New Undergraduate Curriculum Empowers Makers

New Undergraduate Curriculum Empowers Makers

Electrical engineers make the technologies and systems that communicate, store and process information. They harness the fundamental forces of nature to serve everyday needs, whether this involves creating a computer based on carbon nanotubes, implanting sensors deep inside the human body or inventing next generation memory chips. Electrical engineers change the world. Our new curriculum gives Stanford students a rigorous foundation in classical and modern physics while quickly immersing them in the exciting applications made possible by EE.  Read more »

Our professors describe some of the new classes and talk about how the curriculum quickly gives undergraduate hands-on Maker experience using the tools and techniques of electrical engineering. (Video credit: Schecter Films)

New EE Class Descriptions

ENGR 40M : An Intro to Making: What is EE

This is a hands-on class where students learn to make stuff. Through the process of building, Professor Mark Horowitz will introduce the basic areas of EE. Students build a "useless box" and learn about circuits, feedback, and programming hardware, a light display for your desk and bike and learn about coding, transforms, and LEDs, a solar charger and an EKG machine and learn about power, noise, feedback, more circuits, and safety. And you get to keep the toys you build. — Autumn, Spring

EE 65 : Modern Physics for Engineers

This class goes beyond classical physics to introduce students to concepts from quantum mechanics and statistical physics. In imaginative and insightful ways, Professor David Miller will explain how these abstract fields help understand a wide array of devices, applications and even everyday events. We cannot fully comprehend the color and brightness of the sun, for instance, much less the workings of a solar cell, without this knowledge. The class will show how these ideas enable engineers to understand and improve transistors, lasers, photo-detectors, memory devices and other electronic devices. — Spring

EE 103 : Introduction to Matrix Methods

This course will enable student with a wide variety of educational backgrounds to understand the basic concepts and exciting applications of linear algebra. Led by Professor Stephen Boyd, one of the preeminent thinkers in this field, EE103 will empower students to develop and build their own systems using simple open source software tools that we are developing. We will not just talk about linear algebra. We will do it. — Autumn

EE 107 : Networked Systems

Networks form the interconnect that stitch together our digital and physical lives. They underpin cloud computing, our mobile connectivity, as well as the means to connect the large number of sensors that will pervade our physical surroundings. This class will provide hands on introduction to how networks at these different scales are designed, from datacenters to embedded low power networks. Students will learn these concepts through a project that involves building a wireless network from the ground up using software radios. Students will also learn how to use these networks to build embedded applications (e.g. wireless controlled network of drones, localization systems using WiFi). The goal is to introduce students to larger concepts in electrical engineering and computer systems: the role of abstraction and layering, building reliable systems out of unreliable components and dynamic sharing of scarce resources. — Autumn

EE 153 : Power Electronics

Addressing the energy and environmental challenges of the future require efficient energy conversion techniques. Taught by Assistant Professor Juan Rivas-Davila, this course focuses on the circuits used to efficiently convert AC power to DC power, step DC power from one voltage level to another, and convert DC power to AC power. The components used in these circuits (e.g., diodes, transistors, capacitors, inductors) are also covered in detail to highlight their behavior in a practical implementation. A lab held with the class will give students hands-on experience with power electronic circuits. The class also has a final project that requires a math design, simulation, implementation and experimental verification. — Winter

Learn More

Prospective Undergraduates

Why Choose Electrical Engineering (EE)? It's a fun, diverse and powerful major! Find out more about the major and how to get started.

Current Undergraduates

The EE major is now more diverse and exciting! You can select, personalize and optimize your program based on your own passions. Find out more about recent course changes and new offerings for 2014-15.

What current EE students say

“The happiest times that I had in high school academically were in the lab-room of my physics class, working on project after project. I gravitated towards EE because I am interested in electronics. It was something I did as a hobby. Stanford is known for having an intense EE program that teaches you an insane amount. At the same time the department is adjusting the curriculum to give students more flexibility in the classes they take to allow them to get to what really interests them.”

David Ta, Class of 2017

“I have always loved math and I came into Stanford thinking I would be a mechanical engineer. Then I took Professor Brad Osgood’s sophomore college class, “Mathematics of the Information Age” because it had math in the title but it turned out to be an EE class. It was my first real exposure to EE and I fell in love with the field. What sets EE apart as a major is its breadth. There’s stuff for people who like robots, people who like physics, people who like to build stuff, people who like to take stuff apart, people like me who love math, people who like to code, people who are interested in green energy.”

Maisy Wieman, Class of 2014, MS 2015

“I was trying to decide between EE, Computer Science, and Physics. It was a hard choice until I realized that I could do all of them in EE. Electrical Engineering offers courses at every level of abstraction. No matter what aspect in the chain of design interests you, from the theoretical all the way down to transistor-level design, EE has it. I can't think of another major that offers courses at each and every point along the way.”

Rahul Prabala, Class of 2016

“I came to Stanford to focus on 'sustainability' but that can take many forms and I was attracted to too many majors. I eventually decided on EE because I wanted to learn the essence of energy and electronics. To me, EE is a harmonic balance of theory and application. I appreciate the freedom that the new curriculum brings. I was just speaking to another recent EE major who came to Stanford as a history and political science student. Flexibility in the curriculum makes EE much more welcoming for those of us who arrived here with our hearts and minds in the humanities.”

Diniana PiekutowskiClass of 2016

“One of the things that attracted me to EE was the reputation of the field, given the success of many who have taken up the major in the past. Another was the breadth of courses and projects that I knew I could have. I could do software, hardware, bioelectronics, signals, etcetera and easily transition to other fields.”

Geraldine Baniqued, Class of 2014, MS 2015