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A Forward Looking Digital Curriculum In Electrical Engineering

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

New Trends in ECE Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.39.1 - 10.39.7



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Paper Authors

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Joerg Mossbrucker

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Forward Looking Digital Curriculum In Electrical Engineering

Joerg Mossbrucker Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Milwaukee School of Engineering Milwaukee, WI


This paper describes the new digital track in the Electrical Engineering program at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). It uses a combined top-down bottom-up approach. Students are exposed to a number of programming languages on embedded systems in three courses starting in the Freshmen year. Digital logic design ranging from simple gate logic to complex programmable logic devices is covered in two courses. In addition, a sixth course focuses on systems interfacing and mobile robots. These changes assure breadth and depth of knowledge in the digital field of Electrical Engineering. This paper focuses on both, the goals and objectives of the entire digital curriculum and the objectives and contents of the individual courses in the digital track.

Technological changes in the Electrical Engineering field

In the last ten years the field of Electrical Engineering has undergone a tremendous shift towards digitalization of almost everything. This is readily apparent in most consumer products and is evident for example in the shift from traditional control to digital control1. It does not mean that the analog side of Electrical Engineering is suddenly being replaced but rather that electrical engineers use digital systems as the controlling mechanism. This trend goes hand in hand with the increased usage of microcontrollers for systems control. Recent advances in 8-bit microcontroller technologies along with dramatic cost reductions increased the usage of these low-end controlling devices. It is estimated that by the year 2005 a total number of 5 billion 8-bit microcontroller units are shipped annually2. MSOE has realized that the microcontroller has become one of the core elements in an Electrical Engineering design and has, therefore, shifted the focus of its digital track.

Objectives of the digital track in the EE program

Objectives of the digital track in Electrical Engineering can be grouped into the following areas: 1. Programming languages

Mossbrucker, J. (2005, June), A Forward Looking Digital Curriculum In Electrical Engineering Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14674

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