Computer Engineering

The field

Computing systems have expanded far beyond desktop machines or mainframes, and today are embedded in nearly everything including smartphones, appliances and medical devices. They now involve not only computation, but multi-modal sensing, signal processing, communications and control—enabling novel applications in domains ranging from homeland security, human-computer interaction, green computing and pervasive healthcare. Moreover, functions that were previously considered to be strictly software or strictly hardware can no longer be distinguished in that way. This is allowing the next generation of adaptive and intelligent computing systems to address emerging complex societal, health, security and sustainability problems.

Computer engineering is concerned with ways that the science of computation is applied to building devices, components and systems that perform the computation. It considers the design, analysis and optimization of systems that span nearly 10 orders of magnitude in scale—from components that are billionths of a meter in size to systems that occupy hundreds of square meters such as data centers.

The future

Students with a graduate degree in computer engineering can reap the financial benefits of the growing job market in that field, as forecasts by the U.S. Labor Department forecasts that the demand for computer engineers will remain strong. Students with a Ph.D. in computer engineering have additional options for high-paying jobs, including academic positions, government and industrial research centers and senior engineering positions in industry.

The opportunities

Component manufacturers: The key components that are integrated into a modern computer system include system software, integrated circuits (IC) and boards. Significant players in this market with a presence in Arizona include Intel, IBM, Motorola, Microchip, ON Semiconductor, Freescale, NXP and Marvell Technology.

System integrators: The computing system components are integrated into finished end products by system integrators. Arizona is home to several major electronic control system integrators that cater to the aerospace/defense market including HoneywellRaytheon, Boeing and General Dynamics.

System innovators: The software and hardware components are designed and structured in novel ways by system innovators to provide solutions to new problems or to solve old problems in a more efficient and effective manner. Arizona is home to several companies which do computing systems research including Intel and IBM.

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Research Matrix

Find a faculty advisor that matches your research interests

Faculty members Database
systems
Operating
systems
Multicore
architecture
Embedded
systems,
ubiquitous
computing
Software
engineering
Autonomous
agents
Scheduling
theory
Wireless,
mobile and
ad-hoc
networks
Network
optimization,
QoS routing
Optical
communications,
fiber networks
Cyber and
network
security
Network
reliability
Applied
and robust
optimization
Stochastic
modeling
Multimedia,
signal and
image
processing
Computer
graphics
Learning,
data mining
Digital signal
processing
Brain machine
interface
Cyberphysical
systems
Automated
planning
Nonlinear
dynamic
systems
System
optimization
Real-time
systems
Real-time
control
VLSI architecture
& circuit
design
Microelectrical
systems
Nanoscale
modeling
Low power
electronics
Semiconductor
devices
Chip
generators
Gail-Joon AhnX
Ronald AskinX
Chitta BaralX
John BrunhaverXXXX
Kasim Selcuk CandanX
Yu CaoX
Chaitali Chakrabarti*XX
Lawrence Clark*X
Charles J. ColbournX
Partha DasguptaXX
Georgios FainekosX
John W. FowlerX
Esma S. GelX
Sandeep GuptaX
Dijiang HuangX
Joseph HuiX
Subbarao KambhampatiX
Lina Karam*X
Yann-Hang LeeX
Baoxin LiX
Jing LiX
Pitu MirchandaniX
Umit OgrasXX
Joseph Palais*X
Sethuraman PanchanathanX
Stephen Phillips*X
Martin Reisslein*XX
Fengbo Reb*XX
Andrea W. RichaX
George C. RungerX
Arunabha SenXX
Aviral ShrivastavaX
Jennie Si*XXX
Andreas Spanias*X
Hari SundaramXX
Violet R. SyrotiukX
Wei-Tek TsaiX
Konstantinos S. Tsakalis*X
Dragica Vasileska*X
Sarma VrudhulaX
Peter WonkaX
Guoliang XueXX
Sik-Sang (Stephen) S. YauX
Junshan ZhangXX
Muhong ZhangX
Yanchao ZhangX

* denotes an additional research expertise for faculty members that work in multiple areas.