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EE related Math topics/courses

  1. Jun 8, 2011 #1
    I was wondering what the popular opinion is for intermediate and advanced Math courses relative to graduate-level Electrical Engineering degree. For instance, at some institutions basic Linear Algebra is NOT required for EE curriculum. Does anyone recommend taking Linear Algebra, or advanced Applied Math courses, to supplement a graduate level EE curriculum?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 8, 2011 #2
    From my experience taking graduate level EE courses I've needed to know some abstract algebra (probably the most useful thing to know), and secondly PDE's and probability. However my class experience is limited to random signals course and an advanced fields course.
  4. Jun 10, 2011 #3


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    EE is pretty broad, so which courses are useful depends upon your graduate specialization. Having said that, in my opinion all undergrad EE majors really should take linear algebra. Any school that does not force students to take it is simply not doing right by the students. If you didn't take it in undergrad then you must take it during grad school. It is just too fundamental.

    After that, it can depend. For the "applied physics" sorts of specializations (electromagnetics, solid state, lasers, ...) partial differential equations and complex analysis are very useful. I knew some who took the "math methods" courses from physics departments. Many of the folks I know who specialized in "applied math" specializations (image processing, communications, statistical signal processing, ...) often took undergrad level real analysis courses, modern algebra, etc., and some took advanced probability, statistics, and/or stochastic processes from either math or Operations Research departments.

    good luck,

  5. Jun 11, 2011 #4
    I would question the quality of education at any school that doesn't require a Linear Algebra course to be included in their Electrical Engineering program. In my experience, it has always been a required course in first term (or, at latest, second term) of first year for all engineering programs. Students need the background information provided by Linear Algebra to do the simultaneous equations that arise when they take Electric Circuit Analysis courses (mesh analysis, node analysis, etc.).

    I suppose they could solve systems of 3 Equations in 3 Unknowns without knowing much Linear Algebra theory, but it is important to know it for more complicated systems. So the sooner it is taught, the better.

    The same can be said for complex numbers. In my program, we took a whole course--one term--on complex numbers. It turned out to be very useful for the courses on alternating theory and all the phasor manipulation.
  6. Jun 11, 2011 #5
    You will need algebra, calculus, differential equations, integral calculus, Fourier analysis, Laplace transforms, etc. Complex numbers are required: Z = R + jwL. for example.
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