Electrical and Computer Engineering

Undergraduate Study

The Electrical Engineering major is a designated capstone major. Undergraduate students complete a design course in which they integrate their knowledge of the discipline and engage in creative design within realistic and professional constraints. Students apply their knowledge and expertise gained in previous mathematics, science, and engineering coursework. Within a multidisciplinary team structure, students identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems and present their projects to the class.

The Computer Engineering major is a designated capstone major that is jointly administered by the Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments. Undergraduate students complete a design course in which they integrate their knowledge of the discipline and engage in creative design within realistic and professional constraints. Students apply their knowledge and expertise gained in previous mathematics, science, and engineering coursework. Students identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems and present their projects to the class.

Electrical Engineering B.S.

Capstone Major

The undergraduate curriculum provides all Electrical Engineering majors with preparation in the mathematical and scientific disciplines that lead to a set of courses that span the fundamentals of the three major departmental areas of signals and systems, circuits and embedded systems, and physical wave electronics. These collectively provide an understanding of inventions of importance to society, such as integrated circuits, embedded systems, photonic devices, automatic computation and control, and telecommunication devices and systems.

Students are encouraged to make use of their electrical and computer engineering electives and a two-term capstone design course to pursue deeper knowledge within one of these areas according to their interests, whether for graduate study or preparation for employment. See the elective examples and suggested tracks below.

Learning Outcomes

The Electrical Engineering major has the following learning outcomes:

Preparation for the Major

Required: Chemistry and Biochemistry 20A; Computer Science 31, 32; Electrical and Computer Engineering 2, 3, 10, 11L, M16 (or Computer Science M51A); Mathematics 31A, 31B, 32A, 32B, 33A, 33B; Physics 1A, 1B, 1C, 4AL, 4BL.

The Major

Required: Electrical and Computer Engineering 101A, 102, 110, 111L, 113, 131A; six core courses selected from Computer Science 33, Electrical and Computer Engineering 101B, 115A, 121B, 132A, 133A, 141, 170A; three technical breadth courses (12 units) selected from an approved list available in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs; 12 units of major field elective courses, at least 8 of which must be upper-division electrical and computer engineering courses—the remaining 4 units may be from upper-division electrical and computer engineering courses or from another UCLA Samueli department; and one two-term electrical and computer engineering capstone design course (8 units).

Electrical and Computer Engineering 100 and CM182 may not satisfy elective credit.

For information on UC, school, and general education requirements, see Requirements for B.S. Degrees on page 22 or the Registrar’s GE Requirement web page.

Elective Examples

Communications Systems: Studies range from basic wave propagation to point-to-point links up to large-scale networks for both wired and wireless applications. Students might take 12 units selected from Electrical and Computer Engineering 132A, 132B, 133A, 134, and M171L, and 8 capstone design units from 113DA/113DB or 180DA/180DB.

Control Systems and Optimization: The study of how to control a variety of systems ranging from a single physical system to continental networks, such as the electrical grid. Students might take 12 units selected from Electrical and Computer Engineering 112, 133A, 133B, 134, 141, and 142 and 8 capstone design units from 113DA/113DB or 184DA/184DB.

Electromagnetic Systems: Topics include the fundamentals of electromagnetic wave propagation in guided systems and free space, antennas, and radio systems. Students might take 12 units selected from Electrical and Computer Engineering 101B, 162A, 163A, and 163C and 8 capstone design units from 163DA/163DB or 164DA/164DB.

Embedded Computing: The study of compact systems that include collections of integrated circuits that interact with the physical world for purposes such as sensing and control in applications as diverse as appliances, automobiles, and medicine. Students might take 12 units selected from Electrical and Computer Engineering 115A, 115C, M116C, M116L, M119, and 142 and 8 capstone design units from 180DA/180DB or 183DA/183DB.

Integrated Circuits: The study of how to achieve large-scale integration of thousands to billions of computational, memory, and sensing elements in single or multichip modules. Students might take 12 units selected from Electrical and Computer Engineering 115A, 115AL, 115B, 115C, and 115E and 8 capstone design units from 164DA/164DB or 183DA/183DB.

Photonics and Plasma Electronics: The study of how to manipulate light and plasmas to create devices such as those that enable high-speed optical communication systems. Students might take 12 units selected from Electrical and Computer Engineering 170A, 170B, 170C, and M185 and 8 capstone design units from 173DA/173DB.

Signal Processing: The study of how to derive meaningful inferences from measured data, such as speech, images, or other data, after conversion from analog to digital form. Students might take 12 units selected from Electrical and Computer Engineering 114, 133A, 133B, 134, and M146 and 8 capstone design units from 113DA/113DB.

Simulation and Data Analysis: Studies focus on applications related to the processing of big data for both analog/multimedia and digital sources. Students might take 12 units selected from Electrical and Computer Engineering 114, 132A, 133A, 133B, 134, and M146 and 8 capstone design units from 113DA/113DB or 180DA/180DB.

Solid-State and Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Devices: The study of the nanoscale and microscale devices that are the base of modern computation and sensing systems. Students might take 12 units selected from Electrical and Computer Engineering 121B, 123A, 123B, 128, and M153 and 8 capstone design units from 121DA/121DB.

Suggested Tracks

The technical breadth area requirement provides an opportunity to combine elective courses in the Electrical Engineering major with those from another UCLA Samueli major to produce a specialization in an interdisciplinary domain. Students are free to design a specialization in consultation with a faculty adviser.

Bioengineering and Informatics (BI) refers to the design of biomedical devices and the analysis of data derived from such devices and instruments. Students might take Chemistry and Biochemistry 20B and two courses from Bioengineering 100, C101, CM102, and 110 and/or 12 units from Computer Science CM121, Electrical and Computer Engineering 114, 133B, 134, and 176 and 8 capstone design units from 180DA/180DB.

Computer Engineering (CE) concentrates on the part of the hardware/software stack related to the design of new processors and the operation of embedded systems. Students might take a 12-unit technical breadth area in computer science such as Computer Science 111, 117, 130, and 180 and/or 12 units of electives from Electrical and Computer Engineering 115C, M116C, M116L, M119, 132B, and M146 and 8 capstone design units from 113DA/113DB or 180DA/180DB or 183DA/183DB.

Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) refer to networked systems that include sensors and actuators that interact with the physical world. They blend embedded systems with networking and control and include, for example, robotic systems and the Internet of things (IoT). Students might take a 12-unit technical breadth area in computer science such as Computer Science 111, 117, and 180 and/or 12 units of electives from Electrical and Computer Engineering M116C, 132B, and 142 and 8 capstone design units from 183DA/183DB.

Computer Engineering B.S.

Capstone Major

The undergraduate curriculum provides all computer engineering students with preparation in the mathematical and scientific disciplines that lead to a set of courses that span the fundamentals of the discipline in the major areas of data science and embedded networked systems. These collectively provide an understanding of many inventions of importance to our society, such as the Internet of things, human-cyber-physical systems, mobile/wearable/implantable systems, robotic systems, and more generally smart systems at all scales in diverse spheres. The design of hardware, software, and algorithmic elements of such systems represents an already dominant and rapidly growing part of the computer engineering profession. Students are encouraged to make use of their computer science and electrical and computer engineering electives and a two-quarter capstone design course to pursue deeper knowledge within one of these areas according to their interests, whether for graduate study or preparation for employment.

Learning Outcomes

The Computer Engineering major has the following learning outcomes:

Preparation for the Major

Required: Computer Science 1 (or Electrical and Computer Engineering 1), 31, 32, 33, 35L, M51A (or Electrical and Computer Engineering M16); Electrical and Computer Engineering 3; Engineering 96C; Mathe matics 31A, 31B, 32A, 32B, 33A, 33B, 61; Physics 1A, 1B, 1C, and 4AL or 4BL.

The Major

Required: Computer Science 111, 118 (or Electrical and Computer Engineering 132B), M151B (or Electrical and Computer Engineering M116C), M152A (or Electrical and Computer Engineering M116L), 180; Electrical and Computer Engineering 100, 102, 113, 115C; one course from Civil and Environmental Engineering 110, Electrical and Computer Engineering 131A, Mathematics 170A, Statistics 100A; 8 units of computer science and 8 units of electrical and computer engineering upper-division electives; three technical breadth courses (12 units) selected from an approved list available in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs; 8 units capstone design from either Electrical and Computer Engineering 180DA/180DB or 183DA/183DB.

For information on UC, school, and general education requirements, see Requirements for B.S. Degrees on page 22 or the Registrar’s GE Requirement web page.

Suggested Tracks

Networked Embedded Systems: This track targets two related trends that have been a significant driver of computing, namely stand-alone embedded devices becoming networked and coupled to physical systems, and the Internet evolving toward a network of things (the IoT). These may broadly be classified as cyber physical systems, and includes a broad category of systems such as smart buildings, autonomous vehicles, and robots, which interact with each other and other systems. This trend in turn is driving innovation both in the network technologies (new low-power wireless networks for connecting things, and new high-speed networks and computing infrastructure to accommodate the transport and processing needs of the deluge of data resulting from continual sensing), and in embedded computing (new hardware and software stack catering to requirements such as ultra-low power operation, and embedded machine learning).

Students pursuing this track are strongly encouraged to take Electrical and Computer Engineering M119 or Computer Science M119 in junior year, and to choose three electives from courses such as Computer Science 117, 130, 131, 132, 133, 136, 181, 188, Electrical and Computer Engineering 2, 115A, 115B, 132A, 133A, 141, 142, 188.

Students who pursue a technical breadth area in either electrical and computer engineering or computer science can choose an additional three courses from this list.

Data Science: This track targets the trend toward the disruptive impact on computing systems, both at the edge and in the cloud, of massive amounts of sensory data being collected, shared, processed, and used for decision making and control. Application domains such as health, transportation, energy, etc. are being transformed by the abilities of inference-making and decision-making from sensory data that is pervasive, continual, and rich. This track will expose students to the entire data-to-decision pathway spanning the entire stack from hardware and software to algorithms, applications, and user experience.

Students pursing this track are strongly advised to take Computer Science 143 and M146 or Electrical and Computer Engineering M146, and to additionally choose two electives from courses such as Computer Science CM121, 136, 144, 145, 161, 188, Electrical and Computer Engineering 114, 133A, 133B, 134, 188.

Students who pursue a technical breadth area in either electrical and computer engineering or computer science can choose an additional three courses from this list.

Students are also free to design ad hoc tracks. The technical breadth area requirement provides an opportunity to combine elective courses in electrical and computer engineering and computer science with those from another UCLA Samueli major to produce a specialization in an interdisciplinary domain. As noted above, students can also select a technical breadth area in either Electrical and Computer Engineering or Computer Science to deepen their knowledge in either discipline.