2013-2014 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog (without addenda) 
    Jun 16, 2021  
2013-2014 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog (without addenda) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Electrical Engineering

Undergraduate Program Director:
Peter Voltz
Graduate Program Director:
Yao Wang

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers an Electrical Engineering Program for the degrees Bachelor of Science , Master of Science  and Doctor of Philosophy .

The Profession

The rapidly growing profession of electrical engineering has evolved from its early beginnings in electric-power generation and distribution through the development of radio, television, control and materials to computers, telecommunications and health care. In the last century, electrical engineers have created advances in power distribution, computers and communications that have changed the world. Their inventions have made the world a smaller, safer place and allow for immediate reporting and images from distant places that make world events part of daily life.

While electrical engineering undergraduate and graduate students concentrate on areas of electrical science, graduates apply their training to diversified fields such as electronic design, bioengineering, city planning, astronautics, radio astronomy, system engineering, image processing, telemetry, the Internet, computer design, management and patent law. As students mature and realize their abilities, they may choose professional careers in engineering, government, sales or education.

The expertise of NYU-Poly’s electrical engineering faculty covers a wide range of fields. Principal areas of teaching and research are computer engineering, telecommunications, wireless communications, signal processing, systems and control engineering, power systems and energy conversion, electrooptics and electroacoustics, microwave engineering, plasma science and engineering, and microelectronic devices and systems.

Additional information about electrical engineering careers can be found via IEEE.

Undergraduate Program

The BS program in Electrical Engineering gives student a broad-based background in electrical engineering, preparing them for immediate employment in industry or government or for graduate study.

Goals and Objectives

The objectives of the Electrical Engineering Program are that graduates are expected to:

  • Be engaged and advancing in their professional careers in a profession that utilizes their NYU-Poly degree, in Electrical Engineering or other career path, that include industry, academia, and governmental or non-governmental organizations.
  • Be seeking continuous professional development and life-long learning through graduate school studies, continuing education credits and/or professional registration.

The BS program includes analysis and design courses in major electrical engineering areas that build on fundamental mathematics and science courses. Many courses include handson laboratory components. Undergraduates can choose from a variety of electives to provide depth and specialization, many in commercially viable areas such as local area networks, wireless communication and deregulated power systems.

Since most current engineering design is computer-facilitated, the department includes computer-aided design (CAD) programs in many undergraduate courses to emphasize possibilities for large-scale design, corrections for unmodeled complexities, trade-offs among performance criteria, and real-time simulations. A senior design project challenges each student to integrate analytical and design concepts from earlier courses to design a device or system to meet specified performance requirements.

The program recognizes that communication and interpersonal skills, developed in design-course team projects, are essential to a successful career in any profession. Students also must take writing intensive courses and elective courses in humanities and social sciences.

Students are taught by faculty familiar with current issues through sponsored-research programs, such as those coordinated by NYU Poly’s Center for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications (CATT), a World Wide Web lab, and many research grants awarded to individuals or groups of professors.

The Electrical Engineering Program keeps abreast of market changes through the CATT Industrial Affiliates Program and by hiring professors and part-time adjunct teachers with industrial experience, initiating frequent alumni contacts, reviewing professional journals and encouraging faculty to work in industry part time or while on sabbatical.  Where possible, classroom work challenges students to apply their knowledge to current design situations. Students also apply broad technical knowledge to practical problems through interdepartmental cooperation. The curriculum employs senior projects to reflect Industry’s need for an engineering-system approach. Topics include control and robotics, advanced hardware design, imaging, wireless communications, power electronics and areas mentioned above. Engineering’s economic aspects are addressed by allowing undergraduates to choose electives, such as macro/micro economics, psychology, ethics and management process. Cost evaluation is required in the design projects for EG 1003 Introduction to Engineering and Design . Senior projects emphasize time management and planning.

Exceptional undergraduate students have the opportunity for advanced study in two programs: (1) the BS/MS Program (please refer to the Undergraduate Academic Requirements and Policies  section of the catalog), and (2) the summer junior-research internship program, in which undergraduates work on research projects with graduate students and their advisers. Up-to-date information about program requirements, course offerings, senior-project topics and research projects is available from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

The undergraduate electrical engineering program prepares students broadly for a career in electrical engineering in any of its specializations and readies them for immediate employment in industry, business and government, entrepreneurial endeavors or for further graduate education. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

The Electrical Engineering, B.S.  Typical Course of Study shows a typical semester-by-semester program for students entering as freshmen in fall 2013 or later. The notes are an essential part of the table. Students are responsible for making themselves aware of possible changes in this program after the publication of this catalog. Those changes are posted outside the department’s advising offices and on the department’s website. (Students who started their studies before fall 2013 should consult the previous edition of this catalog or the department’s website for program and course requirements applicable to them.)

Senior Design Project

In the two-semester senior Design Project, students focus on one aspect of electrical engineering. In the first semester, students develop skills using specialized laboratory equipment and computer-design packages, are introduced to techniques for planning projects and making effective presentations and learn to balance such design requirements as performance, safety, reliability and cost effectiveness. In the final semester, students design, build or simulate and test a device or system to meet prescribed engineering specifications.

Informal and formal written and public oral presentations help prepare students for professional careers. Design project students frequently work in groups or pairs to develop interaction skills essential to good engineering.

Graduation Requirements

The Institute requires a 2.0 GPA in all courses and specifies other general requirements in the section Undergraduate Academic Requirements and Policies . This section describes the core curriculum for all engineering majors, including placement procedures in writing, mathematics and programming, course credits by transfer and advanced placement and credit by examination.

To graduate, students must (1) have a C-grade or better in CS 1133 , CS 2204 , EE 2013 , EE 2024  and EE 3054  and (2) have a technical GPA of 2.0 based on all courses prefixed EE, CS or EL. Seniors may elect graduate courses labeled EL 5XX3, but not CS 5XX3. To enroll in other graduate courses, seniors must have a 2.7 GPA or better in related courses and adviser approval; juniors must have a 3.0 GPA or better and adviser approval.

Students are expected to meet the degree requirements in place when they first enrolled in a NYU-Poly program. Those requirements apply as long as students remain in good standing and fewer than eight years have elapsed since they entered the program. The period for unchanged requirements is proportionately less for a transfer student. (Students who started their studies before fall 2013 should consult the department’s website for applicable program and course requirements.)

Good Standing, Probation and Disqualification

Students who fail to meet Institute GPA requirements or other conditions of adequate progress toward completing a degree are put on probation. (See the Undergraduate Academic Requirements and Policies  section of this catalog for more details.) Students on final probation may not register for courses until grades are available from their previous semester’s courses, and they are limited to a reduced number of credits per semester. Students who improve their academic performance are removed from probation and returned to good standing. Continued poor academic performance can lead to final probation and, eventually, disqualification from the Institute.

To remain in good standing in the undergraduate Electrical Engineering Program, students must:

  1. Maintain, term-by-term and cumulatively, a technical GPA (based on EE, EL and CS courses) and an Institute GPA of 2.0 or better;
  2. Earn a C- or better in each of the four courses specified above; and
  3. Fulfill all course pre- and co-requisites.

Students facing difficulties, educational or personal, should consult their instructor or a departmental adviser as soon as possible. Students who do not meet program conditions are placed on departmental probation. Probation conditions may require students to:

  1. Repeat courses, including courses in which they received transfer credit and courses in which they received a C grade or less at NYU-Poly;
  2. Specify their credit load and permissible withdrawals; and
  3. Take other remedial programs.

Students who fail to meet departmental probation requirements, fail three times to earn the required grade in any one course or do not conform to the Institute Student Code of Practice are subject to disqualification from working toward a bachelor’s in electrical engineering or from taking further electrical engineering courses. Actions taken depend on individual cases. Disqualified students may appeal in writing. Students also may apply for readmission after two terms (fall, spring or summer) have passed if they can demonstrate an improved chance of success.

Dual Undergraduate Majors

With departmental permission, students may earn a single bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering . This degree requires 144 credits rather than the usual 130 required for individual bachelor’s degrees.

Transfer Students

Transfer credits for courses taken at other schools are based on evaluation of content and level. Students completing the same program at another school, but in different years, may receive a different number of transfer credits. Students should consult an electrical engineering undergraduate adviser for current information.

Transfer students must arrive and present their records for evaluation at least one week before the regular registration period of their first semester at NYU-Poly. Transfer credits are awarded only for courses completed with C grades or better.

Qualified students from two-year preengineering programs, such as those at liberal-arts and community colleges, may fulfill the requirements for the BS in Electrical Engineering in two additional years. Since pre-engineering programs vary, a prescribed program is not possible; consequently, students should consult with a NYU-Poly undergraduate adviser at the beginning of their pre-engineering program.

Technology-program graduates may be able to fulfill the requirements for the BS in Electrical Engineering in two to three and a half years, depending on the scope and level of their previous education. Consult with an undergraduate adviser for details.

Senior Thesis

Undergraduate electrical engineering students wishing to do a Senior Thesis (BS thesis) instead of Design Project (DP) need not register for DP I or DP II, but they must:

  1. Complete 6 total credits of Senior Thesis (EE 397 );
  2. Complete EE 4001 ECE Professional Development and Presentation ;
  3. Make a presentation to their thesis adviser that is open for other students and faculty to attend; and
  4. Bind their thesis according to Institute guidelines for MS and PhD theses.

Before registering for Senior Thesis, the student must arrange for a faculty member to serve as thesis adviser. In addition, students must have a 3.0 GPA to register for Senior Thesis instead of Design Project.

Additional notes:

  1. The Senior Thesis must be design oriented.
  2. The 6 credits of DP I and DP II are replaced by 6 credits of Senior Thesis (EE 397 ).
  3. The department advises that the 6 credits of Senior Thesis not be all taken in a single semester.

Senior Honors Students

Each spring, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering selects senior honors students from among current juniors with high GPAs who will complete their degree requirements in the following academic year. Such students are listed as honor students in that year’s commencement program and are given special permission to substitute courses in their senior year. Most often these students substitute more advanced graduate courses in place of usual requirements in the same study area. Transfer students are eligible for this designation after they complete half of the credits needed to satisfy NYU-Poly degree requirements (e.g., 64 of 128 total credits).

Guidance for Undergraduate Students

Instructors provide help for their students during hours posted on their doors or by appointment. Students taking project or thesis courses work closely with faculty project advisers. Electrical engineering advisers in the undergraduate ECE office are glad to advise on courses and program adjustments that result from academic needs or personal problems.

The Office of Special Services sponsors a peer-tutoring program. The Polytechnic Tutoring Center (PTC) provides drop-in tutoring in selected courses. Personalized career counseling is available at the Career Management Center.

EG 1001 Engineering and Technology Forum , and EE 1002 Introduction to Electrical Engineering , introduce students to technology in society and to the Institute’s curriculum for electrical engineering. Fellow students can offer excellent advice on how to adjust to the Institute environment and the engineering program and its demands. Outside class, students are urged to meet others who can give experienced advice by joining clubs such as the student branch of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) professional society, and other technical, sports, religious and ethnic clubs.

Students are advised to study and to do homework with other students. Everyone benefits and gains a deeper understanding when they explain a concept or technique to someone else.


Undergraduate advising information is available on the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s website. Students should consult that site for details on honors, probation, approved electives, projects, elective concentrations, course offerings and senior project topics. Curriculum and prerequisite changes, new courses, special sections and other last-minute announcements are also posted on bulletin boards outside the undergraduate and graduate Office of Electrical and Computer Engineering Advising. All students are responsible to stay informed about the latest procedures and regulations.

Graduate Programs

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers a graduate Electrical Engineering Program leading to graduate certificates and Master of Science, Master of Engineering and Doctor of Philosophy degrees as listed below.

Requirements for graduate degrees in electrical engineering are general. Each student may follow a program in any one of many fields, including those described below. For up-to-date information, students should refer to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Student Manual. This publication, revised annually, is available rom the department’s graduate office and on-line.

Outstanding students should apply for financial aid, including research assistantships, teaching assistantships or partial tuition remission.

Goals and Objectives

The Master of Science program in Electrical Engineering  prepares graduates for a professional career as an entrepreneur, a practicing engineer in industry, business or government at an advanced level or to pursue the PhD degree in electrical engineering. Three core courses, two one-year sequences and electives provide breadth and depth across a number of electrical engineering subdisciplines.

The Doctor of Philosophy program in Electrical Engineering  prepares graduates for a research career in electrical engineering and university-level teaching. The program provides students with strong fundamental knowledge in several electrical engineering disciplines, skills for independent research in a subdiscipline and the ability to prepare and defend a dissertation representing an original and significant contribution for publication in a recognized scientific or engineering journal.


Wireless Communications

Wireless communication has exploded in growth since cellular telephones were introduced. This growth has popularized other services such as wireless local area networks (WiFi), wireless wide area networks (WiMAX), Bluetooth and HomeRF. Major paradigm shifts from exclusive reliance on wired networks to an era of tetherless communications, and from a fixed-computing to a mobile-computing environment are under way in the communications world. The merging of Internet and mobile communications is igniting unprecedented growth and an information-technologies revolution.

Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering deals with various systems, devices and chips for computing, control, security and communication purposes. Computer engineers design supercomputers, ubiquitous personal and portable computers, communication equipments security hardware, networking units, intelligent control modules and various embedded hardware-software devices.

Telecommunications and Networking

Telecommunications and networking manages systems such as telephone, television, radio transmission, radar, space communications and networks, including data networks, local area networks and the Internet. Program interests range from the design of components, such as switches and routers, to system and network design, performance analysis, modeling and protocols.

Signal Processing

Signal Processing is the theory and application of filtering, coding, transmitting, estimating, detecting, analyzing, recognizing, synthesizing, recording and reproducing signals by digital or analog devices or techniques. The term “signal” includes audio, video, speech, image, communication, geophysical, sonar, radar, medical, musical and other signals. Applications include: analyzing EKG and other biomedical signals for health monitoring; improving the quality of noisy, low-contrast X-ray images; digitally synthesizing the sound of musical instruments and creating new sounds; compressing music, images and video for faster transmission over the Internet and to make better use of limited memory in portable digital devices; detecting the position and velocity of objects in radar and sonar.

Image and Video Processing

This concentration focuses on the compression of image and video signals for efficient storage and transmission, and on basic image processing techniques such as contrast enhancement, deblurring, denoising and feature extraction. Applications include digital television, video streaming, medical imaging, digital library, and object recognition and tracking for surveillance.

Systems and Control

System engineers are concerned with modeling and predicting the behavior of large systems from knowledge of the component parts. Examples include air traffic control systems, health-care delivery systems, manufacturing systems, and systems to monitor and control pollution of the environment. Control engineers are concerned with all aspects of automatic regulation of system performance, which includes modeling of system behavior. Together with the system engineer, they are trained in the fields of automation and system theory. Typical examples of control systems are automatic guidance systems for aircraft and space vehicles, routing of packets in a telecommunication network, control of unmanned and robotic systems, electric motor control, and chemical process control.

Electronics and VLSI

The discipline involves designing and implementing circuits used in microcomputers, telecommunications, signal processing and control systems. Students learn to design such circuits with state-of the-art computer facilities and design tools. These circuits are fabricated with modern technologies such as CMOS, bipolar and GaAs. This discipline also involves the emerging area of nanoscale electronics, circuits and architectures and associated design tools.

Fields and Waves

Field and wave studies include electromagnetic and acoustic wave radiation and propagation under a variety of conditions, including non-linear, anisotropic and periodic media. Such studies include microwave waveguides and antennas, optical fibers, and integrated optics diffraction and scattering effects. Applications include radar, microwave and optical communications and wireless technology.

Plasma and Almospheric Physics

This area centers on gas breakdown and ionization and the interaction of the resultant plasma with electromagnetic waves. These studies have applications in the propagation of high-power radio waves in the atmosphere and ionosphere.

Power Systems and Energy Conversion

Studies in power and energy include not only traditionally important generation, conversion and distribution of electrical power, but also modern topics such as power electronics, ion plasmas for the electrical energy generation and electromagnetic propulsion.

Graduate Certificates

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers the following Graduate Certificates, each requiring four courses (12 credits). A GPA of 3.0 or higher is required in the four courses to receive the certificate.



    Non-DegreeBachelor of ScienceGraduate CertificateMaster of ScienceDoctor of Philosophy