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#1
Hey guys, I was going to The Art Institutes for Audio Production but ended up not liking it for a few different reasons, so I am transferring to a state university. I'm thinking about majoring in Computer Engineering. It was my second choice because I was always on computers in middle/high school playing games and was always interested in them and how they worked. I was never a very big fan of math in school and this is a huge part of the major. I'm kind of worried I won't be able to handle it, so I was just coming here to ask what you guys thought of your programs and your experiences with it. Thanks & Godbless.
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#2
I don't think computer engineering is what you want to take if you're just interested in making games and programs and such. It's not exactly something newcomers can just step in to. I mean, if you've never had any experience with electronics or microcontrollers or anything like that before, there's a very good chance it'll go right over your head. You probably want to start with some intro to computer sciences courses if you've had no experience before.

Computers are fascinating though, it's definately worth persuing. It's just stepping right into it might be a bit much.

edit: I read the OP wrong. Yeah, go for it if you have an interest in it.
Last edited by SlayingDragons at Oct 17, 2011,
#3
Math is big in any field of engineering.
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#4
If you aren't sure you're going to love it then don't do it. I'm not a major in it but I know people who are. It isn't easy in any way
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#5
So first off I'm a mechanical engineering major, not computer.

Where I live, computer engineers end up doing the same jobs as comp sci students. computer engineers may be overqualified for many jobs. This may be different depending on where you are. For me, mechanical is the place to be here due to the aerospace and bus industries.

And there is a shitload of math to be done. The electricals/comp students do just as much if not more than us mechies. You need to be VERY well grounded in math. I'm currently on Math 2 (think of it like calc 4) and there's still 2 more levels to go.
#6
I'm not looking to make games, I meant gaming online with computers got me interested in hardware and computers.
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#7
I'm in electrical engineering, and since EE and CE are in the same department at my school I have to take a few computer engineering classes. I'm in digital logic this semester, and it's pretty difficult and extremely time-consuming (the lab that goes with the class take between 6 and 10 hours each week). It's also extremely interesting and rewarding.

EDIT: Oh, you're not a fan of math? Never mind, stay away from any kind of engineering!
Last edited by iro-bot31 at Oct 17, 2011,
#8
Kind of echoing what hawk5211 said (I am an electrical engineering major), EE is deeply rooted in complex mathematics -- and I don't just mean complex as in intricate, ACTUAL complex mathematics. Computer engineering students at my university only really branch off of electrical engineering late in the program, which means they take a lot of circuits courses. After that, though, it's a fair amount of computer architecture courses which are slightly less math-intensive.

Just note that computer engineering tends to be a whole lot less programming-oriented than computer science.
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#9
I highly suggest against it before you get well in over your head. I'm taking classes as an electrical engineer (technical high school, not college) And have dabbled in programming and computer science. Not for those who aren't happy doing math or other bits of problem solving.
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#10
Don't do it man. For one thing, stay out of engineering unless you love equations. Your best bet is to take a bunch of different classes, but make one of them an intro to programming (standard first semester for CS and CE). If you like it, take some more classes, but don't jump in until you know what's up first.
#11
I'm majoring in Chemical Engineering. My advice is if you hate doing/aren't good at math, stay away from engineering.
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Last edited by parigod at Oct 17, 2011,
#12
I am a computer Engineer major,although still in first year

Edit: If you aren't good at math,you practice and become good at it,Math is a skill like any other,which means it can be developed.
Last edited by VillainousLatin at Oct 17, 2011,
#13
The thing is I took up to Algebra 3 in high school, got recommended for Calc 1 but didn't take it. Took statistics for my last credit instead. My views on school have changed since high school so I plan on giving 100% effort in college. Maybe I could just take some required General Education classes and try to get into an intro class for CE.
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

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#14
The courses you will be taking as a Computer Engineer:

- Calculus (differential, integral, vector, multivariable)
- Physics (classical and modern)
- Basic Chemistry
- Discrete Mathematics
- Hardware fundamentals (what makes a computer?) and Assembly language
- Programming in C and C++
- Device (Semiconductor) Physics
- Passive and Active Circuits
- Electronic (transistor) Circuits
- Digital Systems and Digital Logic
- Computer Architecture
- Networks
- Operating Systems

and a few others, but these are the basics. If this sounds fun to you, go ahead with a Computer Engineering degree. If it doesn't, don't waste your time because you are gonna be an incredibly unhappy person.

Computer Engineering is geared toward building digital hardware, though you find that you have learned jack shit from an undergraduate degree in CE when you enter industry. You have to be proactive if you want to succeed.
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Last edited by darkstar2466 at Oct 17, 2011,
#15
I'm only kinda familiar with the Comp Sci. program of my school and it is heavily based on math lots of discrete math from the begining and Artificial Inteligence may require some knowledge of Probability.
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#17
Quote by Jon777
How's CE compared to CS? I'll be in college next year, and was planning on majoring in one of 'em.


CE and CS are pretty similar except CE takes a lot more math and different electric/circuit classes CS doesn't take,as well as some classes like thermodynamics and other engineering classes.At least in my Uni.
#18
^CS can be more focused on abstract notions such as

Is it possible to make a program that performs this or that?

You actually prove if something can be performed by a machine but you can acquire some more practical skills.

IMO CS > CE.
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Last edited by Ostinattos at Oct 17, 2011,
#19
Quote by darkstar2466
though you find that you have learned jack shit from an undergraduate degree in CE when you enter industry. You have to be proactive if you want to succeed.


In all fairness thats true of all engineering branches.
#20
Quote by Ostinattos
^CS can be more focused on abstract notions such as

Is it possible to make a program that performs this or that?

You actually prove if something can be performed by a machine but you can acquire some more practical skills.

IMO CS > CE.


well....it isn't!




I don't know,I wanted CE because I couldn't decide between EE or CS and because CE is a combination of the two I chose that
#21
Thanks for the feedback, guys. I was leaning towards CS to begin with... and probably will end up going that route.

As far as I understand, there's also more of a focus on programming?
#22
Quote by VillainousLatin
well....it isn't!




I don't know,I wanted CE because I couldn't decide between EE or CS and because CE is a combination of the two I chose that


So, out of curiousity, how much math education did you get in high school? I'm asking because I'm interested in the field, but have only been really interested in it recently and haven't really invested a lot in math classes.
#23
Quote by SlayingDragons
So, out of curiousity, how much math education did you get in high school? I'm asking because I'm interested in the field, but have only been really interested in it recently and haven't really invested a lot in math classes.


Same, this is pretty much my question, only worded better, lol.
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#24
Quote by SlayingDragons
So, out of curiousity, how much math education did you get in high school? I'm asking because I'm interested in the field, but have only been really interested in it recently and haven't really invested a lot in math classes.


I'm probably one of those students who didn't really care all that much about college...until they got to college so I didn't take any advanced classes or whatever you call them in the USA,so in high school all I did was pretty much algebra and a little bit of pre-calculus.... yeah I know, disappointing.

Edit: Good thing I got pretty high scores on my Collegeboard tests and got accepted to Engineering
Last edited by VillainousLatin at Oct 17, 2011,
#25
There is usually a misconception on what each of these majors actually end up being at the undergraduate level. I graduated with EE, CE, and CS, so I'll clarify for you guys. Gimme a bit to type things up.
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#26
Quote by darkstar2466
There is usually a misconception on what each of these majors actually end up being at the undergraduate level. I graduated with EE, CE, and CS, so I'll clarify for you guys. Gimme a bit to type things up.

Yup, that's might be misconception.
#27
Quote by darkstar2466
There is usually a misconception on what each of these majors actually end up being at the undergraduate level. I graduated with EE, CE, and CS, so I'll clarify for you guys. Gimme a bit to type things up.


Thanks. Can't wait to read.
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

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#28
Quote by darkstar2466
The courses you will be taking as a Computer Engineer:

- Calculus (differential, integral, vector, multivariable)
- Physics (classical and modern)
- Basic Chemistry
- Discrete Mathematics
- Hardware fundamentals (what makes a computer?) and Assembly language
- Programming in C and C++
- Device (Semiconductor) Physics
- Passive and Active Circuits
- Electronic (transistor) Circuits
- Digital Systems and Digital Logic
- Computer Architecture
- Networks
- Operating Systems

and a few others, but these are the basics. If this sounds fun to you, go ahead with a Computer Engineering degree. If it doesn't, don't waste your time because you are gonna be an incredibly unhappy person.

Computer Engineering is geared toward building digital hardware, though you find that you have learned jack shit from an undergraduate degree in CE when you enter industry. You have to be proactive if you want to succeed.



Really want to know what I should do to be proactive and be successful in a CE career,I am planning to go to the US,when I finish my degree,so maybe knowing Spanish and English might help? lol I don't know but I just want to be a good Engineer.
#31
So I just found out that my prospective school is removing the CS and software engineering department .

So that leaves Computer Engineering or Computer Information Technology.
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

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#32
Quote by tr3nt
So I just found out that my prospective school is removing the CS and software engineering department .

So that leaves Computer Engineering or Computer Information Technology.


From what I've heard Computer Information Technology has great demand.
#33
I'll explain this in terms of interrelatedness, going from EE to CE to CS, because the similarities between EE and CE are as comparable to the similarities between CE and CS.

But first let me cover the common classes between all three degrees:

- Programming in C and C++ (but most EEs don't take this seriously in the beginning, saying "fuck software, I don't need to know that shit lol." I say to them "good luck finding a job!")
- Assembly Language, the programming level before binary programming. When you compile (as opposed to interpreting) a program [see this resource], the compiler translates your higher level language into individual instructions that your processor understands. The assembler then turns these basic processor instructions into the binary code that finally flies through your CPU.
- Computer Architecture, the field of building CPUs and periphery.

As an EE, you learn the basics of:

- Basic and Transistor Circuits (you'll learn how a basic amplifier works in the transistor circuits class)
- Electromagnetics (this class is all about understanding Maxwell's Equations , the cornerstone of all technological developments, though each of the four equations are the achievements of scientific gods themselves)
- Continuous Signals and Systems. Linear Time-Invariant Systems and the Fourier Transform. The Fourier Transform translates between the time and frequency domains and as an EE, this will be your bread and butter.
- Computer Architecture (how a simple pipelined CPU works)
- Digital Systems and Digital Logic (the Finite State Machines, flip-flops (no, not the kind you wear), and meticulously wiring up digital circuits on your breadboard that look like rats nests will be your favorite things in the world in this class)

With the option range of extending your basic knowledge into:

- Analog Circuits and Electronics. This link is a fantastic list of the kinds of circuits you will be working on. Analog circuitry is a tougher field than its Digital counterpart, but everyone I have met who has gone down that path has enjoyed his/her time. Yep, her time.
- RF Engineering, which will get you into designing transmitters, receivers, antennas, etc. This is a really specialized field with good demand for competent engineers.
- Digital Signal Processing. DSP Engineers' favorite thing ever is the Discrete Fourier Transform and his computationally faster brother, the Fast Fourier Transform. Dolby, DTS, and all those other nice companies and standards exist because of the FFT... If you want to get into signal processing, audio, video, or otherwise, you will need to learn your DSP. It's a very exciting field that can lead into other fields like Bioinformatics and otherwise, but you need to work very hard if you want to be good at DSP. Want to amplify your mids? Sample your continuous signal to get a digital signal, use the FFT to get your signal from the time domain to the frequency domain, amplify the mid frequencies, convert back to the time domain using the inverse FFT, use a digital to analog converter to get back to the continuous signal.
- Integrated Circuit Design , the driving force behind the computer you use. This is one of the cornerstones of hardware and is an important field to know, even for the layman.
- VLSI, taking integrated circuit design to the level of Silicon. You will learn how to design CMOS circuits at the Silicon level, laying down the individual layers and wells of doped (yep, doped) Silicon, masks (which are used to separate sections of Silicon so that they don't overlap), and metal.
- Communications (lol, not the human2human kind). You will learn about basic analog modulation/demodulation systems to begin with, namely AM, FM, PM, and QAM. You will learn PSK and FSK in the digital side and expand your knowledge into taking statistical considerations (like noise) as you delve deeper. Communications was one of my favorite things to study in Engineering.
- Control Systems, something that ties in with the Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering fields as well. How do you design a system that behaves the way you want it to? How do you design a system that is stable (the definition of stability is different than what you are thinking)?

You WILL be using Matlab in your more 'advanced' (lol) coursework. It is a wonderful and very powerful tool that everyone should know how to use. It is similar to a very high level programming language but not a traditional programming language in itself.

As you can see from the above range of knowledge you can learn, EE is a rather large field to explore and to pick a specialty is a tough choice. CE is comparatively more narrow.
Quote by denizenz
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Last edited by darkstar2466 at Oct 18, 2011,
#34
Most CE related links are already included in the EE section, so I will just mention the names and skip the links for stuff that's already been discussed.

As a CE, you learn the basics of:

- Basic and Transistor Circuits
- Semiconductor Physics
- Computer Architecture
- Digital Systems and Digital Logic (and how to model hardware in Verilog)
- Data Structures and Algorithms, the cornerstone of all computing. As a CE, you will be well versed in programming, using data structures, algorithms, and figuring out runtime efficiency because you are designing software systems with hardware in mind and hardware systems with software in mind.

With the option range of extending your basic knowledge into:

- Embedded Systems, where hardware meets software. Your smartphone? An embedded system. Your guitar effects pedals? Embedded systems. The circuitry in your hi-def LCD TV? Embedded systems. Your coffee maker? Embedded system. They are anywhere and everywhere and are the cornerstone of modern appliances. Very important field to be educated in, even if you are a layman.
- Parallel Architectures in Hardware and how these multicore systems work, considering the two opposing hardware viewpoints of VLIW and Superscalar.
- Operating Systems. Don't need to elaborate on this particularly, but you will learn how file systems, memory management, I/O, processes, and kernels work. It's not a class on how to make an operating systems - not how to use one...
- Computer Networks. The 7-layer OSI model that dictates the Internet, the important protocols used on each layer, how the WWW works, how to make a simple webserver, etc.

As you can see, you will usually fall under the same department as the EE folks, but your major is tailored toward building digital hardware and understanding software at the basic and core level.

Software ranges from assembly programming all the way to very high level scripting languages like Ruby. CEs work on programming closer to hardware, rather than closer to English.

As a college student, you can pretty much take whatever class you want, so I would recommend taking a bunch of EE courses on top of CE courses (if you choose CE) to gain a more comprehensive view of hardware. Similarly, I would recommend taking a bunch of CS courses on top of your CE courses to gain a more comprehensive view of software. You are going to walk out with an incomplete understanding of hardware or software and an overall "meh" degree if you do just the bare minimum as a CE...
Quote by denizenz
I'll logic you right in the thyroid.

Art & Lutherie
#35
Again, a few CS related links are included in the CE section, so I will just mention the names and skip the links for stuff that's already been discussed.

As a CS student, you do not get an education on hardware at all. Although the field of CS is vast in 'advanced' study, the basics are rather limiting. In addition to the common courses that all EEs, CEs, and CSists take (see EE post), you will learn the basics of:

- Data Structures and Algorithms
- Database Mangagement Systems, namely the way in which you store and manage data efficiently in a database, and SQL, the language you use to retrieve records from a database.

With the option range of extending your basic knowledge into:

- Programming Languages. You will usually explore five or six different languages and get down to the semantics of what makes a programming language tick and what makes it a good language. You will come to understand why a particular language needs to be in favor of another to fit the requirements of your functionality.
- Compilers, the programs that turn your high level code into assembly code. People who specialize in compilers are highly sought after in both academia and industry because it takes a high level of understanding of both hardware and software to design a great program that will turn English into the individual processor instructions. It requires a great deal of understanding in parsing text, translating instructions, and optimizing code (the basic block is a fundamental step in the compilation process).
- Operating Systems
- Computer Networks
- Computer Security, the field of protecting a computer from attack. This field also ties in with Cryptography. Overall a very exciting field with a lot of job prospects. If you like hacking things and figuring out how to break stuff, you will love security.
- Bioinformatics, the field of using specialized database skillsets to compute and analyze DNA sequences and the like. This field will get you into the Genomics boom that is going on right now. If you have an interest in Genetics, Genomics, Molecular Biology, and CS at the same time, this if your field.
- Artificial Intelligence.
- Image Processing. This ties in heavily into the EE side of things because you need to consider the frequency domain to process images, which in turn requires the Fourier Transform. Consider it a more specialized realm of signal processing.
- Computer Graphics. You will most likely learn the famous cross-platform framework Qt and learn how to create graphics using the Open Graphics Library. Very cool class to take, and you can follow it up with Computer Visualization and Geometry of graphics processing. This field is also very laborious in nature and you need to be a perfectionist in order to get your programs to do exactly what you intended. This field is also heavily reliant on Linear Algebra, so if you hate math, this might not be for you.
- Parallel Programming on different architectures in software and hardware. You will learn how to work in a shared-memory setting (think Intel Core2 Duo) and a message-passing setting (think of four computers connected together in a network (called a Network of Workstations (NoW)), where one computer is the coordinator that issues the instructions and gathers data, and all computers compute the data and send messages back and forth till completion). You might even learn how to program parallelly on nVidia graphcis cards using CUDA. An overall great time in parallel computing, if that kinda stuff floats your boat.

Like EE, you can see that CS is a rather diverse field in which you can get a taste of all the entry-level introductory courses, but it is hard to pick a field of specialization.
Quote by denizenz
I'll logic you right in the thyroid.

Art & Lutherie
Last edited by darkstar2466 at Oct 18, 2011,
#36
I walked into college intending to major in Electrical Engineering, not knowing what I was getting myself into. I had no background knowledge in any of this stuff. Walked out with degrees in all three fields because I felt like it was the right thing to do, to get a comprehensive education in both hardware and software. Of course, studying it all isn't for everyone. It takes a lot of time, dedication, and letting go of friends and social pressures and norms. You can't go get drunk with your friends all the time, etc. You will have to work hard on weekends. But if you care enough, you will pick it up like a champ, and you will succeed.

Hope this helps anyone and everyone who is either a prospective student considering these fields or is a current undergraduate not knowing wtf is coming next. After finishing writing all of this, it looks to have turned out to be a pretty good overview, so I will throw this in my sig for people have easy access to it.

and Happy Engineering.
Quote by denizenz
I'll logic you right in the thyroid.

Art & Lutherie
Last edited by darkstar2466 at Oct 18, 2011,
#37
you good at calculus and physics?
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#38
Quote by darkstar2466
I had no background knowledge in any of this stuff. Walked out with degrees in all three fields because I felt like it was the right thing to do


#39
Quote by darkstar2466
I walked into college intending to major in Electrical Engineering, not knowing what I was getting myself into. I had no background knowledge in any of this stuff. Walked out with degrees in all three fields because I felt like it was the right thing to do, to get a comprehensive education in both hardware and software. Of course, studying it all isn't for everyone. It takes a lot of time, dedication, and letting go of friends and social pressures and norms. You can't go get drunk with your friends all the time, etc. You will have to work hard on weekends. But if you care enough, you will pick it up like a champ, and you will succeed.

Hope this helps anyone and everyone who is either a prospective student considering these fields or is a current undergraduate not knowing wtf is coming next. After finishing writing all of this, it looks to have turned out to be a pretty good overview, so I will throw this in my sig for people have easy access to it.

and Happy Engineering.


Holy fark man,you are my idol,I was thinking of getting a bachelor degree on CE and a Associate in CS,but I guess adding some more EE courses shouldn't really be any problem... except for the money but I'll give it my best though,thanks you for the insight.
#40
Quote by Godsmack_IV




Thanks.

Quote by denizenz
I'll logic you right in the thyroid.

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