Changes for CE and EE Students (2006)

There are some important changes in the beginning electrical engineering sequence that will affect new EE and CE BS students as well as some students in other departmental programs. These changes have recently been approved by the College of Engineering Curriculum Committee and will go into effect this fall (F06).

EE Class and Program changes:

  1. EECS 215 will be modified to become the 1st class in the EE sequence. EECS 206 will be eliminated and replaced with 216 as the 2nd class in the EE sequence. EECS 206 will not be taught this fall or in the future.
  2. The new EECS 215 will have Math 116 and Eng 101 as enforced prerequisites. It will have Phys 240 or 260 as a department enforced co-requisite. The class will be largely the same as in the past though it will also introduce transistors and diodes and reduce coverage in other areas.
  3. The new 216 will start with analog signal processing approaches. It will include some coverage of material removed from the new 215. The new 216 will have EECS 215 as an enforced prerequisite and Math 216 as a department enforced co-requisite.
  4. Beginning EE students should take 215 then 216. CE students who were planning to take 206 next semester should instead take 215.
  5. Students “in-system” who have taken 206 should continue on their normal path. If you are interested, you should take 306 this fall (its last planned offering). If you have not taken 215 yet, you will have to take the new version.
  6. Students that have not yet passed 206 (C or better) should start in the new sequence.
  7. There are a string of prerequisite modifications. For students who have already passed 206, the best thing is to take 306 this fall if you are interested in future classes in the signal processing, communication, or controls.
  8. Details on other prerequisite changes will be announced later and will only affect students in the new beginning path. One of the more important ones is that 230 will now have 215 as a prerequisite not as a co-req.

Why are we doing this?

This is an attempt to address concerns raised by our students. A significant number of both past students and our faculty feel that teaching circuits first provides a concrete physical example for later courses including the first systems class. Not all EE’s are circuit designers. There are lots of applications of the techniques of signal and systems besides electronic circuits. Nonetheless, having some background in both basic circuits and basic systems methods are important for all EE’s. By starting with circuits, the systems class can and will make use of circuits as an important physical example. Other examples of these techniques will also be used, but the availability of hardware examples should make the topic less abstract and more accessible to most students.

A second important motivation for the changes in 215 is to include some material on transistor circuits. This will not replace the need for a 300 level circuits class for “real” circuits engineers, but will make the material more modern and interesting for most students. Students will be better prepared for EECS 320 after the new 215. To make room for this material and to reduce the required math, the coverage of transient responses of RLC circuits will be somewhat reduced in the new 215. Also, the number of labs in 215 will be reduced to lower the total time required from the students. Some of the labs will be redesigned to flow into the planned labs for 216. 

The new 216 will start with analog signal processing approaches (Fourier series, transforms, and Laplace transforms). It will include some coverage of Laplace methods for RLC transient analysis to fill in the compromised topic in the shift from the old 215. It will progress to some discrete time material but obviously will have much less discrete time material than the old 206. Students who are interested in digital signal processing will need to continue into other classes (currently 451).