Academics / Undergraduate StudyIntroductory Courses
The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science invites undergraduate students from across Northwestern University to explore the computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering majors through taking introductory courses.
The classes described below are intended to provide an introduction to our three undergraduate degrees.
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- Explore Computer Science
- Explore Computer Engineering
- Explore Electrical Engineering
- Getting Started in a Major
- Student Mentoring Program
This course is an overview of the areas and intellectual questions of computer science, its impact in the world, theory, systems, graphics and interaction, artificial intelligence, and more. The course is not about—and does not focus on— programming. The primary goal of this course is to answer these simple questions:
- What is computer science?
- What do computer scientists do?
- How does computer science interact with the rest of the world?
This is an introductory course on the fundamentals of computer programming and is appropriate both for people who have a background in high school computer science and those new to computer science. This class is an opportunity for students to see what computer programming is all about, and (more importantly) to see whether students want to spend the next few years doing more of it. This course will include weekly programming projects, readings, a midterm, and final examinations. Class participation is not optional.
This class is an overview of computer engineering design, including number systems and Boolean algebra, logic gates, design of combinational circuits and simplification, decoders, multiplexers, adders, sequential logic, and flip flops. The course includes an introduction to assembly language, and the application of concepts to a computer engineering design project.
In this course, the broad range of technologies involved in contemporary electrical and computer engineering (the technological basis of much of our modern society) is presented via a mix of interactive seminars, bench demos, lab tours, and appearances by recent alumni and engineers from industry and government.
This class is an introduction to the fundamental concepts and applications of electrical engineering. Topics include circuit analysis; sinusoids and spectra; analog filtering; signal sampling and digital filtering; channel capacity; feedback and control systems; optical components and systems; transistor and operational amplifiers; and semiconductor devices, including diodes, transistors, light-emitting diodes, and lasers.
For more information about our three undergraduate degree programs, please visit the following pages:
- Computer science major
- Computer engineering major
- Electrical engineering major
- Courses in the department
Whether you’re interested in computer science, computer engineering, or electrical engineering, we also encourage you to contact our curriculum chairs:
- Contact the computer science curriculum chair
- Contact the computer engineering curriculum chair
- Contact the electrical engineering curriculum chair
The department offers mentoring lunches once a month through our student mentoring program.