So I've got a ton of time on my hands for the next few days so I'm trying to meticulously plan out the courses I'm going to take in grad school in electrical engineering. Some things look interesting, and I've been trying to plan my curriculum the best I can to coincide with things that would be useful for working at a major semiconductor fab corp like AMD, but some courses look interesting rather than useful. This one in particular I'm looking at is automata theory, which appears to be an extremely theoretical class but doesn't appear to offer much practical knowledge. If anyone is familiar with the topic on a deeper level than say what I can extract from the wikipedia article, could they provide an argument for how this could possibly complement my studies? It looks interesting - I just can't justify taking it as one of my 6-8 grad classes.