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McMaster University

Computer Engineering

What is Computer Engineering?

Computer Engineering is a discipline that combines the best of both worlds i.e., design of hardware (Electronic Engineering) and software (Computer Science) components. The programming component of computer engineering is focused on digital devices and their interfaces with other devices and users. Computer engineering including the design and development of embedded systems play central roles today and into the future. These systems are encountered in everyday systems that we use: cell phones, digital audio players, X-ray systems, cars, and many others.

What Can You Do After Graduation?

  • Since you specialized in two fields you will have tremendous freedom in choosing types of project you want to work on and/or your career. As an example you may choose to work on the development of the medical devices such as medical robots. Or you may choose to design and implement control algorithms that control water level in water dams. Another option is to work for a power utility company and design code that controls substations in a power utility grid. You may also work with automotive designers to design Microsystems that control fuel ignition in hybrid vehicles. The opportunities are unlimited!
  • Examples of Canadian companies: Research in Motion, Gennum, Nortel, MD Robotics, L-3 Communication Systems WESCAM and many others.
  • Opportunities for graduate research: Fault-tolerant computing, digital system testing, computer-aided design, parallel processing, video signal processing architectures, neural computing, computer security, multimedia systems, embedded computational systems, biological computing, and many others.

Return to Go 2 ECE, or visit our UG Admissions page for program layouts, and calendar information.


3D Camera System

The 3D Camera System implements the anaglyph technology concept which uses the red and cyan glass to provide depth to the image. Yaser Jafar, Charles Wah, Khaled Chebaro, and Lucas Dobrowolski.

The 3D Camera system was awarded Most Outstanding Computer Engineering project in 2009/2010.

What Will You Study?

In Level II you will study the basic principles of programming, digital logic and microprocessors. In the programming course you will learn how to write and analyze small programs. The digital logic will give you the opportunity to learn the basics of how the modern computers are organized and built. In the microprocessors course you will learn the language of embedded systems, machine-level code as well as how are all of those microchips in cell phones and MP3 players are designed.

In Level III you will learn computer hardware design, computer architecture and computer software design. In the computer hardware design your knowledge of hardware systems is taken to another level. In this course you will learn how complex systems such as MP3 players or peripheral devices such as hard disk drives are built as whole systems. In computer architecture, building on your knowledge from Level II, you will learn the techniques that make todayís computers faster and more efficient. In computer software design you will learn how to ensure that the devices we use are reliable, secure and error-free.

In Level IV you will focus primarily on computer systems, shaping you into a complete computer engineer. You will study advances topics in computer hardware design and architecture. In addition, you will study how computers communicate in communication networks and study advanced Internet communications. You will also have a technical elective which will allow for customization of your program. You will also undertake a year long computer engineering design course where you will complete an open-ended project under the supervision of a faculty member.