The National Science Foundation has awarded Duke University a grant worth nearly $1 million to create a new curriculum for its electrical and computer engineering undergraduate program.

The $998,000 grant over three years went to Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering. Duke said the curriculum would focus on “the most important emerging applications in electrical and computer engineering today.”

The program will stress four areas:

  • Circuits and devices

  • Signals and systems

  • Electromagnetics

  • Computer engineering
  • “I believe that our faculty is defining a new paradigm for electrical and computing engineering education,” said April Brown, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Duke. “The applications focus will engage the students in an entirely new way. In addition, our theme captures exciting research in the department and therefore enables a greater integration of research into the undergraduate experience.”

    Duke said the goal is to “expose students to the full breadth of electrical and computer engineering in their first year, and then build on the integrated sensing and information-processing orientation in successive courses.”

    The classes will be offered in spring of 2006.

    Leslie Collins, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, will lead the program along with Gary Ybarra, associate professor of the practice, and Lisa Huettel, director of undergraduate laboratories.

    The NSF provided Duke with a $100,000 grant in October of last year to help start the program. The grants are part of NSF’S Engineering Education Program.