Are these classes worth it?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by jean28, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. jean28

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 5, 2012
    Hey guys,

    I'm an undergrad in computer engineering. This past summer I worked as a research assistant in the robotics GRASP Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. This experience with robots has driven an interest in me in Control Systems (a class that computer engineers don't usually take).

    I wanted to know more about the class and whether or not I should take it, so I went to talk to one of my professors who teaches control systems and he told me that not only should I take that class, but that if I decide to take power system analysis and power electronics (alongside the tough computer engineering classes I am already taking), then that the companies would be crazy for a student with all the knowledge I would have.

    Is it useful for a computer engineer to learn about control systems engineering, power system analysis. and power electronics? If I decide to take these classes, I would graduate with the following list of relevant courses:

    Computer Engineering-specific courses:
    Data Structures
    Software Engineering
    Microprocessor Interfacing
    Database Systems
    Digital System Design
    Routing, Switching, and Wide Area Networks (Cisco CCNP certification).

    Extra Electrical engineering-specific courses:
    Control Systems Engineering
    Circuits III (power system analysis)
    Power electronics.

    Would you guys say a little bit of extra effort for those last three courses is worth it? Is there a way for computer engineers to apply that knowledge to a more low voltage computer focus?

    Thank you all very much!
  2. Shagas

    Active Member

    May 13, 2013
    My opinion would be that it's definately a good idea. From what older students told me , hybrids are always valued and any courses that you take extra (escpecially ones that slightly branch off but still relate to your main course) are always a big plus.

    If you have the balls and the time then do it!
  3. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Most certainly you can benefit from those extra courses. The question is whether you are taking on too much in one year. You may want to consider having a lighter work load and delay the extra courses for another time. Talk to your course advisors.
  4. tshuck

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    I would say that if you have any interest in robotics, take the control systems classes, but more importantly, take one with a digital controller approach. I didn't get control systems until I took a digital control systems class.

    To reiterate what was said previously, don't break yourself trying to do something you aren't willing, or able, to do.
  5. crutschow


    Mar 14, 2008
    If you have an interest in robotics then definitely take the Control Systems class (particularly if it covers Digital Control Systems and Fuzzy Logic). It's the interface between computers and robots.

    Power systems and power electronics are further removed from being directly related to computers, but it never hurts to take those, if you have the time and energy.