To be prepared for employment as a contributing engineer and/or for graduate-level education, students within the ECE Department receive instruction that is balanced between theory and practice. In fact, much of our curriculum integrates theory and practice within each course. It is common to study new devices and techniques, and then immediately work with these devices/techniques in a laboratory setting. In response to the breadth of ECE, all students work with their academic advisor to develop a broad-based program of study. As with most engineering curricula, ECE study includes a solid foundation of mathematics and science. Discipline-specific study in ECE usually begins early in a student's career - during the second half of the freshman year - with courses providing a broad overview of the entire field. During the sophomore and junior years, students learn the core analysis, design and laboratory skills necessary to a broad range of ECE sub-disciplines. When desired, specialization within ECE occurs during the junior and senior years. In addition, all students complete a major qualifying project (MQP). This project, typically completed in teams during the senior year, is an individualized design or research project that draws from much of the prior instruction. Utilizing the benefit of individualized instruction from one or more faculty members, students develop, implement and document the solution to a real engineering problem. Many of these projects are sponsored by industry, or are associated with ongoing faculty research. These projects form a unique bridge to the engineering profession.
Program Educational Objectives
The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department offers a balanced, integrated curriculum strong in both fundamentals and state-of-the-art knowledge. The curriculum embraces WPI’s philosophy of education, with a program characterized by curricular flexibility, student project work such as the Interactive Qualifying Project, and active involvement of students in their learning. Through this approach, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Program seeks to have alumni who:
- are successful professionals based on their breadth of knowledge in the field of electrical and computer engineering, and are prepared for both immediate professional practice as well as engagement with graduate study and lifelong learning;
- are effective contributors in business and society, demonstrating the ability to communicate, work in teams, and understand the broad implications of their work;
- are prepared broadly for both their professional and personal lives, providing the basis for effective leadership and informed citizenship.
The program must have documented student outcomes that prepare graduates to attain the program educational objectives. Student outcomes are outcomes (a) through (k) plus any additional outcomes that may be articulated by the program.
a. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
b. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
c. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
d. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
e. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
f. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
g. an ability to communicate effectively
h. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
i. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
j. a knowledge of contemporary issues
k. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.