Department of Mathematics Colloquium

University of Idaho

Spring 2013

Thursday,  January 31, 3:30-4:20 pm, room TLC 047

Refreshments in Brink 305 at 3:00 pm

Applications of Mathematics in Electronic Systems


Fred Barlow

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of Idaho


This presentation will describe some of the primary math skills that are required for electrical and computer engineering (ECE) as well as some of the challenges that the electronics industry faces. ECE is one of the most math intensive degrees in engineering and most graduates nearly achieve a minor in math by simply completing the required courses for the ECE degree.  An understanding of calculus with an emphasis in differential equations is core to this field as well as vector calculus, linear algebra, complex variables, numerical analysis and a variety of other more specialized skills.

Engineers view these skills as tools that enable the design, simulation and fabrication of a wide range of electronic systems and products from the electrical distribution grid to cell phones and computers. Today in this industry there is a need for employees with strong math skills that can bring that expertise to bare on understanding the physical phenomena that occur within these products as well as to facilitate the design of the next generation of products. Several examples of electronic products will be described as well as the math skills required to enable these products.