EE's relationship to Physics

In summary, the speaker discusses their experience being rejected from the University of Washington's Computer Science program and their struggles with finding a major. They mention taking an introductory EE class and enjoying it, but also express frustration with the poor teaching of physics at the university. They are debating whether pursuing EE is the right choice for them due to their dislike of physics and the graduation requirement for another physics class. They also mention the possibility of studying nano-electronics or embedded systems within EE, which would complement their computer science studies.
  • #1
Like 85% of people who applied to the University of Washington's Computer Science program, I was rejected and am now going into my Junior year without a major. Last quarter, I took the first introductory EE class and found it pretty enjoyable.

As much as I like the idea of going with EE as a backup plan, the Physics teaching at this university is positively horrendous. To give you one example of how poorly it is taught, I brought a question off one of the E&M midterms to a review session taught by an undergraduate physics major, and he didn't even have any idea how to solve it. I'm sure the Physics profs are brilliant, but they are some of the worst teachers in the university, plus the curriculum is more work than any other undergrad class I've yet taken.

Although I've already scraped by the first two required physics courses (Mechanics and EM), unfortunately another physics class is a graduation requirement for the EE department. Even the idea of having to take a third Physics class here is enough to make me not pursue any major that would require it. So, given this option compounded by my current distaste for physics, I'm stuck debating whether or not EE is really the right choice for me.
 
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  • #2
Marshillboy said:
Like 85% of people who applied to the University of Washington's Computer Science program, I was rejected and am now going into my Junior year without a major. Last quarter, I took the first introductory EE class and found it pretty enjoyable.

As much as I like the idea of going with EE as a backup plan, the Physics teaching at this university is positively horrendous. To give you one example of how poorly it is taught, I brought a question off one of the E&M midterms to a review session taught by an undergraduate physics major, and he didn't even have any idea how to solve it. I'm sure the Physics profs are brilliant, but they are some of the worst teachers in the university, plus the curriculum is more work than any other undergrad class I've yet taken.

Although I've already scraped by the first two required physics courses (Mechanics and EM), unfortunately another physics class is a graduation requirement for the EE department. Even the idea of having to take a third Physics class here is enough to make me not pursue any major that would require it. So, given this option compounded by my current distaste for physics, I'm stuck debating whether or not EE is really the right choice for me.

I can only speak for my school but except for a few exceptions the EE professors at my school are far worse teachers than the physics professors.

As far as physicsy research areas in EE you could take a nano-electronics route in which you would be study plenty of applied quantum mechanics or you could do electromagnetics in which case it's lots of programming and E&M.
 
  • #3
You could get deeper into you computer studies and get into embedded systems. It is the EE route of literally following every "1" and "0" that travels through your computer. Embedded Systems and Computer Science would complement each other nicely.
 

1. What is the relationship between EE and Physics?

The relationship between EE (electrical engineering) and Physics is very close, as EE is a branch of physics that deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. Physics provides the fundamental theories and principles that EE uses to understand and design electrical systems.

2. How does EE use the principles of Physics?

EE uses the principles of physics, such as Ohm's law, Maxwell's equations, and Kirchhoff's laws, to understand and analyze circuits, electromagnetic fields, and other electrical systems. These principles help EE engineers design and optimize electronic devices, communication systems, power systems, and more.

3. What are some examples of how EE and Physics intersect?

EE and Physics intersect in many areas, such as semiconductor devices, electromechanical systems, optics, and signal processing. For example, the design of transistors, which are fundamental components of modern electronics, relies heavily on the principles of quantum mechanics, a branch of physics.

4. How has the relationship between EE and Physics evolved over time?

The relationship between EE and Physics has evolved and grown stronger over time. In the early days of EE, it was considered a subfield of physics. However, as technology advanced, EE became more specialized and distinct from physics, while still relying on its principles. Today, EE and physics continue to collaborate and influence each other in many areas of research and development.

5. Can one study EE without a strong background in Physics?

While a strong background in physics can be beneficial for studying EE, it is not a requirement. EE courses typically cover the necessary physics principles and provide the necessary context for understanding how they apply to electrical systems. However, a basic understanding of physics concepts, such as electricity and magnetism, is essential for success in EE studies.

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