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Engineering Impact: Summer 2022

Summer 2022

Electrical and Computer Engineering Offering AI/ML and Semiconductors Minors for All

by College of Engineering

Undergraduate Education

In response to a growing interest from students, Purdue’s Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) will offer a minor and concentration in artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) and a new minor and concentration on semiconductors and microelectronics.

The AI/ML minor will launch for the Fall 2022 semester. Courses for the minor will be open not only to students in the College of Engineering but also to non-Engineering majors. In tandem, the School will add related concentrations for students pursuing the BSEE and BSCmpE degrees.

The plan for the minor is to have one baseline course — the popular “Python for Data Science” class that teaches basic programming as well as provides the mathematical foundations for AI and ML. In addition, there will be a selection of five core courses from which students may choose, allowing them to focus on the computational side of AI/ML, the mathematical side, or both. In addition, there will be a selection of electives available.

School intends to offer the new concentration on semiconductors and microelectronics for graduate students pursuing the MS ECE degree. It will be available both on campus and online. A unique feature of the master’s program is a suite of 1-credit courses developed to meet the needs of potential students and their prospective employers. This new MS degree will be the only interdisciplinary MS degree focused entirely on this area at any of the top 10 ranked engineering colleges in the country.

In addition, a new undergraduate minor and undergraduate concentration in semiconductors and microelectronics will be formally available in August 2022. The minor will allow non-ECE students to gain a fundamental understanding of semiconductors and microelectronics and also deepen their studies with electives in this same topic. The undergraduate concentration will allow undergrads pursuing Electrical or Computer Engineering majors to tailor their undergraduate experience to specialize in the areas of semiconductor technology, circuit design, or system design.

These credentials provide an important signal to employers and graduate schools about the depth and focus of a student’s undergraduate studies. Employers are looking for people who can deploy AI/ML methods across many fields. In addition, huge industry investment has been made in semiconductor and microelectronics infrastructure, and the College must provide the skills for the next generation of engineers and scientists in these areas.

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