EECS: New Initiatives in Teaching

Several of the teaching initiatives mentioned in Department Head Rafael Reif’s introductory message are described in more detail below and in the following pages.

Curriculum Initiative Committee (CIC)

The Department has established a new committee charged with re-thinking the undergraduate and M.Eng curriculum, both at the level of the requirements and the content of individual subjects. After extensive discussions among the committee members and with other EECS faculty, we have come to see opportunities for our graduates to acquire a deeper grasp of fundamentals and stronger skills, while defining career paths that cut across the Department in non-traditional ways. Our plan currently involves:

(1) Redesigning the department’s core subjects

to provide an initial exposure to the major concepts in EECS in an integrated and hands-on fashion, using concrete systems such as a robot and a cell phone as examples and motivation.

EECS Curriculum Initiative Committee chair Tomás Lozáno-Pérez

EECS Curriculum Initiative Committee chair Tomás Lozáno-Pérez

(2) Building on the redesigned and consolidated core

to encourage greater depth in S.B. programs, partly with the introduction of new undergraduate subjects in areas such as communications and device physics and partly with a new curricular structure that encourages students to take such subjects.

(3) Introducing flexibility in the SB and M.Eng requirements

so as to enable undergraduate students to explore more of the department’s enormous breadth and to better prepare them for the M.Eng (in which 70% of EECS students enroll).

(4) Opening up more room in the M.Eng for the capstone project/thesis.

(5) Exploiting technology

such as Open CourseWare, to achieve greater impact from our curriculum development.

The CIC members are Professors Abelson, Bulovic, D. Freeman, Jackson, Kaelbling, Lozáno-Pérez (chair), Sodini, Sudan, Tsitsiklis, Verghese and White.

Our hope is that over the next five years our efforts will not only transform the EECS student experience, but will also contribute to the intellectual vibrancy and cohesion of the department as a whole. Stay tuned!

— Tomás Lozáno-Pérez

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