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THE MING HSIEH DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRICAL & COMPUTER ENGINEERING

Electrical & Computer Engineering

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Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE)

Electrical & Computer Engineering is the enabling technology driving many of today’s most crucial industries and a critical field in advancing the future. It is a diverse discipline encompassing computer and information systems, digital media, telecommunications and wireless technologies, nanoelectronics, lasers, robotics, display technologies, circuit design, and more.

In particular, it is a vital part of every industry, from biomedical engineering and health applications to telecommunications, aerospace, and information technology.

Listen while you scroll!

ECE Podcast Playlist

Check out all of our podcast episodes related to Electrical & Computer Engineering. Whether it’s Dr. Narayanan talking about his research through the Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory (SAIL) or the members of Solar Car discussing prototyping solar cells, this playlist was made for you.

Viterbi Voices: The Podcast is your chance to hear stories about research, classes, student life, and more directly from our faculty, students, and other members of our engineering community. Click the link below to see the rest of our episodes!

Curriculum and Emphases

The ECE department offers an exciting diverse curriculum that prepares students with significant breadth and depth.  Core sets of classes prepare students for one of three areas of emphasis: Circuit, Signals, and Systems; Computer Engineering; and Energy and Electrical Sciences. Additionally, a Computer Engineering and Computer Science degree is jointly offered by the CS and ECE Departments.

Electrical Engineering (Circuit, Signals, and Systems)

Students who choose a to focus on circuits, signals, and systems cover areas in VLSI design, media and audio systems, wireless communications, adaptive control, and mixed signal integrated circuits.

Course Plan

Electrical Engineering (Computer Engineering)

The computer engineering emphasis within electrical engineering contains courses that focus on digital hardware, embedded systems, and VLSI design.

Course Plan

Electrical Engineering (Energy and Electrical Sciences)

Courses in the energy and electrical sciences area cover nanoelectronics, integrated circuit technology, energy sources and management, mixed signal integrated circuits, and communications hardware.

Course Plan

Computer Engineering & Computer Science

(Jointly administered by the Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments)

This program trains students to integrate hardware and software processes to design solutions to problems arising in complex domains such as atomic reactors, guidance systems, and manufacturing systems.  These students graduate ready to design and build complex systems of hardware, software, and networks.

Course Plan

Research

Research in the Electrical & Computer Engineering department is revolutionizing nanoelectronics, information processing, telecommunications, medical diagnosis and treatment, energy and green initiatives, computer systems, and new media, among other areas. Partnerships with off-campus research institutions like the Information Sciences Institute and the Institute for Creative Technologies create unparalleled opportunities for students to work at the cutting-edge of technology.

The department’s instructional laboratories have been integrated into “studio” learning environments that combine traditional lectures with hands-on activities so that students learn by doing, not just listening. State-of-the-art instrumentation and computers support classes involving analog and digital electronics, microprocessor systems, and radio-frequency communications.

We have a balance of programs - theoretical, computational, and experimental – which exemplify the Viterbi School’s approach to intensive and collaborative research.

Faculty

Faculty will be teaching all of your classes and leading research projects as well. Your opportunities to build relationships with your faculty will begin immediately in your first year, both in the classroom and the lab. Check out a few highlighted professors with whom you may work in the future:

Dr. Maryam Shanechi

Neural Systems Engineering & Information Processing

Her lab works at the interface of statistical inference and signal processing, machine learning, and control to develop algorithmic solutions for problems in basic and clinical neuroscience that involve the collection and manipulation of neural signals.

Dr. Paul (Dan) Dapkus

Computational Social Science Lab

In his interdisciplinary research group, researchers tackle similar research problems from different perspectives (Pyschology versus Engineering). They investigate properties of cognition at multiple levels of analysis using a mixture of computational, behavioral, and fMRI methods.

Dr. Mahta Moghaddam

Microwave Systems, Sensors, and Imaging

Her research group carries out a diverse range of research involving microwave systems and senors, environmental and medical imaging, electrostatic and acoustic scattering and inverse problems, non-contact medical therapy, and ultra-low-energy wireless sensor networks.

Dr. Shri Narayanan

Signal Analysis and Interpretation

His research group, also called SAIL, conducts fundamental and applied research in human-centered information processing. SAIL's research applications and systems development especially focus on domains with direct societal relevance including human health and well being, education, and defense.

Don't stop here.

Learn more about the cool faculty and amazing research being done at the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at their website:

ECE Department WebsiteECE Department Website

Careers

Your engineering undergraduate degree will prepare you for many career and academic opportunities. Whether you have always known “what you want to do when you grow up” or are hoping to find out, we are here to help you plan for your future beyond USC. We provide dedicated career services starting in your first year to help you find internships, co-ops, and full-time positions post graduation.

When you graduate with a degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering, here are just a few of the future career paths that might lay before you.
  • Develop alternative energy and green power sources
  • Develop semiconductors and consumer electronics
  • Develop wireless communication systems
  • Design new media and imaging systems (HDTV, satellite radio, etc.)
  • Design robots and other embedded systems
  • Architect novel computer processors and networking systems
  • Build lasers used for medical, manufacturing, and military purposes
  • Develop airborne and satellite electronic systems
  • Develop new biomedical imaging devices
  • Build new computer circuits, microchips, and boards for machine learning, autonomous vehicles, and the internet of things
  • Research and develop new cyber-physical systems
  • Research and develop novel neuromorphic hardware, machine learning, and other artificial intelligence systems

Don't take our word for it. Ask some Viterbi alumni:

Student Life

We want students who like to work hard – both in and out of the classroom. Our students know that going to college is more than attending class and completing assignments. College is about making connections and joining a community of dedicated students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Our students want to work and play with people as interesting as they are, and we have a number of ways for you to do the same.

Your life can be designed how you like it. Join a design team like Solar Car. Get industry advice from Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers. Keep making art with Corpus Callosum. On this page, we have a few student organizations we think you might be interested in, but there are so many more you can get involved in!

Institute for Electrical an Electronics Engineers

Professional Organization

IEEE at USC aims to connect student with Electrical & Computer Engineering related careers. Their general meetings allow students to network with industry representatives as well as USC faculty and staff.

Solar Car

Design/Build/Race

The Solar Car Team was founded in 2014 at USC and their mission is to design, build, and race full-size street legal solar-powered vehicles. They are currently preparing for a 2500 km race across the US.

USC Makers

Innovation in Electronics

Students offer assistance with electronics-related projects and host workshops that are open to general public in order to promote more innovation and interest in electronics.

Imagine yourself on campus.

Learn more about life at USC as an engineering student at Viterbi Voices:

Viterbi VoicesViterbi Voices

More Engineering Disciplines

You just learned so much about Electrical & Computer Engineering, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Beyond this department, Viterbi has ten academic disciplines spread across eight departments to make up more than thirty major combinations. Take some time to explore all of your interests.

Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering

Design for Movement.

Astronautical Engineering

Build for Beyond.

Biomedical Engineering

Help Others Live Better.

Chemical Engineering

Make the Stuff of Tomorrow.

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Design. Build. Improve.

Computer Science

It’s Way More Than Coding.

Industrial & Systems Engineering

Engineer Better Businesses.

Undeclared Engineering

It’s Okay If You’re Not Sure.

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Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering

Design for Movement

Learn more about how you can specialize your degree program with different emphases
Check out the research our faculty and students are doing on and off campus
Hear how you can apply your degree in industry through internships, co-ops, and more
Find out what our current students are up to in clubs and student organizations

Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME)

Aerospace and Mechanical Engineers design complex mechanical, thermal, fluid, acoustic, optical, and electronic systems, with characteristic sizes ranging from microns to tens of kilometers. Such systems are used everywhere, from the depths of the ocean and far underground, to near-earth, planetary, interplanetary, and galactic space.

AME students conduct basic and applied research within and across the usual disciplinary boundaries. AME students develop core and valuable problem-solving skills in the areas of aerodynamics, mechanics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, materials and design. Our graduates are at the leading edge of academia and industry, tackling innovative, important and exciting challenges.

Listen while you scroll!

AME Podcast Playlist

Check out all of our podcast episodes related to Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Whether it’s Dr. Ronney discussing his experience training with NASA as an astronaut or the members of Rocket Lab analyzing their last rocket launch, this playlist was made for you.

Viterbi Voices: The Podcast is your chance to hear stories about research, classes, student life, and more directly from our faculty, students, and other members of our engineering community. Click the link below to see the rest of our episodes!

Curriculum and Emphases

A degree in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering prepares students to work in a variety of fields involving things that move. There are three degree options in the department – check them out here!

Aerospace Engineering

Students who choose to study aerospace engineering will gain a deeper understanding of how things move through the air and fly.  They take all the courses that form a foundation in mechanical principles with a focus on making things fly.

Course Plan

Mechanical Engineering

While studying mechanical engineering, students learn how things move, and how to leverage this phenomenon to create the future of moving objects.  Whether interested in cars, machines, materials, waves, or energy, this program lays the foundation in mechanical principles.

Course Plan

Mechanical Engineering (Petroleum)

A mechanical engineering degree with an emphasis in petroleum allows students to gain the foundation in mechanics while also honing a specialty in areas related to the petroleum industry by taking classes within the petroleum department.

Course Plan

Research

AME students have the opportunity to work with the world-renowned faculty on research projects including turbulence control, emerging fuel cell technologies, computational fluid mechanics, combustion, heat transfer, automatic control systems, biomechanics, robotics, and nonlinear dynamics. Recent undergraduate research and student projects include the design of fixed and flapping wing systems for small unmanned aircraft, the search for low drag solutions for the global cargo shipping industry, sports injury and helmet design for shock reduction, and optimal control of wheelchairs for humans and hovering flight for animals.

We advance and define research frontiers that shape the future of our life in the air, on the ground, and in space. We push forward the understanding of environments both natural (oceans, atmosphere) and engineered (internal combustion, pulsed ignition). Other efforts advance our understanding of control and dynamics of autonomous systems and robotics, advanced manufacturing technology, aircraft design and flight mechanics of very small and very fast flying machines, and biodynamical systems in medical devices, natural propulsion, and evolutionary system dynamics.

We have a balance of programs - theoretical, computational, and experimental – which exemplify the Viterbi School’s approach to intensive and collaborative research.

Faculty

Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering faculty are doing cutting-edge research at Viterbi, and students can start doing research as quickly as their first year! Check out some of the professors you could be working with:

Dr. Paul Ronney

Combustion, Fuels, and Engine Labs

He researches combustion problems but also more generally what he calls “chemically reacting flows” such as autocatalytic chemical reactions, frontal polymerization and even studies of bacterial growth and electrical power production.

Dr. Eva Kanso

Biodynamics Lab

Her team developed an algorithm to mimic an aquatic sensory intelligence with regards to the patterns created in water. It is one of the first instances in which machine learning was applied to characterizing patterns in fluid flows.

Dr. S.K. Gupta

Center for Advanced Manufacturing

His research focuses on 1) making advances in robotics to enable deployment of robots on non-repetitive tasks in manufacturing and 2) exploiting advances in manufacturing processes to design and manufacture novel robots.

Dr. Andrea Hodge

Materials Processing & Characterization Lab

Her research focus is on the processing and mechanical behavior at the nano and micro scale of engineered materials for advanced applications. You might have her as your strength of materials professor!

Don't stop here.

Learn more about the cool faculty and amazing research being done at the Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Department at their website:

AME Department WebsiteAME Department Website

Careers

Your engineering undergraduate degree will prepare you for many career and academic opportunities. Whether you have always known “what you want to do when you grow up” or are hoping to find out, we are here to help you plan for your future beyond USC. We provide dedicated career services starting in your first year to help you find internships, co-ops, and full-time positions post graduation.

When you graduate with a degree in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering, here are just a few of the future career paths that might lay before you.
  • Imagine/Design and build piloted or autonomous craft for land, air, sea, and space
  • Develop entirely new devices including satellites , robots, micro-scale measurement and monitoring platforms
  • Develop control and planning systems for robots, automated machinery and fleets of devices
  • Join the exciting world of modern engineering where the power of smart technology is harnessed and focused to improve the human condition

Don't take our word for it. Ask some Viterbi alumni:

Student Life

We want students who like to work hard – both in and out of the classroom. Our students know that going to college is more than attending class and completing assignments. College is about making connects and and joining a community of dedicated students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Our students want to work and play with people as interesting as they are, and we have a number of ways for you to do the same.

Your life can be designed how you like it. Join a design team like SC Racing. Continue your passion for volunteering with the Society of Women Engineers. Keep making art with Corpus Callosum. On this page, we have a few student organizations we think you might be interested in, but there are so many more you can get involved in!

AeroDesign Team

AIAA Design/Build/Fly

Students design, build, and fly remote-controlled (RC) airplanes. ADT is USC's entrant in the annual AIAA Design Build Fly competition every year against other university across the U.S.

SC Racing

Formula SAE

SC Racing is USC's chapter of FSAE that designs, constructs, tests, and races high performance autocross racecars. Every year they compete against universities worldwide to test their car's abilities.

USC Hyperloop

SpaceX Hyperloop Pod

Students design a sub-scale Hyperloop pod and build a prototype throughout the semester with the goal of winning the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition.

Imagine yourself on campus.

Learn more about life at USC as an engineering student at Viterbi Voices:

Viterbi VoicesViterbi Voices

More Engineering Disciplines

You just learned so much about Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Beyond this department, Viterbi has ten academic disciplines spread across eight departments to make up more than thirty major combinations. Take some time to explore all of your interests.

Astronautical Engineering

Build for Beyond.

Biomedical Engineering

Help Others Live Better.

Chemical Engineering

Make the Stuff of Tomorrow.

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Design. Build. Improve.

Computer Science & Computer Engineering

It’s Way More Than Coding.

Electrical Engineering

Power Up.

Industrial & Systems Engineering

Engineer Better Businesses.

Undeclared Engineering

It’s Okay If You’re Not Sure.