The structure of the Computer Engineering educational experience at The Citadel is bookended with design experiences. The freshman engineering fundamentals courses are hands-on courses designed to develop basic engineering design, programming skills and good teamwork habits. The sophomore courses establish a foundational basis of algorithm development, basic circuit theory, and digital systems while supplying the requisite math and physics concepts necessary for more advances engineering analysis and design. All of these courses have a large practical component through labs and in-class exercises. The junior year establishes a foundation in electronics, computer architecture, control systems and data structures and includes a lab class incorporating many of these topics. Finally, senior year, students get to focus their studies by selecting senior electives in areas that interest them. These courses include significant design components and build on the theoretical foundation established in the junior year.
Computer Engineering Design Experience
Engineering design is distributed throughout the Computer Engineering curriculum. Introduction to the design process and the initial design experience occurs in the freshman course. The engineering profession and the ethical responsibilities of professional engineers are discussed. Design problems are posed that require little or no in-depth engineering knowledge and the students are introduced to the concept of design in which there is no single right answer and relatively few limits placed on the creative process.
Techniques of analysis, synthesis, iteration, and approximations are studied throughout the sophomore and junior year. Specialized design exercises illustrate the use of these techniques in the areas of circuits, systems, electronics, embedded systems, and digital systems. During the senior year, students begin to focus on design techniques in a particular area of interest through the choice of elective courses.
The design experience culminates in the required senior design courses. This two-semester design sequence provides students the opportunity to work on a project of interest and provides the faculty the opportunity to guide students in their first major design experiences and emphasize once more the various constraints that may come into play in a design. The students are taught several different structured design approaches. Project definition and documentation are stressed. Interdisciplinary design teams of three to four students are formed at the beginning of the first semester. Students are instructed on various practical aspects of design, such as layout considerations, safety, functionality, specific standards that apply to the project and documentation of design.
The student design teams select or propose a major design project to be completed by the end of second semester. They must enlist a faculty advisor to guide their project. At the end of the first semester, the design teams present their design proposals (written and oral) that include their preliminary design (block diagram level), a schedule for the following semester, and a cost estimate. In the second semester, the teams design and build, test, refine, demonstrate, and document their design projects. In addition to the technical aspects, project management and presentation techniques are taught and applied. A detailed project specification is developed and placed under tight change control. Financial and scheduling aspects of the project are tracked. A final presentation in both written and oral form is required at the end of the semester, along with a working demonstration.
Program Educational Objectives
Within a few years (3-5 years), Citadel Computer Engineering graduates are expected to:
- Succeed in the practice of Computer Engineering, by ethically and judiciously applying engineering methods to solve problems facing a technologically complex society.
- Sustain awareness of engineering-related issues through employment, professional development, professional registration, or graduate education.
- Be principled leaders with strong communications and team-building skills.
The Citadel’s Computer Engineering program includes assessment to demonstrate that students obtain:
- An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
- An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
- An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
- An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgements, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
- An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
- An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgement to draw conclusions.
- An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
Major Academic Map
Click here to view the Academic Map for this major, which shows the courses and sequence.