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What Should I Study Over the Summer for EE?

  1. Apr 9, 2016 #1
    First time poster, I thought I'd pose this question since Im entering the engineering field next year (plans to branch off into EE). Im going into this next year totally blind, like many have I imagine.
    If you were to go back to your younger self a) what would you have done to prepare yourself better, and b) what would you do during your journey to be more successful?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2016 #2
    Don't worry about it too much. You'll learn everything you need to. Just review precalculus, algebra, trig, etc. so you're ready for calculus, and it wouldn't hurt to get some experience programming.
  4. Apr 9, 2016 #3
    Programming computers? Thats not a skill I thought I would need! What language?
    And my schools lucky enough to offer a calc course that consists mostly of 1st year uni concepts
  5. Apr 9, 2016 #4
    Think again, you will be required to program. Likely in matlab but perhaps other languages too. The language doesn't matter anyway, you should have the logic of programming down. If you do, then any language will be easy.

    @axmls is correct, be sure to be very confident in mathematics. It woudn't hurt to start learning/reviewing calculus too. Doing some physics could be beneficial too.
  6. Apr 9, 2016 #5
    Yes, the programming concepts are the most important things. In my degree I've used C, C++, Python, Java, assembly, and MATLAB. Once you know one, they're all pretty much the same, plus or minus some differences.

    It'll depend on what specialty you're interested in.
  7. Apr 9, 2016 #6
    True, but that doesn't mean they are all equally easy to learn. So if the OP never programmed before, it's best he starts with Python, and definitely not C++.
  8. Apr 9, 2016 #7
    Summer's for having fun.

    I suggest you start calculus so you have time to simmer it in your brain. But for fun you might read "The Art of Electronics". It's more practical than much of the theory you will be getting and you might use it to mess around with some basic circuits.

    Also go swimming somewhere where there is surf. Observe the waves. You will be modelling lots of waves, and an intuitive understanding will help. Plus, it's a fun summery thing to do. (As I write this, I watch the 6" of snow falling. What happened to the global warming I was promised? :doh:)
  9. Apr 9, 2016 #8

    jim hardy

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    a. Form rigorous study habits. They throw the stuff at you about twice the speed they did in high school. I had to spend 3-4 hours a night just to keep up with math courses. Work all the assigned problems .
    b. Understand that beer is detrimental to the concentration required for math and physics. Weekends only.

    Keep up with the coursework. The best way to prepare for a big test is on the night before to eat a steak for dinner, consume no alcohol and go to bed early. Walk into the test rested and alert .

    We learn fastest by doing. Look into amateur radio - it's the best training there is for electronics. ARRL dot org.
  10. Apr 10, 2016 #9


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    Get in the habit of paying attention to details. One of the things you're expected to learn is to be a professional. Writing things like "Im" instead of "I'm" makes you look like an amateur or, worse, ignorant.
  11. Apr 10, 2016 #10


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    In adition to what others have mentioned, you could buy an arduino!

    They are relatively cheap (~$30) and provide a very good learning platform for beginners.
    The ardunio is a micro controller that provides input/output for capability to a microcontroller. As far as electronics go they are very easy to use. For my senior project a few years ago I used one to control a quadcoptor.

    They have something called shield that are very easy to interface with the microcontroller and provide different types of IO (DC Motor driver, wifi, general purpose, etc).

    Messing around with an arduino will allow you to learn programing, electronics, motor drive, and general engineering.
    I wish I started using one sooner. Buying the ardiuino kits on sites like sparkfun will give you a large amount of wires, a breadboard (for prototyping), leds, buttons, etc

    basic ardunio projects

    you can also get a rasberry pi (closer to a personal computer processor than a small scale arduino. a little harder to use and a little more complicated, but can do MUCH more).
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