Computer Science and Engineering
Computer science and engineering (CSE) is an academic program at some universities that integrates the fields of computer engineering and computer science. It is a sub-field of electronics engineering. However, it covers only the digital aspects of electronics engineering, specializing in hardware-systems areas like computer architecture, processor design, high-performance computing, parallel processing, computer networks and embedded systems. The program also includes core subjects of computer science such as operating systems, theory of computation, design and analysis of algorithms, data structures and database systems. The program aims at designing, developing and troubleshooting computing devices (such as personal computers, supercomputers, robots, smartphones, networking devices, embedded devices), focusing the underlying fundamental issues (like processor architecture design, operating system design, memory management, digital system design, communication protocol design, software development and database management) in the most efficient and effective way.
Computer science programs typically centers primarily around theory and software, with only some hardware; upper division courses tend to allow a lot of freedom to specialize in software and theory related areas (e.g. algorithms, artificial intelligence, cryptography/security, graphics/visualization, numerical and symbolic computing, operating systems/distributed processing, software engineering).
Computer engineering programs tend to resemble computer science at the lower division with similar introductory programming and math courses, but diverges from computer science at the upper division with heavy electrical engineering requirements (e.g. digital and analog circuits, integrated circuit design, VLSI design and control systems. Despite the overlap with computer science at the lower division level, computer engineering skews much more heavily toward the hardware/electronics side that it has more in common with electrical engineering.
Computer Science and Engineering integrates all of the above and is intended to develop a solid understanding of the entire machine (computer hardware and software). The higher unit count required to complete the program often means that a CSE student will need to spend an extra year in university.
Although Computer Science and Engineering is the common designation for the combined program, some universities (such as Berkeley and MIT) deviate by calling their program Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). Furthermore, there are some universities (such as UCI and UC Merced) that named their department EECS and the program housed within CSE.
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