Electrical and Computer Engineering

Master of Science in Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy

For More Information

Campus address: Engineering Education and Research Center (EER), phone (512) 232-1458, fax (512) 471-3652; campus mail code: C0803

Mailing address: The University of Texas at Austin; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Program; Engineering Education and Research Center, Stop C0803, Austin TX 78712

E-mail: ecegrad@ece.utexas.edu

URL: http://www.ece.utexas.edu/graduate


The objective of the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and its Graduate Studies Committee is to provide a graduate program that is both broad and deep. Covering the diverse technical areas within electrical and computer engineering, nine named academic tracks support this objective: Architecture, Computer Systems, and Embedded Systems; bioECE; Decision, Information and Communications Engineering; Electromagnetics and Acoustics; Energy Systems; Integrated Circuits and Systems; Plasma/Quantum Electronics and Optics; Software Engineering and Systems; and Solid-State Electronics. In each academic track, a program of study can be designed to meet the educational objectives of each student.

Facilities for Graduate Work

Facilities are available for graduate work in almost all specialties of electrical and computer engineering, from experimental, theoretical, and computational perspectives. Graduate activities of the department are housed in the Engineering Education and Research Center, and in several special-purpose facilities located in the Peter O'Donnell Jr. building and on the J. J. Pickle Research Campus. Numerous facilities for experimental research are provided by the well-equipped research laboratories within the department. The Texas Advanced Computing Center, also housed on the J. J. Pickle Research campus, supports computationally intensive research. In addition, the University of Texas Libraries provide a rich source of literature to support graduate activities in electrical and computer engineering, including online access to numerous journals.

Faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering participate in several widely-recognized centers for research including: the Center for Advanced Research in Software Engineering, the Center for Electromechanics, the Center for Identity, the Center for Perceptual Systems, the Center for Transportation Research, the Computer Engineering Research Center, the Microelectronics Research Center, the Texas Materials Institute, and the Wireless Networking and Communications Group.

Areas of Study

Graduate courses and research are offered with varying degrees of specialization in the following named academic tracks. Topics of specialization within each track reflect the research interests of the faculty.  Individual topics, associated faculty, and student interests may overlap tracks.

Architecture, Computer Systems, and Embedded Systems. Computer architecture is at the interface of computer hardware and software. Its practitioners are responsible for specifying, designing, and implementing at the architecture level the hardware structures that carry out the work specified by computer software. Computer architects share the responsibility for providing mechanisms that algorithms, compilers, and operating systems can use to enhance the performance and/or energy requirements of running applications. Computer architecture spans many dimensions, such as the scope of a processor (embedded processors, desktop systems, servers, and supercomputers); the target application (general-purpose versus domain-specific); the characteristics of the design objectives (speed, power consumption, cost, reliability, availability, and reconfigurability); and the measurement and analysis of resulting designs.

bioECE. Understanding, engineering, and interfacing with biological systems are among humanity’s most important challenges, impacting numerous fields from basic science to health. Motivated by this larger vision, the bioECE track is focused on the intersection of electrical and computer engineering with biology and medicine. It includes biomedical instrumentation, biophotonics, health informatics, bioinformatics, neural engineering, computational neuroscience, and synthetic biology. Associated faculty have expertise in diverse topics: cardiovascular instrumentation, neuroscience, neural engineering and the machine-brain interface, image and signal processing (feature extraction and diagnostic interpretation), health information technologies (data mining, electronic medical records analysis), VLSI biomedical circuits (biosensing, lab-on-a-chip), algorithms for large-scale genomic analysis, and molecular programming (engineering molecules that compute).

Decision, Information, and Communications Engineering. This track involves research and design in the following fields: (1) Communications and networking: all aspects of transmission of data, including: wireless communications, communication theory, information theory, networking, queueing theory, stochastic processes, sensor networks; (2) Data science and machine learning: all aspects of extraction of knowledge from data, including: algorithms, data mining, optimization, statistics, pattern recognition, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence; and (3) Controls, signals, and systems: estimation and detection; signal, image and video processing; linear and nonlinear systems.

Electromagnetics and Acoustics. This track includes the study of electromagnetic and acoustic phenomena ranging from ultralow frequencies to the visible spectrum. The activities in electromagnetics involve research in antenna design, radar scattering, computational methods, wave-matter interaction, bioelectromagnetics, wave manipulation using artificial materials, wireless propagation channels, microwave and millimeter-wave integrated circuits, guided wave devices and systems, electromagnetic forces (including electrostrictive and magnetostrictive forces), and Maxwell's stress tensor. The activities in acoustics involve research in transducers, microelectromechanical systems, atmospheric and underwater acoustics, and noise and vibration control.

Energy Systems. Power Electronics and Energy Systems. This track involves research in the generation, transmission, distribution, and management of electric energy.  Present research investigations are concerned with advanced power semiconductor devices, high frequency power electronics conversion systems, medium voltage power electronics for applications in renewable energy, energy storage and smart grid system, DC power grid, power system-related analyses, modeling and simulation of power systems, energy data analytics, power grid protection, energy system economics and optimization, electricity markets, power system harmonics, power quality, and distributed generation.

Integrated Circuits and Systems. This track involves all aspects of analysis, design, synthesis, and implementation of digital, analog, mixed-signal, and radio frequency (RF) integrated circuits and systems for applications in computing, sensing, and communications. Research in the area spans levels of abstraction from devices to systems-on-chip (SoC), and involves transceiver architectures, data converters, memory technologies, signal processing systems, integrated bio-chips, neuromorphic computing, high-performance and low-power design, fault tolerance, design for manufacturability (DFM), design for test (DFT), verification,  computer-aided design (CAD) and electronic design automation (EDA).

Plasma/Quantum Electronics and Optics. This track involves research in optics, optoelectronics, photonic materials, devices, and systems as well as quantum optics, plasma dynamics, and plasma processing of semiconductors. Research in optics, optoelectronics, and photonics includes: development of semiconductor diode and quantum cascade laser sources spanning visible to infrared to THz frequencies; passive and active photonic circuits on silicon, III-V, and other materials platforms; light modulators, detectors, and photovoltaic devices; lightwave systems for communication, sensing, and microscopy; and nonlinear optical devices and systems. Photonics materials research include epitaxial growth and characterization of semiconductor optoelectronic materials, theoretical and experimental investigations of optical metamaterials, topological states in photonic materials, optical properties of novel plasmonic, polaritonic, and 2D materials. Research in quantum optics addresses single photon detectors, light/photon propagation and confinement, semi-classical and quantum charge carrier transport and confinement, and charge carrier-photon interactions in complex physical structures. Plasma investigations include the design of plasma diagnostics, high-order spectral analysis of plasma waves, and plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition.

Software Engineering and Systems. This track involves all aspects of engineering software systems. In addition to the problem of requirements, research and study in the area addresses architecting, designing, building, testing, analyzing, evaluating, deploying, maintaining, and evolving software systems. Problems investigated include theory, techniques, methods, processes, tools, middleware, and environments for all types of software systems in all types of domains and applications. This area of study is also available through the alternatively scheduled program in software engineering to professionals who are working full time.

Solid-State Electronics. This track focuses on the invention, development and improvement of micro- and nanoscale electronic, magnetoelectronic, optoelectronic, and electromechanical devices, and associated materials for a variety of applications. Devices include nanoscale and nontraditional complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) transistors, beyond CMOS devices and novel memories; photodetectors, photodiodes and lasers, solar cells, and nanostructured optical metamaterials; and electronic and microelectromechanical sensors and actuators, including chemical and biological sensors. Material systems include unstrained and strained conventional column IV and III-V semiconductors; organics and polymers; two-dimensional materials such as graphene, hexagonal boron-nitride, and transition metal dichalcogenides; high and low permittivity insulators; topological insulators; and magnetic metals and insulators; along with their thin films and heterostructures.

Graduate Studies Committee

The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) in the spring 2020 semester.

Jacob A Abraham
Deji Akinwande
Andrea Alu
Jeffrey G Andrews
Ari Arapostathis
Francois Baccelli
Chandrajit L Bajaj
Ross Baldick
Sanjay K Banerjee
Seth Robert Bank
Suzanne Barber
Don S Batory
Mikhail A Belkin
Adela Ben-Yakar
Alan C Bovik
Constantine Caramanis
Ray T Chen
Derek Chiou
Gustavo A De Veciana
Inderjit S Dhillon
Georgios-Alex Dimakis
Ananth Dodabalapur
Andrew K Dunn
Mattan Erez
Brian L Evans
Donald S Fussell
Vijay K Garg
Andreas Gerstlauer
Ranjit Gharpurey
Joydeep Ghosh
Milos Gligoric
Nuria Gonzalez Prelcic
John B Goodenough
Kristen L Grauman
Neal Hall
Gary A Hallock
Mark F Hamilton
Alex Hanson
Robert W Heath Jr
Qin Huang
Todd E Humphreys
Warren A Hunt Jr
Jean Incorvia
Lizy K John
Christine L Julien
Sarfraz Khurshid
Jaydeep Prakash Kulkarni
Jack C Lee
Calvin Lin
Nanshu Lu
Mia K Markey
Robert Melancton Metcalfe
Jose del R Millan
Thomas E Milner
Aryan Mokhtari
Dean P Neikirk
Evdokia Nikolova
Michael E Orshansky
Zhigang Pan
Yale N Patt
Keshav K Pingali
Emily Porter
Lili Qiu
Leonard F Register
Henry G Rylander III
Sujay Sanghavi
Surya Santoso
Sanjay Shakkottai
Shyam Shankar
David Soloveichik
S V Sreenivasan
Peter H Stone
Nan Sun
Earl E Swartzlander Jr
Jon I Tamir
Ahmed Hossam Tewfik
Andrea Lockerd Thomaz
Edison Thomaz Jr
Mohit Tiwari
Ufuk Topcu
Nur A Touba
James W Tunnell
Emanuel Tutuc
Jonathan W Valvano
Haris Vikalo
Sriram Vishwanath
T R Viswanathan
Daniel M Wasserman
Preston S Wilson
Emmett Witchel
Ali E Yilmaz
Edward T Yu
Yuebing Zheng
Mingyuan Zhou
Hao Zhu

Admission Requirements

Admission to the graduate programs in ECE is highly competitive and based on a holistic review of all application materials by the chosen academic track’s admission committees, which is composed faculty within that track. Standards for admission generally exceed the minimum standards established by the University.

Applicants to the graduate program of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering normally will have an undergraduate degree in this field. Applicants with a degree in another field also may be considered if their background is appropriate for the chosen academic track of specialization; however, if admitted, the academic track adviser, supervising professor, and/or dissertation committee may require the student to complete additional coursework to address any academic deficiencies. Another exception exists for students in the Integrated BSEE/MSE program who receive their BSEE and MSE degrees simultaneously.

Graduate students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering are expected to be proficient in English. An applicant who does not meet the English proficiency standards of the University may be admitted, but then may be required to complete a three-hour English course. The course is counted toward the student’s course load for the semester but is not counted toward the fulfillment of course requirements for the graduate degree.