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Computer Science VS Computer Engineering (Academic Research ? Similar?)

  1. Mar 3, 2010 #1
    Computer Science VS Computer Engineering (Academic Research....? Similar?)

    Are there many overlaps in academic research for CS and CE? It seems that for the schools I've researched (UT, Stanford, CMU, etc...) the "research" sections of their webpages for both CS and CE seemed very similar (robotics, AI, etc).

    I'm about to go to college next year so I was wondering if someone with insider knowledge in one or both of these two fields would differentiate the research that goes on between the two? Are they essentially the same? I was under the impression that a CS major won't be able to do as much as a CE grad in industry but when it comes to academia the lines blur? Just making an educated guess here.

    *edit: oh and I realized that when they say "AI" research, these universities are working on very application-specific AI. I was hoping for AI research on a more fundamental/algorithmic level such as Numenta's htm's, neural networks, and Blue Brain, but it seems that we don't know enough about the brain yet? So do you think for the next few decades we will still see application-specific AI rather than a more general AI?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2010 #2
    Re: Computer Science VS Computer Engineering (Academic Research....? Similar?)

    It depends a ton on the school, as compE is almost never a standalone department. At mine, compE is run out of CS/EE, so research opportunities come out of one of the departments. Robotics attracts a lot of compE's cause it blends CS and EE, but it's run by whichever department has the faculty and funding to support it. I've seen computer architecture type projects in CS, but FPGA stuff in EE-> but other schools run it differently. Yeah, it all boils down to who has funding, and there aren't really standalone "compE" projects as the field is far too new to have many researchers in the field.

    You're probably looking in the wrong sections/at the wrong schools. Minnesota has a strong Computational Neuroscience/Cognitive science program,as does Stanford last I knew, and I saw an AI model of attention coming out of the neuropsychology program at the University of Texas. You'll need to think outside the box a bit, but there's definitely work on this.
  4. Mar 7, 2010 #3
    Re: Computer Science VS Computer Engineering (Academic Research....? Similar?)

    Ah... so anything with the word "computational" plus some subject in biology, eh?
    Not many undergraduate programs have those, so I guess it's still Computer Science at the undergrad level...
  5. Mar 7, 2010 #4
    Re: Computer Science VS Computer Engineering (Academic Research....? Similar?)

    Grab an undergrad psychology course or two geared at cognitive neuropsych from a philosophical approach. I'm doing undergrad research in psychology that looks at different models (including a neural net variant) of attention, so I know what you want is out there, but yeah it's as likely to be coming out of the psych or bio department as the CS or EE department. You need to keep in mind that you don't necessarily need to have a major in psych or bio to do work on those projects; the professor may love the fact that you're CS/compE/EE and make you get up to speed on the domain specific knowledge.
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