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Programs What's the Best Option? EE/CS Dual Major vs CE

  1. Mar 8, 2016 #1
    I'm still exploring which field is for me, and to ask which is better would be pointless. So instead I want to know: what exactly is the difference between a Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Dual Major/Degree as opposed to a Computer Engineering Major?
    I realize computer engineering is a blend of the two, but are there any specific bits of knowledge or courses that would be covered in a Computer Engineering program that would not commonly be found in either CS or EE? Vice Versa?
    From your knowledge, are there any common courses exclusive to Computer Engineering programs, or do you simply share some classes with EE majors and other classes with CS majors?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2016 #2
    A different approach would be to make a list of the sorts of jobs you would be most compatible with and where you feel you could enjoy excelling, more than the rest.

    In simplistic terms;
    CS is concerned with the "methods" needed to be employed by a system, to achieve the intended outcome.
    CE is concerned with building and prototyping the "system" that is required by the above method.

    Would you define yourself as being the type of person that thrives on knowing "Why" something works or must be designed a specific way, or are you more hands on and excel at building something to meet a predefined need?
  4. Mar 8, 2016 #3
    I guess I would be geared more on the "why" something works toward meeting a certain outcome. What would you suggest is a more appropriate route?
  5. Mar 10, 2016 #4

    Science is developing the theory that leads to the definition of the desired outcome, and understanding "why" you need "A" system to accomplish your goal. The system can grow into a working model to further refine the theory and deliverable outcomes that are more likely to be also desirable. Theories can also be adjusted more readily for other but comparable systems as they more reflect a concept than a physical "device". I quoted "A" system as the Science is more concerned with creating a single iteration of each workable system or device.

    Engineering leans more to developing a working system or device in a way that is repeatable, efficient, and can consistently meet the requirements designed at the science stage. Repeatable in both; the system reaching the same level of accuracy and in being able to reproduce multiple iterations of each system, that will approach equality or improvement to the prototype.

    Consider, building a robot, for example.
    CS would function to determine what concepts the robot would have to calculate through in order to properly respond to their environment, then eventually build a robot that would respond in that way. It begins by defining ideal, then strives to build something that approaches ideal design.

    CE would function to build a robot that calculates through various concepts, to respond to it's environment in some way, then fine tune those responses to eventually respond properly, according to the above. It begins by building something, redefining the design at each step what ideal should be, and improves the original device to be more ideal.

    For my example of robotics then, if you like crafting the mathematical algorithms that determines the robots logic, CS is the better choice. If you more favor the mechanics or software coding of implementing those algorithms, CE would be the better choice.
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