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How much biology as a computer/electrial engineer?

  1. Jan 17, 2010 #1
    How many biology courses on average should i expect to take if i plan on majoring in either computer or electrical engineer? I know every college has their own requirements but do i need to go really in depth with bio or will an AP biology credit get biology out of the way as far as computer/electrical engineering goes?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 17, 2010 #2
    Probably no more than the standard requirements are mandatory, but there are lots of interesting CS and EE problems in biology so for some specializations and applications of CS and EE it may be useful (for instance a well-known biology/CS problem is finding good algorithms for protein folding).
  4. Jan 17, 2010 #3
    At my school, bio isn't even suggested, much less required, for either major. I doubt it's required at any other schools, as the majors are insanely packed as is. Look at the schools you're applying to, but even AP bio may be more than you need. (But chemistry is required for the majors, so you may want to look into taking AP chem.)
  5. Jan 18, 2010 #4
    at my school no biology is needed for EE, you do take Chemistry as EE's are required to take material science as well as a class in introductory solid state physics; the CS majors are required to take a life science of some kind though
  6. Jan 18, 2010 #5
    I agree with the above comments. No biology is required. The exception would be if you are interested in specializing in biomedical engineering or other related fields, but this would be personal choice.

    However, I do recommend taking some biology. An engineer should have some feel and understanding of the remarkable biological and chemical machines in nature. Whether one believes evolution is completely natural, or guided by a "God", an engineer must learn the lesson that much more is possible than our limited minds can invent.

    Also, understanding the processes of evolution has some relevance to machine design. Some engineers have even used genetic algorithms to find new complex design approaches. Further, there are robot designers that use animal motion, instincts or thinking as models.
  7. Jan 24, 2010 #6
    A lot of my friends are CE/EE majors...and yes. Usually just a semester will do it. But, on the computer engineering side of things...The genomics field is rapidly expanding, and if you are considering a grad. program in the programming kind of area, it may be beneficial to take more bio. But, only if it piques your interest.
  8. Jan 24, 2010 #7
    I didn't take any as a physics major.
  9. Jan 24, 2010 #8
    My university (UMass) requires "Biology I" as a graduation requirement for all majors.

    The EE/CSE department doesn't require any chemistry courses, although I took Chemistry I and II out of personal interest.
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