EECS 100: Electrons, Photons, and Bits: Adventures in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Quarter Offered

Spring : 4-4:50 MTuWF ; Taflove


CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Introduction to contemporary topics in electrical and computer engineering via lectures, demonstrations, lab tours, and invited speakers from industry and Government. Weekly reading and writing assignments.

COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Allen Taflove

When Offered: annually during Spring Quarters 

What is this Course All About? EECS 195 is a one-credit course that will be taken primarily by freshmen. It will inform students about the broad range of technologies and career paths involved in contemporary electrical and computer engineering, the technological basis of much of our modern society. It will count as an unrestricted elective, and will not be required for Electrical Engineering (EE) or Computer
Engineering (CompE) majors.

Plan: Five weeks will be devoted to EE topics and five weeks to CompE topics. Each week will involve a mix of presentations, bench demos, lab tours, and interactions with recent EECS Department alumni and engineers from industry and Government. Technical material will be presented at the level of that published in Scientific American.

A key element of the course will involve discussion of the historical background of each of the ten topical areas, so that the students become aware of the fundamental developments and individuals that have shaped modern EE and CompE technologies. In this regard, there will be a reading assignment each week. Grades will be determined by brief reports concerning the readings and observations of the
demos and lab tours. 

There will be no exams.

Week-by-Week Topics
Week 1 – Image/video analysis; multimedia (image, speech, video, text) signal processing, with applications such as data compression, recovery, and transmission.
Week 2 – Medical applications of EE, including demonstrations of such instruments as an electrocardiograph, a pacemaker, and an ultrasound imaging system.
Week 3 – Communications, networking, and information theory; wireless communications and networking. History reviews back to Shannon and Viterbi.
Week 4 – High-speed transistors, lasers, photodetectors, nanofabricated photonic and quantum devices.
Week 5 – Photonic systems and technology including: imaging, metrology, quantum encryption and computing, and biophotonics (especially early-stage cancer detection).
Week 6 – The Universal Computer: from Leibniz to Turing; from vending machine to the Internet.
Week 7 – Data mining on the Internet and social networks.
Week 8 – Human aspects of computer systems.
Week 9 – Sensor networks: social and scientific applications.
Week 10 – Evolution of the microprocessor and its impact upon our daily lives.