Going to school for EE, what am I in for?

Thread Starter


Joined Mar 6, 2008
I hope I placed this question in the right section. I recently went back to school working towards a degree in Electrical Engineering. This coming semester in the spring I'm going to start the actual classes for my degree. One in particular has me a little worried, it's ELE 181-Computer Programming for Technology. I don't consider myself computer illiterate, but I know zero about programming. Does anyone have any idea about what I'm getting into and/or what I might want to brush up on before starting this class? I know the curriculum will change from school to school but I'm hoping someone has gone through a program recently that might have done a similar class and might be able to shed some light on what I'm in for.

I'm also going in to Calc II, I'm doing fairly well in Calc I but I have an awesome teacher and I don't think I'm going to be as lucky this coming semester, anything I should pay specific attention to? My Calc I teacher said the next class will be heavily based in Integrals. Can anyone think of any specific areas I should focus on i.e., remembering specific identities, equations, theorems, etc. One big thing I noticed that came in handy this semester was simply using algebra to manipulate equations. We used identities a little bit to do this as well, but not enough to remember most of it. Will stuff like this pop up in later math classes?

One last question, does anyone have any advice to give regarding things to look out for? My background is pretty advanced diagnostics as an automotive tech. I'm very happy with my troubleshooting capabilities and would like to gear myself towards a career that highlights those skills. Any suggestions on a career that might pique my interest? Thanks in advance for you advice!


Joined Feb 4, 2008
From maths, very useful tools to learn are differential equations and complex numbers.


Joined Jul 3, 2008
As far as your worries about programming and math skills, most engineers are naturally good at both of these. Obviously some have greater ability than others, but almost all have sufficient ability. So in the end it comes down to just working hard and not giving up. If you end up with a bad teacher, just learn on your own. - Use the book, ask questions from your friends, go to the library and ask question here. When you do have a good teacher, then use that to your advantage and work extra hard. You can draw on that for the rest of your career, and often such a teacher will lead you to choose a particular specialization.

As far as practical advice for programming. You could find out what programming language the class will use, and brush up on that with some books and, more importantly, by starting to program some simple examples using loops and if-statements etc.

Thread Starter


Joined Mar 6, 2008
mik3 and steveb, thank you for your responses. Steveb, thank you for your advice regarding dealing with the occasional bad teacher. I've already seen how effective studying with classmates has been, I'll be sure to keep that resource in mind when dealing with a bad teacher.

This forum and the online book have been great resources as well. I'm sure when I get further into the program I'll be posting more questions.


Joined Sep 1, 2008
Dude, you are so in the right place here on AAC, these guys never fail to impress me with their electronics knowledge. This site is like having a second teacher. (They don't give the answers, but that would be too easy). Also their patience is outstanding.
Good luck in school.


Joined Aug 30, 2007
I teach Electronics and the main thing I look for is the students eagerness to learn. I have a few that are here because they have to be (go to school/get a job, or move out of the house). These students are generally the worst, some decide they actually like it and do ok.
The main thing is, show that you want to learn, and work hard at it. I've had students that claimed they know it all already and are just here for the diploma, they make the second worst. Usually they have misconceptions of how stuff works and you have to convince them of how it really is.


Joined Apr 25, 2008
About 10 years ago ,I was talking to a young imigrant that had taken
several courses,commerical cooking,electronics engineering.He would
received living expenses.This was junior College.I did known that the
school got paid for the full course if they stayed for only six weeks.
So this fellow worked part time jobs getting full time living expenses.
He said he had finished electronic engineering,I ask him how many volts
a car battery had,he had no clue,he said he would learn that later. That means there are a lot of people out there living on education money.

max payne

Joined Dec 26, 2008
loosewire, I would disagree with you about car battery example. Maybe the boy you are talking about was really counting on his education money, but not knowing how many volts is a car battery doesn't prove anything. in the end it is a commercial application and we can not know about every application.

Thread Starter


Joined Mar 6, 2008
Thank you all for your responses. It's going to be a long road and I'm sure I'll be on here more often asking questions as school progresses.
One thing that I could suggest which would really really help you through your maths and all your engineering papers would be to get a really good calculator. One that can do differential equations and integration and can draw graphs. Now I know you can't use these calculators in your exams or anything but it is extremely helpful to have one to help you check your answers.
You'll find math questions that will take you pages to find the answer, now if you get stuck at any point it is very very difficult to find the correct answer so by using a good calculator it can help you check that you are doing it right and also help you to learn if you can't quite remember how to do it or are not sure.
It is also excellent to have for when you leave uni as you ARE ALLOWED to use these in the real world! which makes life easier and saves sooooooooo much time. and we all know, time is money.


Joined Apr 25, 2008
I guess that is Ankara,Turkey known for its leather exports.You made
one post,the way I learn is to ask ouestions.Sometimes I am questioned
because of the way I express something.Tell me something about
Ankara that you think I should know. Do you have the American
University in Turkey.I am impress with your math ability.Is it
Turkey where you smoke with glass pipes while you think.Lets
communicate . Loosewire