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Electronics and Comn engg vs Electronics and electrical engg?

  1. Jun 14, 2013 #1
    My major interest is in electronics. I have my college admission counselling in two days, and I'm stuck with this dilemma of which branch to choose. I also have Computer Science engineering as an option. These vacations I took up C++ and it's going well.

    Question 1
    Can I do my masters in electronics if I take Computer Science engineering?

    Question 2:
    What do I opt for? Electronics and communication engineering or Electronics and Electrical engineering? I also have Electronics and instrumentation engineering as an option.
    (A solid reason to why the course you suggest would help a lot.)

    Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2013 #2


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    I would suggest taking the Electronics and Electrical Engineering.

    Communications are difficult for most part and there are likely less jobs in this area.
  4. Jun 15, 2013 #3

    jim hardy

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    I would opt for Electronics and electrical engineering.
    Reason is it's less specialized.

    You might even find you like power.
    In your working life the power grid will change dramatically as it transforms to "smart" (which makes me shudder). They'll need computer gurus who also understand three phase, and vice versa.
    Instrumentation is a lot of fun because it is application of computers to some practical use on bigger machines.

    Both fields will enjoy good employment because they are necessary to our infrastructure here - meaning most of those jobs they can't export.

    old jim
  5. Jun 15, 2013 #4

    If I have a choice between Information Technology and Electronics and Electrical/Electronics and Instrumentation engineering, what would you prefer I go with? And the reason? What advantage does the course you recommend have, over what you don't?

    My interest is in both the fields and I cannot decide what to go with. I have a very vague idea about these fields, which I got from the syllabuses produced by the college site.

    What makes me interested in spite of the vague idea is my past experience in reading/studying about the subjects and a little bit of coding. Never had a practical experience in electronics field, yet I find it interesting. (All the interest comes from the syllabus and the reading I've done in past)
  6. Jun 15, 2013 #5
    Go with your interest.

    No, you can't. But you can do Masters in Computer Science if you take Electrical Engineering at graduation.

    There is a very little(i would rather say no) difference in Electrical Engineering/Electronics and Electrical Engineering/Electronics and Instrumentation engineering. But Electronics an Communication Engineering is slightly different.

    EE: Everything and anything that involves circuits(Electronics(Analog and Digital), Power, Machines, Communication, Computer, Control and Instrumentation)

    EEE: Very much(Almost) like EE, but you will get a major in Electronics(Analog and Digital).

    EIE: A little different EE, but you will get a major in Instrumentation and Control.

    ECE: Not that similar to EE. You won't study power and machines. You will be studying Instumentation and control, Analog Electronics. But more focus in on Digital Electronics(Computer systems) and Communication System. And you will also have more idea about sofwares. ECE is not that much circuit based as other three.

    I was also in the same dilemma at the time of admission. EE/EEE/EIE doesn't close any doors for for you but ECE does closes the doors of Power Systems. If you like solving Electronics circuits go for EEE. But if you more interested in Computers go for ECE.
  7. Jun 15, 2013 #6

    jim hardy

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    It is very risky to tell you what you should do, for if it doesn't work out you will always resent "that old guy".

    Accordingly I pointed out what I think the world will be like in your working years.
    The field I went into, power, was at the time a less glamorous world than computers.
    It turned out to be very stable employment that paid pretty well.

    Computer companies come and go and I saw a lot of them "flash in the pan".
    Over the years several generations of computers have become obsolete and junked, but my old power plant is still running strong.

    Only what I said - EE is more general and will include your basic physics and calculus which are applicable to any field.
    Computer science I regard as a specialty. The fun of computers is using them to achieve something practical and useful in support of a larger machine. To that end you employ some computer specialists, but the reward is integrating that little computer into the bigger picture.

    I advise young folks against specializing too early - you won't know what you really like until late junior year. Few people go back to school to learn their basic physics and calculus, but many go back to school for specialty training.

    See this thread:https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=695826

    in post 6 I gave a young fellow my honest opinion about Civil engineering.
  8. Jun 16, 2013 #7

    Thank you for the reply!

    I went ahead and took EIE. Could you please tell more about this course? Also, please recommend a few books on electronics. and Engineering Mathematics too.
  9. Jun 16, 2013 #8

    jim hardy

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    You're asking somebody who went to school almost fifty years ago for recommendations about today's books..
    Younger members here will be more up to date on current textbook technology.

    Everybody sticks with the books he used in college.
    My calculus book was "Calculus with Analytical Geometry" by Thurman S Peterson
    Over the years I came to appreciate just how practical it was.
    The chapters alternated - one chapter would introduce a concept and the next chapter was real world applications of it. That was great for engineering curriculum. In the 1990's my younger co-workers marveled at its usefulness for solving problems.
    I see there's at least one copy (besides mine) still in existence:

    My physics book was "University Physics" by Sears and Zemansky, the editopn with plain brown cover ~1960.
    It too was packed with practical real world problems.

    An important course for you will be control system theory. It is based on the math of feedback systems which Descatre stumbled across. It remained shelved as just a math curiosity until WW2 when the German scientists revived it for their rocket programs - hence the phrase "Rocket Science".
    My textbook was by Charles Dorf and frankly it was abstruse. He's still writing them and I must assume he's got better at his explanations.
    I bought the Schaum's outline and found it more to my liking than his early text.
    Learn that course well even if you have to take it twice.

    Since it looks like we'll continue to power civilization with electric motors, I will suggest you take at least DC and AC motors, and one course that introduces three phase power. Even the lowly washing machine motor is now a three phase beast driven by computer synthesized power, encircled by a microcomputer feedback control system . (Try a search on "TI motor control IC's". You've headed into a fascinating field.)

    Mother Nature is analog. Analog circuits are easy(so long as you keep a good grasp of terms "ground"& "circuit common" and the difference between them), and you'll learn to interface computers to them. In my day control was by analog computer, today you'll use embedded digital computers solving the same equations. If they offer a lab course in analog computing take it - it'll sharpen your skill at differential equations.

    You learn 100X more and faster by doing than by reading about doing.. I strongly encourage you to buy a set of shop manuals for your automobile and one of these $49 code readers, or a PC interface . Learn your car's computer system, the location and function of every single sensor.. It'll be great hands on and a skill exceedingly useful for rest of your life.

    old jim
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  10. Jun 16, 2013 #9
    Here is a young member. I can recommend some new books. I am in the middle of graduation and i never heard of even one book recommended by jim hardy. As he said, it has been 50 years since he graduated!, so that might be the reason. It won't be easy for you to find those books in stores now.

    For mathematics the best book for Electrical Engineers is by E. Kreyzig(Engineering Mathemarics).

    I would recommemd you start doing Circuit Analysis from starting. The book i would say is Van Valkenburg(Network Analysis) and by Hayt kemmerly(Linear Circuit Analysis).

    For Analog Electronics- Sedra & Smith(Microelectronics Circuits) is one the best books available.

    For Electromagnetism- There are two very good books. One by SADIKU and one by HAYT.

    For control systems-BC KUO.

    As you are in the first year. You won't be studying much EE courses. I recommend you first start with mathematics. Grab aal concepts of Calculus and you can move on to Electromagnetism and Circuit Analysis. Remember these three subjects are basics of Electrical Engineering. So learn these three things first. Having clean concepts of these three subjects will make Electrical Engineering easy for you.
  11. Jun 16, 2013 #10
    Old Jim, Thank you, sir!

    darkxponent, what is the best book you suggest for calculus? I used to use G.B Thomas.
    That's a a bible for calculus. But it doesn't take it to a high level. It clears concepts. Please suggest a good book if you know any. Specially by someone from MIT, Stanford, Harvard or such.
  12. Jun 16, 2013 #11
    Do I read The art of electronics now? I have not started college yet, but I've read a lot of good things about it. Also, when is circuit analysis supposed to be done?
    I've found a very good book for that too. By hayt and Kemmerly the one darkxponent mentioned about.

    Books on engineering physics and chemistry also I need help with. Please recommend if you know any.

    Also, how do I impart all the reading to practical. Is there a specific guidance I need to follow, or will I gain enough knowledge from reading to get practical?

    Jim, I hope you can help me with how to get practical.
  13. Jun 17, 2013 #12

    jim hardy

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    Get some tools and start fixing things, and don't be embarrassed by making a lot of mistakes.

    Freshman year I carried a generator from my '51 Chrysler into professor's office to ask him how I could diagnose it - I didn't realize the commutator segments are all connected together so couldn't understand why the armature winding read zero ohms but it didn't smell burnt up.
    Professor was exhilarated by the question. He got out his old (like 1920's) books and gave me a quick lesson in DC machinery. We traced the armature wires from segment to segment, then studied the field poles and windings to figure out the magnetic circuit.
    I never forgot Lap vs Wave wound armatures.
    And I got pretty good at diagnosing and fixing electrical troubles on the automobiles of that era.

    If you don't already have one, get a multimeter and start reading voltages around your car and where you live.
    Get familiar with laptop power supplies - it's usually the cord that breaks internally from being yanked . Learn to solder and you'll make lots of friends fixing those .
    Son rebuilt the wires on his HP Pavillon laptop supply , to get at them we had to hacksaw the case open. So we epoxied it back together and glued it to a plank - it is an eye catching conversation starter and he's met a couple girls because of it.
    The Pavillon has an interesting power supply interconnection- there's a third wire that's some kind of communication between laptop and supply.

    I tried to raise my kids practical. My daughter, now 32 with her own kids, fixes her household appliances and kids' toys.

    So in my opinion - you will become a much more well rounded and capable engineer if you supplement your theoretical knowledge with "Hands On" practice.

    old jim
  14. Jun 17, 2013 #13
    The car I have is pretty new, and parents won't let me do anything to it. I will buy a multimeter as you suggested. What are the other things you can suggest me to do with it? I open up my CPU pretty everytime I have a problem with the computer. I have also soldered capacitors onto my motherboard. But that's the furthest I've gone with going practical.
  15. Jun 17, 2013 #14
    If you have studied Basic Calculus at high school then Kreyzig would be enough for you. Electrical Engineering Mathematics mostly covers Higher Calculus, and Kreyzig covers almost all of it. If you are looking for basic calculus book, you can refer to any of the basic books. For me, my high school textbooks were enough.
  16. Jun 17, 2013 #15
    I'm pretty much good with basic high school calculus. My college recommends 3-4 books. I'll go with Kreyzig. Thanks. What about engineering physics?
  17. Jun 17, 2013 #16
    The basic physics for EE is Electromagnetism. I have recommended books for that. You don't any other book for physics as part of EE syllabus, except for some basic knowledge of Material Science phsics. EE students also study Modern physics course. The book i used for Modern physics is by Arthur-Beiser.
  18. Jun 17, 2013 #17
    Okay, thanks! Appreciate all your help. What about Circuit analysis? Do I do it with Electromagnetism? I'm sorry, I just don't know the approach and the sequence it goes in. My college starts in 20 days. I'm just eager to dive in.
  19. Jun 17, 2013 #18
    I looked around, and there's nothing I need to fix right now. Would you recommend me doing a few experiments from youtube? Just to get a practical idea?
  20. Jun 17, 2013 #19
    I don't think you are going to have Electromagnetism and Circuit Analysis as part of first year syllabus. But you definitely will study Mathematics in first two semesters. The sequence is, first you have to do Mathematics( Vector Calculus and Laplace atleast) before starting with Electromagnetism and Circuit Analysis. Electromagnetism and Circuit Analysis are the most intresting subjects of EE. So you can do it along with your regular first year syllabus and they are fundamentals of EE also.
  21. Jun 17, 2013 #20

    Sure, I'm going to buy the electromagnetism books you recommended by tomorrow. Already bought Advanced engineering mathematics. Yet to give it a start.

    Which city and college are you from?
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  22. Jun 17, 2013 #21
    Do not hurry in buying Electromagnetics books. First do the required Calculus, that is Laplace and Vector Calculus. Before that you cant start Electromagnetics. This is not high school Electromagnetics.

    What you are asking will reveal my identity to much extent. I don't think we are allowed to do that at PF. All i can say is that I am from India.
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