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Program Criteria
Breadth and Depth
The Computer Engineering program satisfies the Program Criteria that provides the specificity needed for interpretation of the basic level criteria. Requirements stipulated in the Program Criteria cover the areas of curricular topics and faculty qualifications.
The structure of the Computer Engineering curriculum provides both breadth and depth across the range of engineering topics implied by the title of the program. For example, the program demonstrates that graduates have knowledge of probability and statistics. In fact a course by that name is required of all students.
Graduates have knowledge of mathematics through differential and integral calculus (and, in fact, get a minor in mathematics). Further, students get a course in discrete mathematics and can demonstrate knowledge in that area. Graduates also get exposure to the basic sciences, computer science, and engineering sciences necessary to analyze and design complex computer systems, as appropriate to the computer engineering educational objectives. Further, students get a course in discrete mathematics and can demonstrate knowledge of this area.
There are five FTE faculty in the Department of Computer Engineering providing education to 14 full-time and 5 part-time Computer Engineering students in Fall 2004, and servicing the needs in the computer engineering area of students from other departments and programs. The breath of faculty expertise is summarized in Criterion 5 where the coverage of the curriculum domains is also shown. Furthermore, the Computer Engineering faculty assume the responsibility of programmatic development and pedagogical effectiveness in their department through their work in faculty committees, their mentoring student teams in the Senior Design Project, and by providing tutorial assistance and advising. The currency of the curriculum is a primary concern of the faculty and administration.
The breadth and depth of the Computer Engineering curriculum have been described in the framework of the curriculum domains (see Criterion 4).
Pitsburg
8. Computer Engineering Program Criteria
The ABET computer engineering program criteria amplifies on only one section of the general criteria, the curriculum. From the 2005-2006 Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs:
These program criteria apply to engineering programs which include electrical, electronic, computer, or similar modifiers in their titles.
1. Curriculum
The structure of the curriculum must provide both breath and depth across the range of engineering topics implied by the title of the program.
The program must demonstrate that graduates have: knowledge of probability and statistics, including applications appropriate to the program name and objectives; knowledge of mathematics through differential and integral calculus, basic sciences, computer science, and engineering sciences necessary to analyze and design complex electrical and electronic devices, software, and systems containing hardware and software components, as appropriate to program objectives.
Programs containing the modifier "computer" in the title must also demonstrate that graduates have knowledge of discrete mathematics.
Curriculum
The undergraduate program in computer engineering provides a solid education in the fundamentals of mathematics and the physical sciences, coupled with a strong emphasis on analysis and design that is essential for solving real-world engineering problems. There is also a significant focus on the humanities and the development within the student of an appreciation for societal issues, which are introduced into the curriculum through coursework and seminars. Student communication skills are also exercised through specific writing courses and through laboratory and course presentations required of students.
The flexible undergraduate curriculum covers the complete hardware-software spectrum, enabling students to seek employment immediately following graduation or continue studies for an advanced degree in computer engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, or other areas such as business, law, or medicine. Because specialization is often necessary, students are encouraged to continue their education at the graduate level on either a part-time or a full-time basis.
In addition to required courses that emphasize most all aspects of computer hardware and software design, the program provides for electives including a wide spectrum of computer engineering, computer science, and electrical engineering.
The program also contains a strong laboratory component including required and elective offerings in digital systems design, embedded systems design, computer networking, software design, and VLSI design. The laboratories provide students with a valuable hands-on experience in applying the theory that is taught in the classroom. All of the laboratories are open to our students on a 24/7 basis using their University ID cards. Teamwork and group projects are the standard in all of our laboratory courses.
While the design and analysis of computer systems is at the core of the program, the curriculum includes the latest software, operating systems, and design tools. Topics include the C and Java programming languages, Windows XP and UNIX operating systems, SPICE, Mentor Graphics, Cadence, and Synoposis design tools for hardware analysis and design. In addition, the IBM Rational Rose is regularly used for software design.
The specific block diagram of the computer-engineering program is given in the chart below. We believe that this curriculum provides a balanced view of both hardware (CoE 0031, 0041, 0132, 0142, 0501, 1502, 1541, and 1185) and software (CoE 0401, 0445, 0449, 1186, and 1501), and of the hardware-software trade-offs. Many of the courses use the basic modeling techniques (CoE 0142, 0501, 1192, 1193, 1502) to represent the computing process.
We believe that the core set of required courses guarantees both breadth and depth in the discipline, while the extensive elective opportunities allow the student to explore more focused areas within the specialty, or to branch out into other related areas of engineering.
Pitt Computer Engineering Curriculum
Fresh
Term 1ENGR 0011 (3) Introduction to Eng'g AnalysisCHEM 0960 (3) Chemistry 1PHYS 0174 (4) Physics IMATH 0220 (4) Calculus IHumanities/SS Elective (3) Fresh
Term 2ENGR 0012 (3) Introduction to Eng'g ComputingCHEM 0970 (3) Chemistry 2PHYS 0175 (4) Physics II Pre. PHYS 0174MATH 0230 (4) Calculus II Pre. MATH 0220Humanities/SS Elective (3) Soph
Term 3CoE 0401 (4) Introduction to JavaCoE 0132 (3) Digital LogicCoE 0031 (3) Linear Systems & Circuits 1 Pre.M0220, Phy0175
MATH 0250 (4) Linear Algebra & Differential Equation Pre. MATH 0230Humanities/SS Elective (3)Soph
Term 4CoE 0445 (3) Data Structures Pre. 0401CoE 0142 or 447(3) Computer Organization Pre. 0132CoE 0041 (3) Linear Systems & Circuits 2 Pre. 0031CoE 0501 (3) Digital Laboratory Pre. 0132Communications Skills Elective (3)Junior
Term 5CoE 1541 (3) Computer Arch Pre. 0445 & (0142 or 0447)Engr 0020 (4) Probability & Statistics Pre. MATH 0230CoE 1502 (3) Adv. Digital Design Pre. 501, Co. 1541CoE Advanced Elective * (3)Humanities/SS Elective (3)Junior
Term 6CoE 0449 (3) Systems Software Pre. 0445CoE 1185 (4) Computer Interfacing Pre 0142COE 1501 (3) Algorithm Implementations Pre 0445CoE Advanced Elective * (3)Humanities/SS Elective (3) Senior
Term 7CoE Design Elective + (3)Technical Elective # (3) CoE 1186 or 1530 Software Engineering (4)CoE Advanced Elective * (3)Humanities/SS Elective (3)Senior
Term 8CoE Design Elective + (3)
Technical Elective # (3) Open Elective @ (3)Open Elective @ (3)CoE Advanced Elective * (3)
# These technical elective courses may include any advanced CoE, CS, or ECE course. In addition, these slots may be fulfilled using selected engineering or Telecommunications courses, mathematics, or other basic science courses.
* These CoE Advanced Elective Courses may include any upper level Computer Engineering, Computer Science, or Electrical and computer Engineering course.
+ These CoE Design Electives Courses must be taken from the following list of courses. (CoE 1192 Introduction to VLSI Design, CoE 1160 or CoE 1161 Embedded Computer Design Laboratory, CoE 1896 Senior Design Project, CoE 1622 Compiler Design, CoE 1651 Advanced Systems Software, CoE 1659 High Performance Computing Systems, and CoE/ECE 2193 Advanced VLSI Design)
@ The open elective can be any university course.
Overall, we believe that this curriculum provides a comprehensive experience in computer engineering that builds upon the lower level concepts and theory, and provides ever increasingly more complex open-ended design problems. The program introduces a number of design methodologies and tools, reinforces the concept of teamwork, and emphasizes the importance of documentation.
Specific Computer Engineering Program Criteria for the Curricula
The structure of the curriculum must provide both breath and depth across the range of engineering topics implied by the title of the program.
We believe that this program provides breadth across the computer hardware-software spectrum. In addition, it provides considerable depth in both state-of-the-art hardware design coupled with a substantive coverage of software algorithm development and software design. The combination of circuit design, logic design, computer architecture, and computer interfacing, coupled with the strong series of design laboratories provides students with a comprehensive treatment of modern hardware design (CoE 0031, 0041, 0132, 0142, 1541, 1185, 0501, 1502). The thorough treatment of algorithm design, data structures, object oriented languages, and systems software, coupled with a strong software engineering design experience provides students with a ideal and integrated view of the software development process (CoE 0401, 0445, 0449, 1501, 1186).
The program must demonstrate that graduates have: knowledge of probability and statistics, including applications appropriate to the program name and objectives; knowledge of mathematics through differential and integral calculus, basic sciences, computer science, and engineering sciences necessary to analyze and design complex electrical and electronic devices, software, and systems containing hardware and software components, as appropriate to program objectives.
The program guarantees that students have a working knowledge of these areas through requirements for the following courses:
probability and statistics
The program requires a common engineering course in probability and statistics with engineering applications. (Engr 0020)
knowledge of mathematics through differential and integral calculus
The program requires mathematics including differential and integral calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra. (Math 0220, 0230, 0250)
basic sciences
The program requires two courses in physics, and two courses in chemistry. (Phys 0174, 0175, Chem 0960, 0970)
computer science
The program requires many courses in computer science that are cross listed with computer engineering. (CoE/CS 0401, 0445, 0449, 1501, 1541)
engineering sciences necessary to analyze and design complex electrical and electronic devices, software, and systems containing hardware and software components, as appropriate to program objectives.
The program requires many courses that provide the student with a comprehensive experience in how to analyze and design circuits, logic devices and subsystems, and software subsystems. (CoE0031, 0041, 0132, 0142, 0401, 0445, 0449, 0501, 1185, 1186, 1501, 1502, 1541)
Programs containing the modifier "computer" in the title must have a knowledge of discrete mathematics.
As initially constructed, the curricula required a specific course in discrete mathematics. However, primarily as a result of our assessment process and student feedback, we resolved that many of the topics in this math course were repeated in other required courses in the curricula. The Boolean algebra portion is contained in CoE 0132. The probability and statistics, and some set theory concepts are included in Engr 0020. Therefore, we no longer require a specific course in discrete mathematics, but instead include this content in other courses. In addition, we believe that in this change we strengthened the mathematics component of the program by adding a course in algorithm design which includes complexity analysis including the concept of NP-completeness through the additional required course CoE 1501.
9. Cooperative Education
Students are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the cooperative engineering education program offered by the school. The computer engineering educational program is exactly the same for both coop and non co-op students. Therefore, we dont believe that the CO-OP program should be considered as separate for ABET computer-engineering review. However, we believe that the CO-OP program opportunity is one of the significant strengths of our program here at Pitt.
The CO-OP program provides an excellent opportunity for a work-study option. The primary goal of this program is to enhance the professional development of the individual student through an alternate sequence of industry and academic experiences. Beginning with the sophomore year and taking advantage of the University trimester system, students are able to spend three terms in industry, yet graduate in August as opposed to April of the fourth year. Across the school and within the computer engineering program, approximately 50% of our undergraduates participate in the CO-OP Program.
We believe that this program is a tremendous opportunity for students, and we strongly encourage participation. We find that CO-OP students develop a better sense of themselves, come to understand much quicker what opportunities exist for them in the industry and government world, and finally, these students do much better academically. We place students in many leading companies all over the country, and because of our emphasis on providing our students with an international experience, we have been able to place several students in other countries including one at Toshiba in Japan, several at the GM facility in Mexico, and some in the Czech Republic.
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