Technical Focus Tracks
The objective of this unique Industry-Oriented Master's Program is to develop leaders in electronic technology innovation. On the technical side, the focus is on connecting the physical side of electronics (hardware) with the virtual side (software and systems). The areas of emphasis in physical electronics are:
Autonomous systems focus on autonomy and mobility platforms that include robots, self-driving cars, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to name a few. This technical track covers a wide range of topics on machine learning, AI, computer vision, embedded and sensing systems, control systems, and robotics. Although the societal benefits of autonomous systems vary depending upon the specific application, each of the established and emerging applications of AI for autonomous systems is intended to improve the quality, safety, and/or security of human life. For example, self-driving cars are expected to reduce emissions, provide mobility to the elderly and disabled, reduce transportation costs, increase safety, and reduce crime. Humanoid robots can provide personal assistance to the disabled, sick, and elderly, perform dirty or dangerous jobs that pose health or safety risks to humans, or perform tasks that are beyond human capability. Common to each of the applications is the need to attain, analyze, and act upon multifaceted information and data obtained from a variety of sensors such as radar, lidar, CCD cameras, MEMS devices, etc.
Various industry forecasts project that, by 2020, there will be around 50 billion smart devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), helping to engineer new solutions to societal-scale problems such as healthcare, energy conservation, transportation, etc. These smart devices (networked embedded systems) exist everywhere around us - in everything from small devices such as biomedical implants, networked sensors, and smart cards, to larger devices such as personal computing devices and home electronics/appliances, and even in very large systems such as automobiles, aircraft avionics, and missile flight control systems. Designing and deploying an IoT-based solution requires deep technical competence and expertise in hardware design (at the printed circuit board level as well as at the chip level), embedded software, wireless networking, mobile computing, and cloud computing. Students focusing on this topic area will develop such expertise that will make them highly sought-after by companies building IoT solutions in a variety of application domains.
Modern life is sustained by energy, but we are remarkably inefficient in generating, distributing, and using energy. Students focusing on this topic will learn how modern electronics is transforming energy generation, distribution, and use.. For example, solar cells have become an important source of renewable energy. Highly efficient power electronic devices are reducing distribution losses in high voltage power lines, enabling the first generation of electric cars, and making wind turbines and robots/drones stable. Highly efficient light emitting diodes are displacing incandescent bulbs, and quantum-dot displays have dramatically reduced power consumption in displays. Distributed temperature and humidity sensors coupled with machine learning are addressing a dominant source of energy consumption, how homes are heated and cooled. Finally, even at small scales, IoTs and implanted biomedical devices are being powered by energy harvested from vibrations, thermal gradients, and so on.
The incessant march of Moore’s Law, which has enabled exponential growth in the number of transistors in integrated circuits, has culminated in System-on-Chips (SoCs) where many functions of an electronic system are integrated into a single chip. Most modern computing and electronic systems are powered by SoCs, from mobile phones, tablets, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices to servers in the cloud. As a result, SoCs represent the fastest-growing segment of the semiconductor industry. Complex SoCs contain billions to tens of billions of transistors integrating microprocessors, graphics processing units (GPUs), accelerators, memory, and a host of off-chip interfaces, all on a single chip. Due to the complexity and diversity of modern SoCs, their design teams need to be competent in design at various levels of abstraction (from the system architecture level to the circuit level) and able to think across traditional boundaries such as hardware and software.
The technical focus of this unique Professional Master’s Program is on connecting the physical side of electronics (hardware) with the virtual side (software and systems). The program provides opportunities for students to develop technical depth and breadth in AI for Autonomous Systems, Systems-on-Chips, Internet of Things, Renewable Energy Technologies, and in other topics such as: