New Undergraduate Curriculum

EECS Curriculum Innovation Committee

The department is undertaking its first major curriculum revision in a dozen years. A key aim of this revision is to take significant advantage of our joint EECS department. The intersections between EE and CS, as technical disciplines, are deep and varied. One visible point of contact is in computer architecture and digital design; but there are also important contacts between artificial intelligence and estimation and control; between computer networking and information theory and coding; between numerical methods and computational biology; between hearing and speech and natural language; between computer vision and speech and signal processing. Our goal is to have students experience EECS, not just EE and CS. To that end, we will immerse them early in an integrated experience, exposing them to the breadth and richness of the field.

Students enjoying the interactive laboratory with mobile robots in 6.099 Spring 2006.

Students enjoying the interactive laboratory with mobile robots in 6.099 Spring 2006.

The field of EECS is so broad, however, that no student can be grounded in everything EECS has to offer. Traditionally, we have focused on a small set of “core” topics that all students are required to study. Because there is a huge range of important, elementary material, any particular subset will necessarily omit many fascinating and fundamental topics. Instead, our new approach is to insist that students study a broad set of fundamentals, but not that every student study exactly the same set. We believe that a combination of the integrated introductory experience and early exposure to a broader choice of subjects will help students appreciate the range of possible intellectual and career opportunities in EECS.

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