Jun 21, 2024  
2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog 
2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Engineering

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Minimum number of credits required to graduate: 129

Minimum Cumulative GPA required to graduate: 2.0

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward major: Repeating any ECE course for which a grade of F, L, or WF has been recorded requires a grade of C- or better in prerequisites for the course. Dismissal from the program will be recommended if any required course in the program is taken twice without achieving a passing grade. This includes courses where a grade of AU, L, or WF is received.

Other GPA requirements to graduate: Minimum of a cumulative 2.0 GPA for all courses taken. Minimum of a cumulative 2.0 GPA for all ECE courses taken. Minimum of a cumulative 2.0 GPA for all Computer courses taken.

Contact Information: Mohamad Musavi, Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering, 101 Barrows Hall, 207 581 2223

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. Additional information about the Department and programs are available on the Web at www.eece.maine.edu.

The mission of the Computer Engineering program is to ensure that students obtain a solid educational background in computer engineering so that they are nationally competitive and successful in their chosen profession and are prepared for future graduate training.  To achieve this, the program educational objectives are to:

  1. Provide students with a solid foundation in computer engineering.
  2. Guide students in their preparation for a broad range of career opportunities.
  3. Train students to develop the ability to function in the workplace through teamwork and effective communication.
  4. Educate students to become aware of their moral, ethical, legal and professional obligations and to hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public.
  5. Help students develop an appreciation for the necessity of lifelong learning.

Program Description
The Computer Engineering curriculum provides students with the technical skills as well as the basic mathematical and scientific background required to advance current technology and to contribute to future developments in the computer engineering profession. The curriculum strives to instill critical written and oral communication skills in addition to providing a diverse background in the humanities and social sciences. Our graduates acquire a sense of professionalism as they become aware of an engineer’s responsibility to help solve societal problems. They also develop the ability to contribute to team solutions and an appreciation for the importance of life-long learning.

The curriculum adopts a practical hands-on approach that combines classroom theory and laboratory experience to produce an engineer who can carry a technical project from inception through to the implementation of a successful solution. The process begins in the first year of the program when students learn to prototype digital circuits and program micro-controller boards. It continues through the senior year when they complete their capstone design projects. In this latter case, students, usually working in two-person teams over three semesters, propose, specify, create, present, and demonstrate a solution to a technical problem of their choosing.

A double major leading to a BS in both Electrical and Computer Engineering is a popular option for many students. By a judicious choice of electives and early planning, this option can be achieved in an extra semester or by taking summer courses. Note that, except for the Chemistry requirement, the first year curriculum is the same for electrical and computer engineers and that the sophomore year is very similar for the two majors. Students interested in the possibility of a double major should consult with their advisors early in their programs.

To obtain a BS in Computer Engineering, a student must: (1) meet all University academic requirements, (2) meet all Computer Engineering curriculum requirements, (3) have a GPA of 2.0 or better in all ECE courses, and (4) have a GPA of 2.0 or better in all Computer Science courses. Repeating any ECE course for which a grade of F, L, or WF has been recorded requires a grade of C- or better in prerequisites for the course. Dismissal from the program will be recommended if any required course in the program is taken twice without achieving a passing grade. This includes courses where a grade of AU, L, or WF is received. Any exceptions to the program specifics listed above require approval of the ECE faculty. The program in Computer Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 - telephone: (410) 347-7700.

Our undergraduate program prepares students for graduate work as well as industry. Many of our students choose to pursue further study at graduate schools across the US as well as at the University of Maine. The University of Maine offers programs leading to advanced degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. These programs are described in the University of Maine Graduate School Online Catalog.

Cooperative and Research Work Experience
Students are strongly encouraged to pursue a co-op work experience. These co-op experiences must be pre-approved by the student’s advisor and the co-op coordinator. They may be taken during the summer as well as the fall or spring semesters. Summer-fall and spring-summer placements are particularly worthwhile. To gain additional practical experience many undergraduate students take advantage of opportunities to work with ECE faculty on research and development projects. Because many of these projects are related to real-world problems and may actually be sponsored by industry, students gain invaluable insight into how to apply their classroom learning to solve industrial problems. The Department strongly encourages both of these approaches through advising and by giving technical elective credit for substantial experiences.

Employment Opportunities
The Computer Engineering Program provides its graduates with the knowledge necessary to design, build, and work with systems based on computers and complex digital logic devices. They know how to select and interconnect the electronic and mechanical devices that make up a computer-based system. A computer engineer, through knowledge of both software and hardware can develop a complete solution to a given problem by assigning some tasks to hardware and others to software. Systems designed by computer engineers find use in such diverse tasks as computation, communication, instrumentation, networking, entertainment, information processing, artificial intelligence, and control. Although trained in both hardware and software, some graduates choose to emphasize one area after graduation, pursuing for example a career involving just software development. Graduates find employment with local, national, and international companies as well as government agencies. Specific examples include IBM, Lockheed Martin, Analog Devices, Fairchild Semiconductor, National Semiconductor,  Tundra Semiconductor, Motorola, Mitre Corporation, Kepware Technolofgies, and Hewlett Packard. For more examples please visit our Department web page at www.eece.maine.edu/  and click on the Alumni/ae link.

The department has several scholarships available on a competitive basis for students majoring in electrical and computer engineering. Outstanding incoming students should apply for college and departmental scholarships through the College of Engineering. Scholarship information is also available by following the “Perspective Students” link at the Department web page at www.eece.maine.edu/

Suggested curriculum for the B.S. in Computer Engineering (See Footnote 1)

There are many ways to arrange the curriculum to accommodate different goals. For example, one may obtain a double major, lighten the course load, or participate in a co-op work experience. Any variation from the schedule should be done in consultation with the student’s advisor. Early consultation is particularly important if a co-op work experience or double major is being considered.

First Year - Second Semester

Second Year - First Semester

Third Year - First Semester

Third Year - Second Semester

Fourth Year - First Semester

Fourth Year - Second Semester

  • Credits: 2
  • ECP 403 - Technical Writing Workshop for Electrical and Computer Engineering Design Project Credits: 1
  • ECE Technical Elective(2) Credits: 3
  • General Technical Elective(1) Credits: 3
  • General Technical Elective(2) Credits: 3
  • Human Values and Social Context(5) Electives Credits: 3

Special Requirements:

Technical Electives

The curriculum requires seven technical elective courses used to broaden a student’s knowledge. Of these seven elective courses, at least three electives must be Computer focus courses chosen from the list below; two must be 300-level or higher ECE courses excluding ECE 394, and two must be Generic Technical Elective courses described below.

1. Courses that satisfy the Computer Focus requirement are:

  • COS 3XX Computer Science 300 level courses
  • COS 4XX Computer Science 400 level courses
  • ECE 417 Introduction to Robotics
  • ECE 435 Network Engineering
  • ECE 471 Microprocessor Applications Engineering
  • ECE 477 Hardware Applications Using C
  • ECE 478 Industrial Computer Control
  • ECE 498 Select topics (Computer focus)

2. Generic technical electives include 300–level or higher ECE courses including ECE 394, or with approval of the student’s advisor, selected from various advanced Math, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, or Computer Science courses. For a minor in Business Administration or 5-year BS/MBA program, up to two technical electives can be satisfied by taking BUA 325 or BUA 350 with the provision that upon graduation, the student also satisfied all requirements for the Business minor or BS/MBA program. The following 100- and 200-level courses have been approved to satisfy the Generic Technical Elective requirement. Other courses may be permitted but require written approval from the ECE Department Chair.

  • CHB 200 Fundamentals of Process Engineering
  • CIE 231 Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering
  • GEE 298 Intro to Nanoscale Science and Technology
  • MEE 150 Applied Mechanics: Statics
  • MEE 230 Thermodynamics I
  • MEE 252 Statics and Strength of Materials
  • MEE 270 Applied Mechanics: Dynamics

Areas of Concentration

Student may choose to concentrate electives in various sub-disciplines of Computer Engineering. The recommended electives for various specialties are listed below.

Embedded Control

  • ECE 414 Feedback Control Systems
  • ECE 471 Microprocessor Application Engineering
  • ECE 477 Hardware Applications Using C
  • ECE 478 Industrial Computer Control


  • ECE 417 Introduction to Robotics
  • ECE 471 Microprocessor Application Engineering
  • ECE 477 Hardware Applications Using C
  • ECE 487 Digital Image Processing

High-performance Computing Networking

  • ECE 435 Network Engineering
  • ECE 477 Hardware Applications Using C

Basic Science Elective:

Courses satisfying the Basic Science Elective include:

  • AST 215/110 General Astronomy I
  • AST 216/110 General Astronomy II
  • BIO 222/223 Biology
  • CHY 121/123 Introduction to Chemistry
  • CHY 122/124 Molecular Basis of Chemical Change
  • ERS 101 Introduction to Geology
  • ERS 102 Environmental Geology of Maine
  • PHY 236/223 Quantum Physics/Special Relativity

Human Values and Social Context and Ethics:

In addition to CMJ 103, the curriculum requires five courses to complete the General Education Requirements in Ethics and Human Values and Social Context (HV&SC). In addition to the Ethics requirement, the five areas under HV&SC are: Western Cultural Tradition, Social Contexts and Institutions, Cultural Diversity and International Perspective, Population and the Environment, and Artistic and Creative Expression. Note that CMJ 103 satisfies the Social Contexts and Institutions requirement. The structure of the ECE curriculum guarantees that all other General Education Requirements are met. You may elect to take ERS 102 or BIO 222/223 to satisfy your Basic Science requirement and the “Population and the Environment” area of the 18 credit hour HV&SC requirement.

Minimum Credit Hours to Graduate: 129

Footnote 1: This is only a sample curriculum. Adjustments, such as interchanging HV & SC and technical electives, and switching ECE 471, ECE 477, ECE 473, and ECE 351 between junior and senior years, can be made to suit individual preferences. Check with your academic advisor for assistance. Be sure all degree requirements listed on the check-off sheet are met.

Footnote 2: BIO 222/223 or ERS 102 can be used to satisfy the Basic Science and HV&SC Elective under the Population and Environment categories. If either of them is taken, you need to take one less HV&SC course. However, you still need 129 credit hours to graduate.

Footnote 3: One of the following three courses is required: ECE 316, CHB 350 and MAT 332. If CHB 350 or MAT 332 has been taken, ECE 316 can be taken as ECE technical elective. Otherwise, ECE 316 cannot be counted as technical elective.

Footnote 4: ECE 331 can be replaced by COS 431 Operating Systems.

Footnote 5: Either ECE 471 (Fall) or ECE 477 (Spring) is required. One can take both courses and use the other as computer focus ECE elective.

Footnote 6: MAT 481 can be replaced with COS 250 Discrete Structures.

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