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Undergraduate Catalog 2014-2015

Computer Engineering (ENCP)

A. James Clark School of Engineering
2426 A.V. Williams Building, 301-405-3685
Chair: R. Chellappa (Distinguished Scholar Teacher, Interim Chair
Professors: E. Abed, T. Antonsen, J. Baras, A. Barg, S. Bhattacharyya, G. Blankenship (Associate Chair, External Relations), M. Dagenais, C. Davis (Distinguished Scholar Teacher), A. Ephremides (Distinguished University Professor), C. Espy-Wilson (Distinguished Scholar Teacher), R. Ghodssi, V. Gligor (Res Prof), J. Goldhar, N. Goldsman, R. Gomez (Associate Chair, Undergraduate Education), V. Granatstein, A. Iliadis, J. JaJa, B. Jacob, J. Kim (Prof Of Practice), P. Krishnaprasad, W. Lawson, W. Levine (Res Prof), K. Liu (Associate Chair, Graduate Studies, Distinguished Scholar Teacher), A. Makowski, S. Marcus (Distinguished Scholar Teacher), I. Mayergoyz (Distinguished Scholar Teacher), J. Melngailis, H. Milchberg (Distinguished Scholar Teacher), K. Nakajima, P. Narayan, R. Newcomb, P. O'Shea (Distinguished Scholar Teacher), Y. Oruc, E. Ott (Distinguished University Professor), H. Rabin, S. Shamma, M. Shayman, P. Sprangle, A. Tits, S. Ulukus, T. Venkatesan (Res Prof), U. Vishkin, M. Vorontsov (Res Prof), M. Wu (Distinguished Scholar Teacher)
Associate Professors: P. Abshire, R. Barua, P. Dowd (Res Assoc Prof), M. Franklin, T. Horiuchi, R. La, N. Martins, T. Murphy, A. Papamarcou, G. Qu, C. Silio, J. Simon, A. Srivastava, E. Waks, D. Yeung (Director of Computer Engineering)
Assistant Professors: D. Dachman-Soled (Asst Prof, Aff Asst Prof), T. Dumitras (Asst Prof, Aff Asst Prof), A. Khaligh, J. Munday, P. Pal (Asst Prof), C. Papamanthou (Asst Prof, Aff Asst Prof), M. Rotkowitz
Lecturers: Q. Balzano (Lecturer), W. Hawkins, P. McAvoy (Res Assoc, Lecturer), B. Mendelsohn, N. Mogul (Lecturer)
Affiliate Professors: A. Agrawala, J. Aloimonos, S. Anlage, S. Bhattacharjee, L. Davis, M. Fu, A. Harris, J. Hollingsworth, D. Lathrop, D. O'Leary, R. Phaneuf, G. Rubloff, E. Smela, F. Wellstood
Affiliate Associate Professors: I. Appelbaum, M. Cukier, R. Duraiswami, R. Kishek
Affiliate Assistant Professors: Y. Chen
Professors Emeriti: D. Barbe, L. Davisson, N. De Claris, F. Emad, N. Farvardin, R. Harger, P. Ho, C. Lee, P. Ligomenides, J. Orloff, M. Peckerar, J. Pugsley, M. Reiser, M. Rhee, C. Striffler, L. Taylor, S. Tretter, K. Zaki

The Major

The computer engineering major combines the strengths of both the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science to prepare students for careers in the computer industry. The program encompasses the study of hardware, software, and systems questions that arise in the design, development, and application of computers and embedded systems. Specifically, computer engineering students will have a knowledge of hardware systems (electrical networks, electronics, and VLSI); a knowledge of software systems (algorithms, data structures, and operating systems); and a knowledge of how these two domains interact (digital logic, signal and system theory, computer architectural and performance analysis). Computer Engineering students will learn about everything that goes into digital and computing systems, from solid state physics to CMOS VLSI design, to computer architecture to programming, and from operating systems to compiler and language theory. Courses offered by this department may be found under the following acronym: ENEE and CMSC.

The Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org , 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012, telephone: (410) 347-7700.

Program Objectives

Broadly stated, the Program Objectives (PEOs) for the undergraduate major in computer engineering pertain to the accomplishments and performance of our students 3-5 years after graduation. These objectives are determined in consultation with the various constituencies of the computer engineering program and agreed upon and approved by a consensus of the faculty.

1. Technical Accomplishments
Have our graduates establish a reputation for technical expertise and excellence among colleagues and achieve professional recognition for their work, in graduate or professional school and/or the technical workforce.

2. Invention, Innovation & Creativity
Have our graduates utilize their skills and resourcefulness to invent, design and realize novel technology; to find creative and innovative solutions to engineering problems; and to identify, research and solve new technical challenges in computer engineering and related fields.

3. Professional Development
Have our graduates stay abreast of emerging technologies, continually learn new skills, and actively participate in professional communities to nourish ever-developing careers.

4. Professionalism & Citizenship
Have our graduates embrace cultural, societal, environmental, and ethical issues in their work to help fulfill their professional responsibilities to themselves, employers, employees, co-workers, and the local and global communities.

5. Communication & Teamwork
Have our graduates excel on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams, demonstrate leadership, and effectively employ their oral and written communication skills to resolve problems and inform, educated and persuade diverse audiences.

Program Learning Outcomes

A comprehensive set of Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) has been derived from the Program Educational Objectives (PEOs). These SLOs comprise the knowledge and skills all Computer Engineering students are expected to possess by the time they graduate so the PEOs can be accomplished. The SLOs are:

1. Broad Foundation
Ability to apply relevant mathematical, scientific, and basic engineering knowledge.

2. Disciplinary Foundation
Ability to apply core electrical engineering technical knowledge.

3. Laboratory
Ability to employ standard experimental techniques to generate and analyze data as well as use state-of-the-art software and instrumentation to solve electrical engineering problems.

4. Design
Ability to engage in the creative design process through the integration and application of diverse technical knowledge and expertise to meet customer needs and address social issues.

5. Communication Skills
Ability to communicate effectively both through oral presentations and the written word.

6. Interpersonal Skills
Ability to interact professionally with others in the workplace, to engage effectively in teamwork, and to function productively on multidisciplinary group projects.

7. Engineering Ethics
Ability to explain an engineer's responsibilities to employers, society, and their fellow engineers as well as an ability to recognize potential and actual ethical problems, analyze critically those situations, and formulate sound ethical decisions.

8. Engineering Society
Ability to explain the symbiotic relationship between engineering and society specifically, how engineering artifacts are shaped by and incorporate human values as well as the ways in which engineering solutions impact society and the larger social obligations this entails for engineers.

9. Life-long Learning
Skills necessary to engage in life-long learning and an understanding of the need to continually exploit those skills in refining and updating one's knowledge base.

Educational Opportunities
In addition to the Student Learning Outcomes which apply to all CP students, there exist various other educational opportunities which qualified and motivated students may choose to take advantage of. The most important of these include:

10. Research
Ability to formulate and answer empirical and theoretical questions through participation in undergraduate research projects for interested and qualified students.

11. Leadership
Awareness of the need for engineering leaders both within the profession and the larger community, as well as some preparation to assume those leadership roles.

12. Entrepreneurship
Knowledge of the technology entrepreneurship process and business skills to be able to work effectively as employers of leaders of technology startup ventures, industrial firms, or government.

Admission to the Major

Admission requirements for the Computer Engineering major are determined by the A. James Clark School of Engineering. See Chapter 6 for the Clark School admission requirements. For details on the University's requirements and general admission procedures, please see Chapter 1.

Requirements for the Major

As in all engineering degrees, the student starts out with a core curriculum in mathematics and basic science. Subsequent years of study involve courses covering a balanced mixture of hardware, software, hardware-software trade-offs, and basic modeling techniques used to represent the computing process. Courses covering algorithms, data structures, digital systems, computer organization and architecture, software and hardware design and testing, operating systems, and programming languages will be included. Elective courses must include electrical engineering and computer science courses and technical courses outside the departments. Students must earn a grade of "C-" or higher in all engineering, mathematics, and science courses as well as the prerequisites for these courses. A sample program is shown below.

    Credits Credits
 Freshman Year First Sem Second Sem
 General Education** 3 3
CHEM135General Chemistry for Engineers 3  
PHYS161General Physics   3
MATH140/141Calculus I / Calculus II 4 4
CMSC132*Object Oriented Programming II   4
ENES100Intro. to Engineering Design 3  
 Total Credits 13 14
 Sophomore Year++    
 General Education**   3
MATH246Differential Equations   3
CMSC216Introduction to Computer Systems 4  
CMSC250Discrete Structure 4  
CMSC330Organization of Programming Languages   3
PHYS260/261General Physics II with Lab 4  
ENEE222Elements of Discrete Signal Analysis   4
ENEE200**Social & Ethical Dimensions of ECE Technology 3  
ENEE205Electric Circuits   4
ENEE245Fund. Digital Circuits & Systems Lab 2  
 Total Credits 17 17
 Junior Year    
 General Education** 3  
CMSC351Algorithms   3
CMSC412Operating Systems   4
ENEE303Analog and Digital Electronics 3  
ENEE307Electronics Circuits Design Lab 2  
ENEE322Signal and System Theory 3  
ENEE324Engineering Probability   3
ENEE350Computer Organization 3  
ENEE446Computer Design   3
 Total Credits 14 13
 Senior Year    
 General Education** 3 3
ELECTIVEComputer Engineering Technical Electives 12 10
ENGL393Technical Writing   3
 Total Credits 15 16
++ Effective with the Fall 2010 freshmen admit class, students will be required to follow the new curriculum above. Students enrolled prior to Fall 2010 or students enrolled in parallel programs at other 2 and 4 year institutions should follow the old requirements.  However, records will be reviewed when necessary on an individual basis during the phase in/out period, and adjustments made in degree requirements.
* Students may need to take CMSC131, Object Oriented Programming I, or the computer science exemption exam before taking CMSC132.
** Note: Please see www.4yearplans.umd.edu
Technical Elective Requirements  
Effective Spring 2010, all BSCP graduates must distribute their 22 credits of technical electives among the following course categories:
Category AMathematics and Basic Science Electives minimum of 6
Category BComputer Science Theory and Applications minimum of 3
Category CElectrical Engineering Theory and Applications minimum of 3
Category DAdvanced Laboratory minimum of 2
Category ECapstone Design minimum of 3
Category FGeneral Technical Electives minimum of 3

Please read carefully, and make a note of the following special cases and other items:

1.  General Technical Electives. They may be any upper-level course (300 level or higher) from the math, engineering, and basic science disciplines whose courses start with the following prefixes and who do not appear on the list of unacceptable courses available from the Undergraduate Studies Office: AMSC, BCHM, BIOE, BSCI, CHEM, CMSC, ENAE, ENCE, ENCH, ENEE, ENES, ENFP, ENMA, ENME, ENNU, ENRE, MATH, PHYS, and STAT.  Students may use upper level course (300 level or higher) whose prefix is not given in the list above, assuming they received approval to use such courses and the following conditions are met: (i) a students selects two or more such courses which are closely related by a theme and (ii) the student demonstrates how these courses complement their professional goals.  The most up-to-date list of approved and unacceptable courses will always be available from the Undergraduate Studies Office and on the ECE website.

2. Two credits of ENEE499, Senior Projects in Electrical and Computer Engineering, may be used to satisfy the Advanced Laboratory requirement subject to approval by the faculty supervisor and the Associate Chair.  The maximum number of ENEE499 credits that may be applied towards EE technical elective requirements if five.

3. Additional Capstone Design courses can be used as substitutes for the required Electrical Engineering Theory and Applications course, and/or the required Advanced Laboratory course, provided one of the following is completed: ENEE408A, 408B or 408C.

4. If you have any questions on how these requirements affect your current selection of technical electives, please contact an advisor.


All ECE faculty members provide mentoring for undergraduate students and every student is assigned a mentor during their first semester in the major. Additional advising is provided by the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Education and the professional advising staff of ECE Undergraduate Studies Office. Departmental permission is required in order to register for  all courses in the major. The Department's Undergraduate Studies Office (2429 A.V. Williams Building, 301-405-3685) is the primary point of contact for undergraduates with advising questions, and detailed curriculum requirements, registration information, and advising and mentoring procedures can be on the  ECE Undergraduate Advising website .

Undergraduate Research Experiences

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is affiliated with more than 40 specialized laboratories, supporting activities including: speech and image processing, high performance systems, mobile computing and multimedia, communication networks, robotics, control systems, neural systems, systems integration, VLSI design and testing, experimental software engineering, semiconductor materials and devices, photonics, fiber optics, ion beam lithography, real-time systems, human- computer interaction, and virtual reality. Undergraduate students are encouraged to engage in research at some point during their education. Active participation in research not only allows students to apply what they have learned in class, it also gives them greater insight into a specific area within ECE and an appreciation for the subtleties and difficulties associated with the production of knowledge and fundamental new applications.  Research experience also prepares students for the demands of graduate school and the work force. Information on participating in undergraduate research can be found at www.ece.umd.edu/undergrad/courses/400-level/enee488-499 .

The ECE department also offers unique summer research programs. The Maryland Engineering Research Internship Team program offers research opportunities for top undergraduates from across the country interested in using computer engineering skills and tools to address important biosystems applications. The Transportation Electrification program offers research opportunities for students interested in sustainable transportation systems, particularly in power electronics, energy storage (battery, ultracapacitor and fuel cell), optimization and mathematical modeling of grid-integrated vehicles, and sustainable transportation


Information on internships can be found at  www.coop.eng.umd.edu . Other internships are advertised through the ECE Department's Office of External Relations and Office of Undergraduate Studies.

Co-op Programs

Participation in a Cooperative Education Program or internship with private industry or a government agency is strongly encouraged. See the A. James Clark School of Engineering catalog entry for details.

Honors Program

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Honors Program is intended to provide a more challenging and rewarding undergraduate experience for students pursuing the baccalaureate in Electrical or Computer Engineering. The program requires students to complete honors versions of four junior level electrical engineering courses and a research project during the senior year. Students completing all program requirements with a 'B' average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all undergraduate work will have their participation noted on their B.S. diploma. Students with the necessary academic qualifications are invited to enroll typically after the completion of their sophomore year.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

The ECE Department has an active student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Information and instructions for joining can be found on their website ( ieee.ece.umd.edu ). Equally active is the Gamma Xi chapter of Eta Kappa Nu honor society which is dedicated to recognizing excellence in electrical and computer engineering. Information on eligibility can be obtained by visiting their website ( www.hkn.org/admin/chapter.asp?ch=113 ). The ECE Undergraduate Student Council (USC) represents the entire ECE undergraduate student body. The ECE-USC hosts undergraduate social events, provides feedback to the Department, and oversees the ECE undergraduate student lounge. For more details visit the ECE-USC website ( www.ece.umd.edu/eceusc/ ). Additionally, there is also a program for Women in Electrical and Computer Engineering (WECE) and a group called the Leaders in ECE, who serve as our ambassadors, give insight to new and prospective students, and participate in departmental events such as our "International Day" when we celebrate the cultural diversity of the students and faculty in our department.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Several scholarships are administered through the department and many others through the Clark School of Engineering. To be considered for these awards, students must submit an application by May 1st of each year for the following academic year. For more information visit:  www.ursp.umd.edu/scholarships/index.html .

Awards and Recognition

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers the following awards: 1. Outstanding academic performance award presented to a junior for academic excellence; 2. Service Award to the graduating senior who has show a commitment of service to fellow students; and 3. Chair's Award for outstanding academic performance to a graduating senior. 

Job Opportunities

Computer engineers were primarily responsible for the recent revolutions in the music, telecommunications and medical device industries. They remain at the forefront of cutting edge developments and innovations in nanotechnology, robotics, and other technologies. Electrical engineers also have wide ranging employment opportunities in other fields including electronics, microelectronics, communications and signal processing, power systems, electrophysics, computer architecture, circuits, and control systems. Specific jobs include developing fiber optic technology, lasers for biomedical applications, software for robots, electronic weapons systems, advanced wireless networks, and neuron-like sensors for various applications.

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