wanting to give it a chance. To any compE/EE majors out there have you enjoyed your electrical engineering classes more than your physics classes? I don't want to take multi-variable calc and those two EE classes next semester and then decide to change my major to computer science (I really like my programming class.) because that would be a waste of 12 credits which is like 3/4ths of a semester.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2010 #2
    Kind of. Most of them take a chunk of the material (like circuits or waves) and go into crazy detail and add more topics under that umbrella.

    I loved switching systems and the labs (and you'd probably like switching systems), but I also liked e & m more than mechanics.

    Take multi-var anyway 'cause you can probably use it towards the CS degree (ask your adviser/dept. about this) and 'cause the math is actually semi-useful later on. I think circuits is one of the best weeder classes out there; if the material doesn't appeal to you, EE is so not your field. But, if you don't want to waste the money, look up intro circuits syllabi. They're pretty standard and cover things like basic digital and analog circuits, mesh/node analysis, and amplifiers.

    If you end up in CS, go the computer architecture route. Take anything with assembly and VHDL and you'll still get an idea of how hardware works, and probably closer to the level you're actually looking for. CompE may just be at a lower level than you really wanted.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010
  4. Apr 25, 2010 #3
    Thank you for your insight! It was very helpful, I am going to meet with academic adviser next week and talk about the curriculum.
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