Random ECE department info

Department History



The ECE Dept was known in its earlier days as EECS (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) and was housed across campus in the Applied Physics and Mathematics building (AP&M). (It's still possible to hear old timers say EECS (pronounced "eeks" instead of ECE). Due to growth and diverging philosophies, separate ECE and CS departments were formed in 1982. ECE moved into EBU1 shortly thereafter. At that time, UCSD engineering was known only as the Division of Engineering, a name that many felt was undistinguished and did not reflect the true impact of UCSD's ground-breaking work in engineering. In subsequent years it was felt that in order to raise the profile of the growing department a name change was in order. Along with the name change came a reorganization of management (we acquired a Dean) and the development of so-called thrust areas - areas of research that will link well with industry- supported research and that will receive increased attention in years to come. Thrust areas have been identified for the ECE Dept. in wireless communications, very high speed networks, distributed computing, and multimedia applications. These thrust areas are such that, "we ... are able to convince our industrial friends that our research is at the forefront of technology and that it has impact to such a degree that they will want to join us in a number of key research partnerships." (Dean Conn, State of the School Address, Feb 15, 1995).

The ECE Dept is located in EBU1 (Engineering Building Unit 1). Some ECE faculty have lab and office space in SERF (the Science and Engineering Research Facility), in BioEngineering, or in CalIT2.

ECE Studies in Other Departments

ECE Students can and often do travel to the far reaches of campus to work in their field of interest. In addition to collaborative efforts with other departments, ECE has faculty members and students at various sites around campus.

Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO)

The Electrical and Computer Engineering program in Applied Ocean Science is a unique opportunity for UCSD engineering students to orient their studies to the challenges of Ocean Acoustics and Signal Processing. Working under the auspices of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) as an ECE graduate student (they call us "eeeks") there is ample opportunity for doing research with some of the oceanographic community's leading scientists, and obtaining support from the Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL) - with offices and labs located on the Scripps campus and at Point Loma's Nimitz Marine Facility (MARFAC).

Research projects range from the development of ocean and seafloor imaging systems (seismic, acoustic, electromagnetic) to the tomography techniques proposed for measuring changes in global ocean temperatures. ECE-AOS graduate students can expect to enjoy an academic and professional relationship with the scientists, engineers, and SIO-AOS graduate students working with/on the respective technologies.

At this time, financial support for the few ECE-AOS students is about as good as it gets. How we'll fare in the next 5 years will depend largely on how much funding is cut from ONR and NSF budgets. While graduate students working at Scripps are usually well-funded, the computer and engineering facilities are, in general, not as new and spiffy as those at the main campus engineering buildings. (Oceanography is dirty, back-breaking work, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.)

As an ECE-AOS graduate student working for SIO, be prepared for the occasional identity crisis. There will be days when you arrive at the ECE office with a question, and they will refer you to the Scripps graduate office. And after contacting the SIO office, can you guess where they will refer you too? Don't panic, the staff in both of these offices is competent, friendly, and they genuinely care. If there isn't a formal procedure to accommodate your needs, one will be invented - with, of course, a little persistence on your part. -Dan95

Center for Magnetic Recording Research (CMRR)

CMRR, located across the engineering quad from EBU1, is largely funded and driven by collaborative efforts with industry. Research focuses on magnetic recording, especially as it might apply to future generations of consumer electronics. Research is cross disciplinary in nature with faculty from Physics, ECE, and AMES.

Materials Science Program

Materials Science (Mat Sci) has its own cross-disciplinary graduate program, so Mat Sci students can be found in ECE, but not vice-versa. Unlike ECE, Mat Sci students have no home Department that allocates office and lab space, teaches undergraduate classes, or performs other functions that the ECE Dept does on a daily basis. A Mat Sci student therefore makes his or her home in the Dept of their advisor. You will see Mat Sci students in the Physics, the Chemistry, the AMES, and the ECE departments, depending on the student's focus.

The primary source of academic information to Mat Sci students is Charlotte Lauve (Room 470, EBUII). In terms of getting your paycheck (unless paid from a Mat Sci grant), an office, and other administrative details not having to do with academic issues, Mat Sci students in ECE will need to see the appropriate ECE personnel.  http://matsci.ucsd.edu/

University Extension

University Extension is the name for classes offered outside the normal schedule of classes and spanning the range of interests from wine tasting to design of cryogenic lab equipment. These classes are (typically) night classes offered to community members. The courses, organized and run from the Extension office on the UCSD campus, are aimed at the professional who wants to brush up needed skills, change careers, and explore new avenues. Usually the focus is more applied in these classes. Normally students have to pay an extra fee to take Extension courses. However, a number of free Extension enrollments are offered to graduate students each quarter on a first come, first served basis. Check with your department at the beginning of each quarter or call the University Extension.
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