ELEC_ENG 202: Intro to Electrical Engineering

Quarter Offered

Fall : MTuWF 2-2:50 ; Mikhelson/Mohseni
None : MTuWF 10-10:50 ; Sahakian
Spring : MTuWF 10-10:50 ; Mikhelson/Mohseni


Introduction to fundamental concepts and applications of electrical engineering. Topics include: dc and ac circuit analysis; sinusoids and spectra;  analog filtering; signal sampling and digital filtering; channel capacity; feedback and control systems; operational amplifiers; and semiconductor devices including diodes, transistors, light-emitting diodes, and lasers.

REQUIRED TEXTBOOK: None. Relevant class materials are placed on the Canvas website of the course.


1. James H. McClellan, R. W. Schafer, and M. A. Yoder, DSP First: a Multimedia Approach, Prentice Hall, 1998.

2. M. Plonus, Electronics and Communications for Scientists and Engineers, Harcourt/Academic Press, 2001.

COURSE INSTRUCTORS: Prof. Ilya Mikhelson, Prof. Hooman Mohseni, Prof. Matthew Grayson

COURSE GOALS: This is the first required class for Electrical Engineering (EE) majors, and is also required for Computer Engineering (CompE) majors. This class is also taken by many non-EE and non-CompE majors to satisfy a basic engineering distribution. For such students (who always comprise more than half of the class enrollment), ELEC_ENG 202 may represent their only undergraduate exposure to critical EE concepts that form the basis of all modern communications and information processing.



Week 1: Introduction to the course and overview of electrical engineering. Introduction to electric circuits: voltage, current, resistors, Ohmʼs Law, sign convention, power, Kirchhoffʼs current and voltage laws.

Week 2: Node and loop equations, circuit simplification, Thevenin equivalent circuit, capacitors and inductors, introduction to sinusoidal steady-state analysis.

Week 3: Complex numbers and arithmetic, phasors, impedances, basic passive analog filters. Introduction to operational amplifiers and active analog filters.

Week 4: Time-average power in the sinusoidal steady state, maximum power transfer, impedance matching, introduction to signals and systems, with applications in electrical engineering, life sciences, finance, and introduction to digital signal processing.

Week 5: Concept of the analog spectrum, the Fourier transform and what it really means. Analog-to-digital conversion: sampling, aliasing, quantization, binary representation.

Week 6: Aliasing effects. Signal reconstruction and quantization. Quantization and compression. Filtering in the frequency and time domains. Filter design and application in MATLAB.

Week 7: Analog communications. Digital communications. Channel capacity and error-correcting codes.

Week 8: Introduction to advanced topics: Image processing (medical images example); machine learning (financial data example); sensors; feedback and control systems.

Week 9: Introduction to solid-state engineering:  electrons, holes, conduction and valence bands, drift and diffusion, P-N junctions, current-voltage characteristics, diodes.

Week 10: Bipolar junction transistors. Field-effect transistors. Light-emitting diodes, lasers. Optical detectors, solar cells.


HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS: Weekly homeworks assignments reinforce concepts taught in class.


  1. Introduction: Become familiar with the lab’s electronic instrumentation. Practice breadboarding and soldering.
  2. Introduction to DIP chips and op-amps.
  3. Inductive power transfer: Build a device that transfers power without wires
  4. Build an instrumentation amplifier using op-amps.  Then, apply this device to pick up electrical signals from the heart (ECG) and skeletal muscles (EMG).
  5. Voice-based locking mechanism: Use MATLAB and signal processing to create a voice-based lock.
  6. Amplitude modulation (AM): Build a low-power AM transmitter. Then, transmit signals to other lab groups.
  7. Feedback control: Design and tune a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control system using op-amps.
  8. Solar power: Build a light-tracking assembly using circuitry and an Arduino microcontroller.


  • Homeworks – 10% (9 assignments, each 1%)
  • Labs – 30% (8 labs, each 3.75%)
  • Midterm Exam – 20% (Open Notes)
  • Final Exam - 40% (Open Notes)

Please Note: Midterm and Final Exam are completely open notes, but all notes must be on paper, since computers and other wireless-capable devices are not permitted in the exam room. Calculators are OK, though.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: When a student completes this course, s/he should:

  1. Be aware of key physical principles and mathematical concepts forming the foundation of electrical engineering in the areas of circuit analysis, signals and systems, and semiconductor technology.
  2. Have a basic understanding of means to analyze linear passive circuits including their analog and digital signal representations and filtering characteristics.
  3. Be able to work with complex numbers in both their rectangular and polar forms.
  4. Be able to construct a variety of basic circuits, get them working, and understand how they work.

ABET CONTENT CATEGORY: 100% Engineering.