ECE 1004 Introduction to ECE Concepts | ECE | Virginia Tech

Undergraduate PROGRAMS

Course Information


Introduction to topics that span the field of electrical and computer engineering (ECE). Content presented through the lens of application with accompanying hands-on exercises. Basics of circuits, op-amps, power supplies, computer logic, system decomposition, and coding. Modeling and application of engineering professionalism. Exploration of ECE in society. (3H, 3C)

Why take this course?

Introduction to ECE Concepts is designed to be an introduction to the broad field of electrical and computer engineering (ECE). The course will cover a range of topics identified as most relevant to the field while preparing students for subsequent, sophomore-level courses. Topics that surround the field of ECE will be highlighted, such as resistor networks, circuit simulation, op-amp design, power supply design and Thevenin analysis, computer logic, hardware, and software. As students are introduced to these topics, elements of engineering professionalism, along with an exploration of ECE in society, will be intertwined with the development of more technical skills. Hands-on exercises is where students will apply theory-to-practice by designing circuits that can be used as building blocks in future courses. Students will use the Lab-in-a-box kit and also build a project, such as a solar-powered battery charger, that integrates hardware and software through the application of power supplies, signal and power conditioning, and simple microcontroller programming.

Learning Objectives

  • Design and analyze resistor networks
  • Design basic op-amp circuits and power supplies
  • Explain the basics of computer logic.
  • Program simple microcontrollers
  • Demonstrate skills relevant to ECE professionals.
  • Explain how the field of ECE addresses societal challenges.

Course Topics


Percentage of Course

1. Introduction to System Decomposition 5%
2. Voltage, Current, Resistors, and Ohms Law 15%
3. Op-Amps, basic inverting/non-inverting, comparator, gain 15%
4. Power supply design, sourcing, and loading 10%
5. Computer logic 15%
6. Computer software a. Procedural programming b. Basic microcontroller programming 30%
7. ECE in society 5%
8. Engineering professionalism 5%