Computer Engineering Junior Seminar
ECE/CS 3991
Fall 2014

General Information:

Title: ECE/CS 3991   -   Computer Engineering Junior Seminar   -   Fall 2014
Instructor: Ken Stevens,, MEB 4506, 801-585-9176
Classes: Tue 10:45am - 12:05pm, MEB 3147
Office Hours:   by appointment
Writing Consultation:   Aditi Risbud, by appointment, WEB 1704
Web Page:
Prerequisites:   Computer Engineering major status

Course Description:

This course will serve three primary purposes. First, it will familiarize the students with current trends and career opportunities in Computer Engineering through presentations by industry and faculty members. The second aspect of the course is to provide an education and practice on technical writing for engineers. Third, factors that are important in the engineering profession including professionalism, ethics, the impact of engineering in global and societal contexts, lifelong learning, and contemporary issues will be discussed.

Grading Policy:

Refer to the College of Engineering Guidelines for more detail on appeals, disabilities, adding, and withdrawing from courses.

Incomplete Policy:   You can't get an incomplete unless you have a documented medical or legal emergency.
Add/Drop Policy: The standard University Policy is applied.
Disability: If you have a condition that merits consideration, you must contact the instructor at the beginning of the course.

Grade Evaluation
Written Reports    50%

Attendance: In this semester you will learn about the computer engineering discipline by listening and asking questions to invited speakers. Therefore, attendance is mandatory. To receive full credit for attendance, you must attend at least 14 of the 15 seminars. Also, since it is inconsiderate to the speakers when attendees arrive late or leave early, half of the attendance points will be deducted for those who do so. Attendance for Aditi Risbud's two lectures on writing are mandatory.

Report: Writing skills will be exercised and evaluated through a written report. The subject of the report will be a Computer Engineering technical topic of your choice; preferably one presented during the seminar. The report will be 4-6 pages long and formatted as an IEEE technical paper with references. You will need to read papers on your chosen subject and write a detailed report on that subject. Your paper can be written as a survey paper or as a detailed technical description of a particular Computer Engineering topic. It will include at least two figures and five references. Click for Detailed requirements of the report.

Extra credit: Students can receive extra credit by attending another seminar (with prior approval) such as an ECE or SoC distinguished lecture or graduate seminar, and writing a one page summary of the talk. Extra credit is limited to two such seminars.

Class Schedule and Assignments:

This list is subject to change:

Date Due  Description
Aug 26th Ken Stevens
University of Utah - Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sep 2nd Ken Stevens
LaTeX Primer
Sep 9th Chris Myers
University of Utah - Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sep 16th Dave Morrison
University of Utah - Marriott Library
Patent Landscape and Searching
Sep 23rd Blaine Prestwich
On Semiconductor
Mixed Signal Design
Sept 30th Olga Filippova
Elphel, Inc.
Oct 7th Tim Hollis
Micron Corp
Oct 21st Jeff England
Oct 28th Aditi Risbud
University of Utah - College of Engineering
Technical Writing Skills
Nov 4th Ryan Hoobler
Code Corp.
Nov 11th Ross Walker
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Technical paper draft due at the beginning of class
Nov 18th Erik Brunvand
University of Utah - Computer Science
Nov 25th Darrin Young
University of Utah - Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dec 3rd Tom Armstrong
Dec 9th Jeff Walling
University of Utah - Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dec 16th Final Technical paper due

Useful Links:

Developing writing skills requires practice. However, there are methods to accelerate this process. One of the best resources is the book The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. Please read the 1918 edition linked above, and even better purchase the 3rd Edition. Another great reference is A. Hofmann's Scientific Writing and Communication.

LaTeX is a professional typesetting language. It is a markup language (as is HTML) that embeds typesetting and formatting information with the text. It is the preferred document creation language for engineers. If you intend to continue to a research based degree (such as an Thesis based Master's Degree or Ph.D.) or intend to perform research in industry, then it is strongly advised that you use LaTeX. If you turn in any documents created using windoze software, please convert them to pdf documents.

Additional resources on technical writing:

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