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Hi, new poster and first year EE student, I have a couple of questions.

  1. Aug 1, 2012 #1
    This is my second year of college, but my first year of EE (just decided that was the major I wanted.) In addition to a gen ed class (american government) and math classes (calc 1, and stats 1) I have a couple of EE classes, but I have no idea what to expect. I was hoping maybe some of you experienced EE majors could give me a heads up on what I am looking at in these classes.

    I have a Digital Circuits class with attached lab component. What is generally covered in an introductory Digital circuits course, and what kind of lab work should I expect?

    Also I have a Computer Science class for engineers that is supposed to cover algorithms and problem solving for engineering problems and programming in "C." That sounds very ambiguous to me (except for the programming part, I know what programming is.) What do you think is probably covered in this class?

    Thanks for any advice or wisdom!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2012 #2

    jim hardy

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    master that math it's the most important. Do every single homework problem
    and dont be embarassed to re-take algebra. Become a neat freak on your math, keep lines and columns orderly.

    avoid dissipation.
  4. Aug 2, 2012 #3


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    Expect this all day long and twice and Tuesday.


    Voltage equals Current times Resistance.

    Learn it, live it, love it.
  5. Aug 2, 2012 #4
    lol, thanks for the advice, I will remember that.

    @Jim my freshmen year I took College Algebra and trig and got high "A"s on both of them. One of the reasons I chose to major in EE was all of the math required. The program at my school comes with a minor in Math for doing EE. I have spent the summer practicing what I've learned though so I will feel prepared for calc 1.

    One more question. I don't really know much of anything about electronics. I'm not an electronics hobbyist, I haven't read much in the way of EM physics or anything of that nature. Will I be totally lost in the beginning of my Digital circuits class, or is an introductory Digital Circuits class going to start from square 1?
  6. Aug 2, 2012 #5


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    Digital circuits are different than "real" circuits.

    They deal with zeros and ones. Current off and current on kind of gates.

    You will suffer through digital like the rest of us.....and you will eventually learn it like the rest of us. Nothing to worry about, just go to class, study and do your homework.

    Ironically, you won't use V=IR much in digital. But you sure will for all your circuit and electronics classes. It's amazing, but most of the problems students can't solve is because they forget this simple tool.
  7. Aug 2, 2012 #6
    So I shouldn't worry too much about my digital circuits class? It's more conceptually useful than useful in any realistically pragmatic way?
  8. Aug 2, 2012 #7


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    A 9 year old could learn basic digital if he studied hard enough. In other words, you don't need to know anything going in.

    Digitial is very useful. You can write a digital program on a computer program kind of like a "C" language, simulate it, burn a chip and have a real working circuit. But you will just learn basic "And" and "or" gates to start along with Karnaugh maps and all that other fun stuff.
  9. Aug 2, 2012 #8
    Awesome, that is reassuring. I was worried my lack of knowledge of electronics would handicap me going in. I appreciate your input.
  10. Aug 2, 2012 #9


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    You are there to LEARN about electricity. All you need is the ability to learn, a good math background.....and the WILL to study for hours and hours and hours and hours......
  11. Aug 2, 2012 #10
    Calculus isn't really required for this course. You will learn basics of boolean mathematics and you will also learn number systems like binary, hexidecimal, octal, and possibly some random ones to exercise the concept.

    In the boolean mathematics, you will learn how to represent and manipulate functions and the operators used in them (AND, NAND, OR, NOR, NOT, etc.). Sum of products and product of sums, karnaugh maps, truth tables, and demorgan's law will be important things to learn. You will learn that you can reduce truth tables to a minimum number of logic gates, or to use all of 1 type of logic gate (both practical motivations).

    You will learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and other stuff like this in binary and how to implement it with logic gates.

    In lab, you will learn how to use breadboards or CPLD/FPGAs and some of the basics of electronics labs like using the lab equipment and using some of the logic circuits. You will probably build something interesting like an LED chaser or a safe lock password circuit.

    I think it is probably safe that none of this will be expected of you as prerequisites, but I'm sure you probably have run across binary number systems in other math classes. There is still more to learn after what I listed, like synchronous and asynchronous systems, state machines, etc. but I don't know how far your intro class will push that. My only advice is invest as much time and energy into these intro courses as you can because it does get more complex and a strong base will help you a lot.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
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