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					                                  electrical, computer and software engineering scope note

    electrical, computer and software engineering scope note
Fund 4554                         Peggy White                  December 2003


Electrical engineering is that branch of engineering that deals primarily with electricity
and magnetism and is devoted to the utilization of forces of nature and materials for the
benefit of mankind. It covers practical applications involving current flow through
conductors as in motors and generators and includes the generation, transmission and
utilization of electric energy.

Electrical engineering encompasses many phases of other engineering sciences and the
physical sciences; it includes research, invention, development design, and application.

Much of electrical engineering is based on applications of higher mathematics.

Electrical engineers design new products, write performance requirements and develop
maintenance schedules.

The usual functions in electrical engineering include research and development,
planning, designing, construction, operating and maintaining a variety of electrical
apparatus and systems.

Electrical engineers also test equipment, solve operating problems and estimate the
time and cost of projects.

Beside manufacturing, research, and design many electrical engineers are employed in
administration and/ or management or technical sales. (June 6, 2003)

Electronic engineering is engineering that deals with the practical application of
electronics. It covers electron devices or circuits or systems utilizing electron devices
including electron tubes, magnetic amplifiers, transistors and other devices that do the
work of electron tubes.

Software Engineering is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable
approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software; that is, the
application of engineering to software. (IEEE Standard 610.12) It looks at ways of
improving software and the economics of same.
                                 electrical, computer and software engineering scope note

Areas include software process reuse, process maturity modeling and reengineering,
affect of software reuse on quality and productivity, metrics for software reuse,
comparative metrics in procedure-oriented and object-oriented programming,
requirements engineering and small software project development

Teaching Focus

There are three main programs, computer engineering, electrical engineering and
software engineering. Common to all three are programming fundamentals, computer
organization, signals and transforms, circuits, digital circuits, probability and statistics,
and discrete mathematics. Electives common to all three include data base management
systems, digital video processing, parallel computer architecture, digital signal
processors, neuro-fuzzy and soft computing, wireless communications, digital
communications, telecommunication and computer communication, optical fiber
communication, digital filters. . Specialization begins in year three

Computer engineering covers communication, operating systems, assembly language,
real-time system design, control systems, compiler construction, and computer
architecture. Unique electives include Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and digital
signal processing (DSP) systems and advanced control systems.

Electrical engineering covers assembly language programming and interfacing, software
development, control systems, digital system design, electronic devices and circuits,
analog electronics and communications, electromagnetic fields, steady-state power
systems. Unique electives include microwave circuits and antennas, transmission media,
and power electronics.

Software engineering covers computer communications, programming languages,
database management systems, assembly language, real-time system design, principles
of software engineering, and human and organizational aspects of software engineering,
software metrics, software architecture, and compiler construction. Unique electives
include computer graphics, software process improvement, and web engineering.

Research Focus
Bolded areas are linked to the areas of prominence and promise. However, there is a
large amount of overlap among all the areas so many specific research projects may fit
the criteria.

Bioelectricity is the generation and flow of electric current in living tissue.
                                electrical, computer and software engineering scope note

Research in this area covers the electrical properties of biological matter and materials.
Primary focus is the development of novel devices for the biomedical and biochemical

Research seeks to unite advanced methods in the fields of semiconductor fabrication,
control theory and dieletrophoresis. Dielectrophoresis is the physical principle, which
governs the behaviour of neutral matter in non-uniform electric fields. Aspects of the
research include biopolymer electrochemistry, silicon micro machining, chemical
sensors and actuators and bioreactor control methods. (Kaler)

Electromagnetism is the branch of physics relating electricity to magnetism. It is the
magnetism produced by an electric current rather than by a permanent magnet.

Research includes the Interaction of electromagnetic waves with the human body, both
at extremely low frequencies (Power Lines) and very high frequencies (mobile
communications). It also covers computations of the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) and
studies of antennas working in the close vicinity of the user. (Fear, Okoniewski)

Biomedical engineering
Biomedical engineering is the application of engineering technology to the solution of
medical problems; examples are the development of prostheses such as artificial valves
for the heart, various sensors for the blind, and automated artificial limbs.

Research in the area focuses on biomedical instrumentation including the following,
MEMS (MicroElectricalMechanicalSystems) based mechatronic devices and systems,
biomedical signal and image analysis, noninvasive diagnosis, medical image and image
analysis and neural networks.

       Specific areas of research include
       Signal processing and pattern classification techniques for noninvasive diagnosis
       of knee joint cartilage pathology by analysis of joint vibration (sound) signals
       Digital image processing, pattern recognition, and computer vision techniques
       for mammographic image analysis and computer-aided diagnosis of breast
       Filtering, restoration, and reconstruction techniques for nuclear medicine
       Artificial control of gastrointestinal motility, automatic infusion of insulin
       (artificial panreas), computer analysis of the level of randomness in
       electrophysiological signals
       Magnetic resonance imaging and image processing
                                electrical, computer and software engineering scope note

       Image quality measures. Development of automated computer observers ROC
       (receiver operating characteristics) evaluation of signal and image processing
       techniques in clinical diagnosis. (Fear, Kaler, Leon, Mintchev, Rangayyan, Smith,

Research in this area focuses on communication over a number of devices and systems
including radio, cellular radio, wireless and mobile radio, satellite and other types of
telecommunications networks. Specific areas of interest include multiple-access, multi-
user detection, detection and estimation techniques for cellular radio, multipath fading
for indoor wireless and mobile radio and specific types of coding. Network research
includes the use of fibre optics, queuing theory, interference, and super throughput
local area protocols. (Eberlein, Irvine-Halliday, Johnston, Okoniewski, Potter, Sesay)

Computer Engineering
Research in this area primarily focuses on improving computer systems, performance
and application.

Areas include:
       Artificial intelligence, the branch of computer science concerned with enabling
       computers to simulate such aspects of human intelligence as speech recognition,
       deduction, inference, the ability to learn from experience and make inferences
       given incomplete information.
       Artificial neural networks, a form of computer artificial intelligence that use
       software developed on concepts understood from biological neural networks, to
       adaptively perform a task.
       Expert systems, application programs that make decisions or solve problems by
       using knowledge and analytical rules defined by experts in the field. Expert
       systems use two components, a knowledge base and an inference engine, which
       is that part of the system that matches input propositions with facts and rules,
       contained in a knowledge base, to form conclusions.
       Computer architectures, the physical construction or design of a computer
       Parallel processing, the method of processing that can run only on a computer
       that contains two or more processors running simultaneously. Programmers
       working with systems that perform parallel processing must find ways to divide a
       task so that it is more or less evenly distributed among the processors available.
       Distributed processing, that form of processing in which work is performed by
       separate computers linked through a communication network. It requires a
       highly structured environment that allows hardware and software to
       communicate, share resources, and exchange information freely.
                                 electrical, computer and software engineering scope note

       Compilers, which are programs that translate all the source code of a program
       written in a high level language into object code prior to execution.
       VLSI (very large scale integration) architectures. These architectures are very
       dense encompassing from 5000 to 50000 components.
       Computer-aided design of integrated circuits
       Goal-oriented languages
       Computer simulation for training of the handicapped (Bruton, Eberlein, Haslett,
       Norman, Smith, Turner)

Control Systems
Research in control systems is directed at improving optimum performance. It looks at
ways of improving control systems through design modification, adaptation, and use of
control methods in new ways Types of control systems include adaptive control,
nonlinear control, variable structure control, real time digital control, microprocessor-
based control etc.

Many advances in this area have come as a result of improved computer technology
enhancing the ability of the control system to handle increasingly complex variables and

Adaptive control is a control method by which system control parameters are
continuously and automatically adapted in response to variables to improve the
performance of the host equipment.

Nonlinear control theory explores systems where the relationship between the input and
output signals is not linear and where as a result the behavioral possibility of the
feedback loop can change.

Variable structure control is a type of high-speed switching feedback control system
used in non-linear situations, multivariable systems. It uses a combination of
subsystems with fixed control laws to enhance the robustness of the system.

Digital control refers to a control scheme in which the controller is a digital device
generally a digital computer. It means that use can be made of much more advanced
control logic. Measurement is made at discrete instants of time and data must be
spatially discretized to allow digital handling.

Microprocessor-based control systems are used in many domestic appliances. A
microprocessor has the equivalent of the entire brain of a computer on a single
integrated chip, which allows it to sense, interpret functions and respond to commands.
                                electrical, computer and software engineering scope note

Examples include microwaves, digital ranges, dishwashers etc. Research in this area
involves the use an adaptation of new technologies such as fuzzy and neural network
systems, thereby enhancing the efficiency and applicability of microprocessor based
systems. Mintchev, Norman, Nowicki, Rosehart, Westwick

The primary focus of research in electronics is on semiconductor devices and their
Specific areas include
       CMOS Complementary metal oxide semiconductors. A combination of N- and P-
       channel enhancement-mode MOSFETs (metal oxide semiconductor field effect
       transistors) on a single silicon chip connected as push pull complementary
       circuits. Their advantage is low quiescent power dissipation and high operating
       speed. Research in this area is focused on high temperature and noise
       Analog circuits, including nonlinear, low voltage, low power circuit design. A
       circuit is an interconnected group of active and passive electrical and electronic
       components that accomplish a desired function such as switching, amplification,
       filtering or data compression. Nonlinear circuits are circuits whose
       characteristics cannot be specified by linear differential equations in which time
       is the independent variable. Low voltage is an electromotive force of 24volts or
       Microelectronic RC-active and switched capacitor filter design. Active switched
       capacitor filters are filters that include an operational amplifier and feedback
       path to obtain selected filtering functions.

       CCD (charged-couple device) A storage device in which individual semiconductor
       components are connected to each other so that the electrical charge at the
       output of one device provides the input to the next.

Research into applications includes
       CCD imager applications to spacecraft instrumentation systems
       nonlinear analog circuit development for pressure and temperature
       measurement instrumentation systems
       analog circuits for telecom applications
       microwave moisture measurement
       Isolated biomedical amplifiers
       Application of analog and digital circuits to instrumentation problems.
       New merged circuit structures; design, fabrication and modelling.
       GaAs ( gallium arsenide) digital IC design.
       Wafer scale integration of MOS (metal oxide semiconductor) and GaAs VLSI
                                 electrical, computer and software engineering scope note

       Packaging effects, ElectroMagnetic Compatibility and ElectroMagnetic
       interference problems
       Development of Software Package for Electromagetic Simulations. (Bruton,
       Haslett, Johnston, Kaler, Maundy, Mintchev, Norman, Okoniewski, Trofimenkoff,

Image processing
Digital image processing has major applications to many strategic areas such as
computer vision, medical imaging and diagnostics, industrial inspection, remote sensing
and seismic imaging.

Research in this area focuses on enhancing images through various methods, including
filtering, processing and restoration. Techniques include computed tomography in
medical diagnosis and nondestructive testing, the use of the auditory system to process
images, using a sonification procedure to convert images, the use of adaptive rather
than fixed neighborhood techniques to enhance images, directional image analysis for
quantitative studies, image coding and data compression to improve resolution, and
digital signal processing for non-invasive detecting. Also under scrutiny is the
enhancement of digital images by multidimensional signal processing, and two-
dimensional television image enhancement. (Bruton, Leon, Rangayyan, Vigmond)

Power systems
The central problem in power system generation is that of controlling the combined
power output of the generators such that it matches the demand of the loads.

Research in this area involves modeling and simulation of power system operation, to
improve power system economics and planning. It includes various types of load flow
and stability studies as well as advanced control methods such as fuzzy and neural
network applications, real-time digital control, frequency control etc. Malik, Nowicki,

Signal Processing
Signal processing covers the processing of signals from physical sensors, radio-
frequency, X-ray, ultraviolet, sonic, and ultrasonic transmitters and even natural sources
to filter noise, improve the signal-to-noise ratio, amplify or otherwise improve signals
for reception, retransmission, or conversion to another format. Filters and analog-to-
digital converters are examples of signal processors.

Research in this area includes
       Random data analysis and the modelling and measurement of random physical
       Estimation and detection theory.
                                 electrical, computer and software engineering scope note

       Spectral analysis and system identification problems
       Sampling and quantization theory.
       Characterization of large electrical machines using spectral analysis
       Fourier analysis and application. Fourier analysis is the process of determining
       the amplitude, frequency, phase, coherence functions correlation functions,
       power spectra, transfer functions and other functions of each sinusoidal
       component in a given waveform.
       Hartley analysis and applications.
       Digital signal processing (DSP). DSP is the processing of signals in digital-format
       technology, typically after conversion from an analog format. DSP techniques
       offer greater stability and accuracy than analog processing. They are used to
       analyze, enhance, filter, modulate or otherwise manipulate signals that originate
       in analog form. They offer better recovery for weak or fading signals and faster
       more efficient processing of systems such as sonar, radar and
       Adaptive Signal Processing
       One-dimensional and multi-dimensional digital filter synthesis, implementation
       and applications.
       CAD tools for digital signal processing.
       Biomedical signal analysis.
       Microprocessor systems
       Development of real time general-purpose programmable and micro-
       programmable boards for digital signal analysis. (Bruton, Mintchev, Leon,
       Norman, Rangayyan, Sesay, Smith, Vigmond, Turner)

Software Engineering
Software engineering includes theoretical and applied research on the effects of
integrating a reuse policy inside a software development process, in terms of process
maturity, productivity, quality, long term returns of investment, standards, effects on
the market structure, relevant accounting techniques, and legal issues. Analysis of the
effects of object orientation in terms of quality, productivity, predictability, return on
investment; tools supporting software engineering over the Internet. (Eberlein, Mintchev,
Rochefort, Ruhe, Smith, Wang)

Very Large Scale Integration Circuit Design
Very large scale integration pertains to a circuit containing between 2 x 104 and 106
transistors in design. A very large integrated circuit contains more than 1000 gates,
elementary logic circuits that include a single transistor. Very large scale integration was
preceded by large scale integration, medium scale integration and small scale
integration. Small scale integration had less than 100 transistors in its design.
                               electrical, computer and software engineering scope note

Research in this area includes new circuit design techniques, verification methodologies
and use in specific applications such as in field programmable gate arrays, BICMOS
circuit structures, CMOS processes and two and three dimensional topological logic
partitioning schemes etc. A field programmable gate array is a device containing many
circuits whose interconnection and functions are programmable by the user. The CMOS
process is a digital logic IC fabrication technology that combines NMOS and FET
transistors on the same sub strate to form logic gates or memory cells. The BicCMOS
process is an IC technology combining the linearity and speed of bipolar devices with
the low power drain and higher density of CMOS. It is widely used for mixed-signal
devices. (Dmitrov, Haslett, Jullien, Maundy, Nowicki, Trofimenkoff, Turner)

Research Collections

Excluded are general interest books on the Internet and its uses and also most software
manuals such as Frontpage, Dreamweaver, and others on web design.

Interdisciplinary Considerations
There is considerable overlap between computer science and software engineering. In
the case of software engineering both the Department of Computer Science and the
Department of Electrical Engineering teach software engineering jointly. In the area of
biomedical instrumentation there is overlap with the Faculties of Medicine and
Kinesiology. There could be some overlap with the social sciences in the area of
technology and impact on society. Finally all of engineering is connected.

There is no current agreement with other funds.

Selection Notes
Scholarly monographs, textbooks, conferences, journals and standards
Last 10-15 years
North America, Great Britain
Duplicate heavily used texts
Consider acquiring most IEEE or IEE monographs if money permits.
                               electrical, computer and software engineering scope note

Sources used.
IEEE Standard Dictionary of Electrical and Electronic Terms
McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology
McGraw Hill Electronics Dictionary
Wiley encyclopedia of electrical and electronics engineering

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