The field of electrical and computer engineering has evolved significantly in the past two decades. This evolution has broadened the field of ECE, and subfields have seen deep penetration into very specialized areas. Remarkable devices and systems arising from innovative processes, exotic materials, high speed computer simulations, and complex algorithms make ECE an exciting career field. These fascinating developments present greater opportunities for undergraduates to explore the field of ECE as well as greater challenges for them to navigate the curriculum because of the myriad of courses and areas of concentration choices they have to make. Reflecting innovations in the field and capitalizing on the collective faculty research expertise, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University has redesigned its undergraduate curriculum around the theme of Integrated Sensing and Information Processing.
This paper presents details of the ECE curriculum redesign at Duke University including its philosophy and implementation as well as elements of the redesign that are transferable to other universities. Evidence of increased student ability to design a system or component and to work effectively in teams is presented through statistical analyses of student end-of-course course evaluations. Student design project complexity evolution as the curriculum redesign unfolded is also presented, and this provides further evidence that design and teamwork have enhanced student learning throughout the new curriculum.
- Video: Short video example of a student demonstrating an infrared transmission soil moisture system.
- Pictures of students working on elements of Fundamentals. (PPT: 652KB)
- Examples of student project work. (PPT: 2,083KB)
- Examples of students working on photonics lab exercises. (PPT: 440KB)
- Examples of student work in Linear Control Systems. (PPT: 7,802KB)
- Examples of student image and multidimensional signal processing project results. (PPT: 384KB)
- Examples of students working on opto-electronics design projects. (PPT: 201KB)
- End-of-Course Instructor/Course Evaluations by the Students/Examples of students working on opto-electronics design projects. (PDF: 20KB)