Catalog Description: The Freshman Seminar Program has been designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member in a small seminar setting. Freshman seminars are offered in all campus departments, and topics may vary from department to department and semester to semester.

Units: 1

Fall: 1 hour of seminar per week
Spring: 1 hour of seminar per week

Grading basis: completedNotation

Final exam status: Written final exam conducted during the scheduled final exam period

Class homepage on inst.eecs

Department Notes: This seminar is intended to offer a taste of how the hardware that is powering the information age really works. Electrical engineers must invest considerable effort to learn their science and math fundamentals. Eventually, though, the fun comes in building innovative and practical gadgets. We will side-step the science and math and get right into the hardware. We'll take a look at what's inside some of today's most exciting products and technology as well as look ahead at the future products that are just around the corner. Our focus will be on hardware and we will see how much fun engineers can have using their hands other than by typing on a keyboard.

Course objectives: This seminar is intended as an "attractor" for students to electrical engineering. The objective is to stimulate curiosity and interest of students in understanding the principles on which electronics are designed and built by allowing them to see what's inside today's popular consumer electronics products.

Topics Covered:

Basic operating principles of common electronic devices such as laptop computers, cell phone, personal digital assistant, portable music player, optical disk drive, magnetic disk drive, inkjet and laser printer, liquid crystal display, projection display, digital camera.

Each student must prepare a short presentation on the basic operating principles of one electronic device.

Students work together in small teams to disassemble electronic devices in order to discover how they are constructed and to identify the critical components in their make-up.