Electrical and Computer Engineering
The objective of the electrical and computer engineering faculty is to provide a graduate program that is both broad and deep, covering the diverse technical areas within modern electrical and computer engineering. Eight subareas within the department support this objective: biomedical engineering, computer engineering, electromagnetics and acoustics, energy systems, manufacturing systems engineering, plasma/quantum electronics and optics, solid-state electronics, and telecommunications and information systems. Each area allows the design of a program of study to match the educational objectives of each student.
Facilities are available for graduate work in almost all specialties of electrical and computer engineering, from experimental, theoretical, and computational perspectives. Graduate activities of the department are housed principally in the Engineering-Science Building, with ready access to several special-purpose facilities located in the Applied Computational and Engineering Science Building and at the J. J. Pickle Research Campus.
The McKinney Engineering Library and the Kuehne Physics-Mathematics-Astronomy Library, located near the Engineering-Science Building, provide a rich source of literature to support graduate activities in electrical engineering. Also available for use in education and research are the extensive facilities of Academic Computing, including more than two hundred computer workstations in the Engineering-Science Building. The Center for Electromechanics, the Computer Engineering Research Center, the Microelectronics Research Center, the Telecommunications and Signal Processing Research Center, and the Center for Perceptual Systems are nationally recognized centers for multidisciplinary research, in which electrical and computer engineering faculty members participate. Numerous facilities for experimental research are provided by the well-equipped research laboratories within the department.
Graduate courses and research are offered with varying degrees of specialization in the following general areas. Topics of specialization within each area depend on the interests of the faculty.
Biomedical engineering. The biomedical engineering program is interdisciplinary, with a faculty that includes members of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the School of Biological Sciences, and several departments in the College of Engineering, as well as practicing physicians. The current research of this faculty is focused in the following areas: optical bioengineering, thermal bioengineering, tissue engineering, molecular synthesis, and biomechanics. Research activities embrace such topics as bioinstrumentation, modeling and control of biological systems, nerve fiber regeneration, biomedical computer and information technology, biomechanics, thermal processes, musculoskeletal modeling, acquisition and analysis of in vivo and ex vivo spatial human biomechanics data, acquisition of physiological data by noninvasive means, engineering in the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, biomaterials and artificial organs, cell and tissue engineering, design and testing of novel fluid and drug delivery systems, effects of laser radiation on biological material, laser applications in medicine, coherence imaging of biological materials, pulsed photothermal tomography, biorheology, visual system instrumentation, computer vision, production and purification of genetically engineered proteins, acquisition and processing of neurological signals, neuroprostheses, applications of finite element modeling in medicine, acoustics and ultrasound, blood-protein coated surface interactions, image processing, thermography, and hyperthermia.
Computer engineering. This area involves research and study in computer architecture, computer systems and networks, theory and design of digital systems, and software engineering. Investigations include architecture design, parallel processing, neural networks, microprocessor-based systems, fault-tolerant computing, design for testability, computer-aided design, computer vision, VLSI system design, embedded systems, local area networks, and hardware/software codesign. This area of study is also available through the executive program in software engineering to professionals who are currently working full-time. More information about the executive program is available at http://lifelong.engr.utexas.edu/ese/ or by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Electromagnetics and acoustics. This area includes the study of wave propagation ranging from ultralow frequencies to microwaves. It involves investigations of electrical geophysics, antennas and scattering, radar target identification, wireless communications, microwave and millimeter-wave integrated circuits, and guided wave devices and systems. The activities in acoustics involve research in transducers, atmospheric and underwater acoustics, and noise and vibration control.
Energy systems. This area involves research in the production, distribution, and use of electric energy. Present investigations are concerned with electromechanical devices for pulsed power applications, advanced electrical machines, power system-related analyses, simulation of power systems, energy system economics and optimization, open-access transmission, energy efficiency and demand-side management, power system harmonics, power quality, and power electronics.
Manufacturing systems engineering. This area emphasizes the application of computers, information sciences, and information systems to the development of equipment and software systems for manufacturing. Students take the required core courses, Electrical Engineering 380N (Topic 7: Computer Control of Manufacturing Systems), 380N (Topic 9: Fundamentals of Robotics and Mechatronics), and 390C, and additional courses in a specialized option. These specialization options include integrated circuit manufacturing, electronic packaging manufacturing, and manufacturing automation and assembly.
Plasma/quantum electronics and optics. This area involves research in controlled fusion, plasma dynamics, optics, quantum-optic and photonic devices, and plasma processing of semiconductors. National tokamak facilities and on-campus experiments are used to study plasma transport, turbulence, and heating. Plasma investigations include the design of advanced fusion reactors, plasma diagnostics, high-order spectral analysis of plasma waves, and plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. Research in quantum electronics includes optical systems, lasers and laser applications, optical signal processing, optoelectronic devices, and lightwave systems. Investigations include quantum transport studies of double barrier heterostructures, components for very-high-speed communications and computation, and high-energy laser applications in materials synthesis and processing.
Solid-state electronics. This area emphasizes the electronic and magnetic properties of materials and new electronic devices. Present investigations are concerned with the applications of superconductors, master slice integrated circuit design, metal-oxide semiconductor materials and devices, thermodynamic properties of materials, infrared devices and systems, semiconductor interfaces, and integrated optics.
Telecommunications and information systems. This area involves research in the analysis and synthesis of systems and in the processing of information for the purposes of identification, communication, and control. Investigations include information theory; digital communications; wireless communications; queueing theory; stochastic processes; probability; networking control theory; optimization; nonlinear systems; estimation; and signal, image, and video processing.
The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee in the spring semester 2000-2001.
To enter the graduate program in electrical and computer engineering, a student should normally have an undergraduate degree in this field. A student with a degree in another field may enter if his or her background is appropriate for the chosen area of specialization; however, deficiencies in undergraduate preparation must be made up at the discretion of the Graduate Studies Committee. Standards for entrance into the program generally exceed the minimum standards established by the University; a departmental admissions committee recommends admission or nonadmission of individual applicants.
Graduate students in electrical and computer engineering are expected to be proficient in English. Any student who does not meet the proficiency standards of the University or the department may be required to complete a three-semester-hour technical communications and English course. The course is counted toward the student's course load for the semester but is not counted toward the fulfillment of course requirements for the graduate degree.
Entering students are urged to seek a compatible supervising professor. Students may work toward a Master of Science in Engineering degree or, with the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee, may proceed directly to the Doctor of Philosophy degree. More information about course loads, course selection, degree requirements, financial aid, and related matters is available from the office of the graduate adviser.
There are three options for obtaining the master's degree. The thesis option requires thirty semester hours of coursework, of which six hours are earned in the thesis course. The report option requires thirty-three semester hours of coursework, of which three hours are earned in the report course. The master's degree without thesis or report requires thirty-six semester hours of coursework. All coursework for the master's degree should be taken on the letter-grade basis.
Up to six semester hours of Electrical Engineering 397K (Topic 1: Conference Course) may be counted toward the master's degree. Normally, Electrical Engineering 197C-997C, 197G-997G, and 398T are not counted toward fulfillment of minimum semester hour requirements. All coursework in and outside electrical engineering must be logically related, and the student's entire program must be approved by the supervising committee, the graduate adviser, and the graduate dean. Specific regulations regarding the master's degree program are available from the graduate adviser.
Executive program in software engineering. This master's degree program is available in addition to the course of study offered in the traditional program within the department. It is designed for engineers and computer professionals who are currently employed full-time. Classes are scheduled once a month on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the academic year; at least two calendar years of study are needed to complete the program. Students are required to prepare a master's report as part of their course requirements.
Early in the doctoral degree program, the prospective candidate should select a supervising professor, after discussion with and consent of the faculty member so chosen. As early as possible thereafter, the candidate should prepare a tentative Program of Work, with the advice and approval of the supervising professor.
Formal entry into the doctoral program is achieved when the student is admitted to candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The Graduate Studies Committee considers the student's admission to candidacy, upon completion of at least one full semester in residence, after a thorough review of the student's overall academic record and performance on a doctoral qualifying examination. A detailed description of the procedure for admission to candidacy is available from the graduate adviser. The doctoral program typically requires two to four years of work after the master's degree.
Campus address: Engineering-Science Building (ENS) 132, phone (512) 471-8511, fax (512) 475-7692; campus mail code: C0803
Mailing address: Graduate Program, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712-1084
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