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UC the Results

Good news from a California school's training program

Most headlines about colleges aren't too positive right now, with protests taking place across the nation. UC-San Diego provided a welcome change from that tenor last week, when it announced recognition for one of its departments.

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering was recognized for its pioneering hands-on lab curriculum by the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA). ECEDHA is the leading association for electrical and computer engineering educators in North America.

UC San Diego’s hands-on, project-based and experiential course curriculum all four years of undergraduate study was awarded the ECEDHA’s Innovative Program Award for 2024. This award is given to one individual or department that has created, implemented and sustained a program that has produced measurable improvements in the quality of the electrical and computer engineering education received by a significant number of students.

With classes like the introductory Experience ECE: Making, Breaking and Hacking Stuff; to Rapid Hardware & Software Design; and Art of Product Engineering, students have the opportunity to take at least one of these project-based lab courses every year. The curriculum culminates with two senior capstone project courses, in which students work in teams to complete an industry or academic-sponsored real-world project.

The UC San Diego Electrical and Computer Engineering department was honored not just for pioneering such an innovative curriculum, but for actively working to share their resources and serve as a model that has been adopted by other institutions around the country. This includes active partnerships with several local community colleges, to ensure students have exposure to these topics before transferring to a four-year institution. 

“It is an honor to be recognized by our electrical engineering peers for the impact this curriculum has had and will continue to have on countless students and on the field of engineering education itself,” said Bill Lin, Professor and Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “The hands-on, project-based courses developed at UC San Diego serve as a model for engaging students early and continuously with real-world applications of engineering theories and principles.”

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