Master of Electrical Engineering Webinar: Choosing A Specialization

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Hello, this is Trish Plutz, I’m an advisor for the online Master of Science and Electrical Engineering program.

And this is our webinar regarding program

specializations. Welcome and thanks for attending. We also record this for

use in future, with future students, so that they can listen in and learn more about our program.

So I just wanted to go over the agenda, which we will do our introductions,

we’ll talk a bit about the online Masters in Electrical Engineering program, and give you a snapshot of what it looks like.

Choosing a

specialization and the elective courses that you’re allowed to select, and then we’ll go through some questions and answers from students

those who are in attendance today.

So as I mentioned, I’m your advisor, senior enrollment advisor, for the Master’s program.

You can go in and talk with us at the number listed here.

Usually, you will

receive a phone call when you put in an Information request from your advisor.

Please reach out to that individual or you can certainly call me. My name is Trish and my extension is 5, 1, 2, 2.

And I’d like to introduce our program director, Dr. Jeff Dill and ask Dr. Dill to

talk a bit about himself and his background.

Okay, first of all, thank you for attending the webinar welcome.

My name is Jeff Dill. I’ve been a faculty member at Ohio University since 1988. So I’m old.

I got my PhD from University of Southern California, and I’ve actually worked in the

industry for about 10 years before I became a professor.

Working on design and

analysis of communication systems, and signal processing for for tactical military

applications, um, I you know, you can you could read the resume and you know,

I don’t need to repeat what’s written on the paper. But I’ve been the director of the online MSEE program at Ohio University

for about five years now.

Next slide please.

Thank You Dr Dill

and I just wanted to go over our program snapshot. And the program is an advanced degree for professional engineers

looking to specialize in one of six

concentrations. We are regionally accredited

by the Higher Learning Commission and

consecutively ranked by US News and World Report,

a regional accreditation is the highest form of

Accreditation in the United States. The degree consists of 36 credits and can be finished within two years completely online.

Also, please note here that you can take one class at a time if you wish. Many engineers do choose to do that and that’s


doable for you, and you would finish your program in four years.

There is no GRE required for qualified applicants and you should speak with your advisor about who are qualified

applicants to have that GRE waiver.

We do not have a thesis

required for the program and that’s part of the reason why we’re hosting this webinar today, is to talk about

why that is, and what you would do in lieu of a thesis. And the tuition is 708 per credit hour for in-state

residents in

out-of-state at

per credit hour, which is not a big leap, and it’s a

fine education that you’ll be receiving from

an upper tier, engineering in college for a very, very reasonable price.

We do have three start terms, spring, summer, and fall. And for deadlines and

application information,

again, you would work with your advisor.

(next slide)

Now I’m going to hand it back over to you, Dr. Dill, so you can go through the curriculum require and

specializations with us.

Okay so our MSEE degree online requires you to complete 12 courses or 36 credit hours.

There’s the curriculum, consists of two foundational courses that

everyone is required to take, and then we’ll go into the details of these in a few minutes, and then you choose seven

specialization courses, from one of the six tracks we have in the program. And in general master’s degree is a

specialized degree program.

Our on-campus students

specialized and do a thesis.

And instead of requiring a thesis for the online students.

We we eliminate the thesis requirements

but we add some extra credit hours. So that our on-campus students would take 30 credit hours of class

work and then six hours of thesis work,

so by doing that you don’t have to come to campus and

disrupt your life, to come to class, to campus, to do a thesis,

and we also,

in the online class

we have, you can choose up to three elective courses outside of your track. And those are chosen from the other

tracks in the program and that allows you to sort of tailor your your

curriculum to particular interests you have. More particular job requirements that you might have.

Next slide, please

So the tracks, the specialization tracks we have

Include what’s listed here. We have a track an autonomous unmanned vehicles, we

have track in communications in DSP. Now the track in computer engineering.

We have a general track, which you get a little bit of everything.

We have a track in electronic navigation

systems and we really, we really, have a lot of you know, world-class faculty and

curriculum in the particular area of electronic navigation systems.

We also have a track in my micro, and nano devices, and systems.

We’ll talk a little bit about each of these as we go along. Next slide, please.

Okay, so the foundation course is required for all tracks. You have to take an engineering writing class which is

very important most engineers hate writing along with me, but it is critical to your

career to be able to write and express yourself


If you do great work and can’t communicate that, then the work won’t be


We also have a

course on

computational tools for engineers.

This is really a MATLAB course but we also use MATLAB as a context to sort of review a lot of the

advanced mathematics that some of you might be rusty on, like matrix algebra, and differential equations, and

probability, and

various things like that are built into the MATLAB course,

as a review of


Mathematical content. So

if any, every once in a while

we have a student who already has really extensive experience using MATLAB on their job,

and if so

you can get out of that class and replace it with another

elective if you provide evidence that you’re already in MATLAB expert. We do that on

occasion and a few students have actually done that.

And what you’ll find is through the curriculum over

half of the courses in our curriculum use MATLAB extensively in the

specialized work that they do.

Next slide, please. So

first you have a tract in autonomous unmanned vehicle and you can see

the list of courses that that are required for this track.

So if you’ve got an autonomous vehicle,

first it needs to know where it is and where it’s going. So you need some

navigation courses to do that and then it needs to know how it’s going to get there.

And so you need control systems

classes for that, and then, typically the vehicle is not

operating in isolation, its communicating with a base station or with other vehicles,

and so you need some complete communication engineering and

so we put all those together in the track for for autonomy.

Also, I forgot embedded systems is an important course because any autonomous

system is going to have multiple

embedded computer systems that operate different aspects of the vehicle.

And then, this includes ground vehicles as well, as air vehicles, in the curriculum

Alright next slide, please.

Our next track is communication and digital signal processing, so we talked about

wireless communication, as well as

network communication, and internet kinds of things, and also signal processing. Signal processing


used in a variety of applications.

I’ve done a lot of signal processing work in the in defense in the military systems,

things like military, or things like

medical imaging, you know

interpreting MRIs, and x-rays, and EKGs are all

required digital signal processing tools. A lot of a lot of our students come from

medical related technology field

for that kind of stuff. So there’s a lot of application for digital signal processing.

Information theory encoding deals with

data compression, and error correction, and being able to transmit this efficiently on noisy channels.

Next slide please.

Computer engineering

focuses on the design and implementation of computer systems,

from multiprocessor systems, down to

fabrication of ships at the device level.

So you take courses in micro and nano

device fabrication,

digital circuit design,

which would deal with FPGA, then you know VHDL language to design digital circuits.

Then we get into computer architecture and also networking.

So how do you network multiple computers together in an efficient way?

Nano electric devices gets into again chip level of

design of

new devices and sensors.

Next slide, please.

We have a general track that takes a little bit of

everything, if you’re not quite sure what you want to specialize in, or if you’re just looking to expand your

your background a little bit, our general track allows you to take

some courses from all of the different other tracks and

even tailor your program to a particular interest, or a particular job opportunity that you might have

Next slide, please.

Electronic Navigation

Systems again, this is a real specialty of Ohio University.

We have an Avionics Engineering Center on campus that’s been in existence

for over thirty years and they do some

state-of-the-art cutting-edge

research in

GPS and differential GPS and various kinds of

navigation systems, and so we have an extensive set of courses

in electronic navigation that very few universities can match.

And again , I should have said this earlier, but the content of all of our online courses

is identical to the core content of all of our on-campus courses. It’s the same material and the same requirements.

And the navigation in particular, we have several navigation classes that

that lead to real expertise in the area of electronic navigation, which is a growing field. And

not only commercial aviation, but

using for drones, it’s used in precise


it’s is used in military systems, obviously.

So there’s a growing demand for people with this kind of specialized knowledge.

Next slide, please.

But we also have a track in micro and nano devices and systems and this is all

at the level of chip fabrication and

fabricating devices at the micro and nano level

clean rooms and

this is all stuff

I don’t know very much about. But we have other faculty who are expert in this area, but it’s

how to fabricate chips and

interface them and make them do what you want them to do. So it gets into a lot of the device physics of how

transistors and tips work at the detail physical level

Next slide, please.

We also, again, each of the track

you take the required courses for the track, but in order to add breath or

expand your knowledge in a particular area of interest,

you can choose three elective courses from the other track than the program.

So you can sort of tailor your degree and your specialization to a particular job

requirement or just a particular person personal interest that you may have.

Next slide, please.

Okay, thank you Dr. Dill. Thank you for walking us through that.

I always learned something when I listen to you and your webinars. It’s

interesting to hear about all the specializations.

I know it resonates with the engineers who are listening in today and the ones that will be listening in the future.

It’s great to see how everything played out and how the electives can be worked into your program.

But as far as some questions, I’m going to throw this back to you, Dr. Dill. A

student is asking, for someone who had gotten their bachelor’s in electrical engineering in 2005,

how well can he or she adapt to the learning requirements of this online


specialized in wireless communications and communications

digital signal processing?

I would say that we have a number of students who are doing exactly that.

We have a lot of students that they’ve got their bachelor’s degree in 2005 or earlier

and you might have to

spend some time reviewing some of your undergraduate courses like in signals and systems

with is one of the key courses for for a lot of our tracks, but, I

I would encourage you, that you know that it can be done and it is being done.

A lot of our other students, we also

accept students into the program that have stem degrees in other fields.

Like we’ve got students that have a math degree and they might need to,

you know,

study up on on some basic

principles before they start our program but we’ve got students with math degrees and physics degrees,

mechanical engineering degrees.


for example, or computer science degrees and with the little work, they’re doing quite well in the program and

we have students, who are

got their bachelor’s degree as well before

2005 and they’re doing well in the program, as well.

All right, and I can add to that as well that we had a student

webinar recently that we can send out or usually send out with

preliminary information and it’s a

excellent webinar with our students who are currently in the program and they talk exactly about this.

What they needed to brush up on, how they do that, how the students help each other, and I know a lot of students utilize

the Khan Academy. And

most engineers are real familiar with the Khan Academy and of course to do some brush up work on

certain areas. When you hit a bump in the road, you can always go there, and kind of go through things again if


Okay, so then, another question was are there labs requiring physical attendance?

And this is true for all

specializations, we do not have any labs that would require you to come to campus. I think there is one,

circuitry course, where you may be sent

something out and you need to complete it and send it back in, but it’s a one-on-one course and it does not require

you to come to campus.

Yeah, I would add. Yes. You don’t need to come to campus for classes.

But several of the courses have what I would call simulation labs,

so you use

MATLAB or some other simulation tool to to build and simulate various kinds of systems

and in particular the digital

design of digital circuits class, there is a development kit and you.

It’s like, it’s cost less than 50 bucks,

but your own and you develop labs and make the hardware work at home,

and then submit the software through our blackboard system for a grade.

But you can do all the development work at home.

Okay, great. I do have a question about…

No, I’m sorry.

It was about elective courses.

But I believe that was asked before we got to the elective section.

If you do have additional questions about electives, just reach out to your advisor.

The one that I think we can address here is can electives also be selected from other

graduate engineering programs? And the answer to that is no.

This is an electrical engineering master’s program. So we don’t do cross curricular

courses as far as I know. You can correct me if I’m wrong?

What you said is, correct. However, we have some students who

either started a program at a different University, or they have some transfer credits,

that they’d like to transfer in from another university, and we can accommodate up to

three courses of transfer credit, provided they meet our

requirements and they’re their legitimate graduate level courses. And you got a good grade and you haven’t used them

to satisfy the requirements of another degree. So I’m

willing to

review any transfer courses you might have. I should also say, that a few years ago

we had a student in our program that was

really interested in power systems and wanted to take a couple of

graduate level courses in power systems and we didn’t have that as a specialization

but we were able to work out a way that he could take a couple of courses at a local university and

get graduate credit and then transfer those credits into our program.

So, you know, we’re willing to work with things like that, but we don’t have

graduate level courses and power systems that are in the online format.

That’s correct.


I know that that comes up from time to time and if there are elective courses that you’ve taken and have not

used them towards another degree we can work with a student and

go through the Graduate College in the

Electrical Engineering Department and see if those courses can be used towards your program.

And if you did want to do specialization something we didn’t offer such as power

you can take those at another school, and then

go ahead and finish your program with us. As I mentioned before the tuition at our school is extremely

reasonably priced so

you know a lot of schools are just north of a thousand dollars per credit hour, and we’re in the 700. So you

can see that it may be to your benefit to take most of your program with us and just take a few

specialization courses at another school.

So I do have on international… I’m sorry, go ahead.

No, I was just agreeing with you.

Okay, I

had a student asking about international requirements, and not able to provide all of the documentation required

to substantiate their undergraduate work in another country.

I want to just recommend that you work with your advisor, talk with us individually about that. And we can

detail to you what you do need to have in order to be acceptable in the program. That’s what we’re here for.

So just reach out to us and we can talk with you about that.

And then, I have and I think what they’re saying

communications and digital signal processing course,

can be taken as part of a curriculum?

It says NEC or and then it

may be

engineering lingo that I’m not familiar with it’s C

percentage – percentage B percentage – percentage B. Does that make sense to you?

Professor Dill?

If they’re asking about programming languages?

It’s always good to know C and C++

and a few of the courses

use those programming languages, but the courses that I teach, we always use MATLAB.

For most of the programming and like in the digital signal processing course in particular,

0we write programs in MATLAB.

All right.

Good enough. Thank you.

And then another question.

Can you recommend what courses or topics to preview prior to enrolling in the masters, if I got my bachelor’s in

2005 to be better prepared? And I will sent it out to you

the minimum course requirements and the prerequisite courses you can go through and see

that we recommend that you take and have under your belt. And they’re typically, if you have a Bachelor’s degree from an

Electrical Engineering Undergrad Program, you’re well prepared for our program.

Right. Yeah, you’re well prepared

but if you need, if it’s been a while, and

you need to review, the two courses that I always recommend that become really

important at the graduate level –

First one is, a course in signals and systems or some school called linear systems.

But that probably happened in your junior year and it’s a very difficult course, the first time you see it.

But it gets easier once you deal with it more and more and that becomes important at the graduate level.

So that’s worth reviewing.

And the second course, would just be matrix algebra or linear algebra.

They go by different names.

But it’s how to represent systems using matrix math and how to do matrix operations.

Which is inherently what MATLAB is good at.

So those those are the main things I would review from your undergraduate curriculum.

0:26:33.760,0:26:36.089Okay, then we have one last question.

And then, I just want to recommend that any other

questions you may have or that you come up with in the next day or so,

please go ahead and reach out to your advisor. Reach out to me, and I’d be happy to go over

anything that you need to know or find the answer for you.

That’s what we are here for to advise you and help you determine if our program will be a good fit for you.

But the last question was,

Do we accept undergraduate students with degrees in electrical engineering technology?

And the answer is most of the time and what we would need to do is take a look at your

transcripts in your resume and see what courses you had, the grades you have,


the answer is most of the time, yes, we can. Yes most of the time.

Yes, and I look for students with an electrical engineering technology degree.

I look at the curriculum and I find that there’s a lot of variation, some technology programs have a lot of math, and

some of them don’t have as much math as I would like, but if you’ve had

several, two or three semesters of calculus, and

some matrix algebra and you know,

if there’s sufficient math in the program then you’ll do fine.

But there’s not really a standard and so some programs have a lot more math than others.

Okay, and then the one question that just popped up that we can answer is, is an applicant given

credit for Professional Engineers license? And the answer is no to that question. I’m sorry.

And the other one.

I would say that I do look at that

as far as admission, I mean there’s no course credit, but it’s having that license that

enhances your,

First of all,

the GRE is always waived if you have a PE license and in it enhances your application as far as being admitted.

That’s an important thing and it outweighs low grades and a lot of other things.

And I also look at job experience when I’m when I’m evaluating applications

so those a

lot of times, you might not have the greatest grades as an undergrad, but

the things you do after you graduate more than make up for that.

Yeah, I’ve seen you approve people from all, like you had mentioned, from a lot of different backgrounds, stem backgrounds, and other

mechanical, and industrial engineering

disciplines and the work experience weighs very heavily,

military experiences while outside. Learned along

working with a professor Dill over the years that you know, there’s a real wide

array of students who are eligible for our program.

So all of that is considered when you’re being accepted into the program, but as far as like

canceling out any of the courses you would need to take in order to achieve your degree, it would be no but for admission

it would be yes. Yes, definitely.


Yeah, and then one other question was, how difficult would the program be for a software engineer?

If you, say,

so you’ve got a degree, a bachelor’s degree in computer science

and if you take in the math that I see in most computer science

programs, you would do well. You might have to do some review on

basic things like system, you know,

linear systems or signals and systems, which I talked about earlier,

so you would have to do some some catching up, but you can do that on your own on particular topics.

But we have people with computer science degrees in the program that are doing well.

Very good, very good. Well, yes, and we have one participant that said to thank Dr.

Dill for his time today and thank you indeed.

It’s been really helpful for you to go through the different specializations

and learn a little bit more about what you’d be doing in each of those and exactly, you know,

how the program’s laid out. It’s going to be very helpful for us and students going forward.

So I thank you all for joining us today. And thank you. Dr. Dill.

We appreciate your time and your expertise and we’ll be signing off.

Ok, thank you as well and thanks again to all the people that attended.

All right, thank you goodbye.