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The School of Engineering and Applied Science has introduced a new, revamped Computer Engineering program this semester.

Directed by School of Engineering and Applied Science professor Andre DeHon, the rethought major brings together the creation and mechanics of both the hardware and software components of the many gadgets in computers.

Computer Engineering provides a broad foundational base in the theory and practice of modern computer engineering, according to the school’s website.

As an innovative degree program, it therefore requires constant renovation to keep up with advances in technology.

According to DeHon, the progress of technology is such that engineers have to constantly alter their perspective in order to deal with the ever-changing uses of computers.

“Computers are everywhere,” explained DeHon. “Where before a computer was a big machine that sat in a lab, computers are now everywhere, from your laptop to your cellphone to your car.”

As a result, this new program will emphasize hands-on projects to a greater extent, working in collaboration with the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering.

Engineering’s Director of Academic Affairs Joseph Sun described the new major as the “new and improved” version of the previous Computer and Telecommunications program.

As Amir Roth, undergraduate chairman of the Computer and Inormation Science progra, wrote in a letter over the summer that explained the program, though the basic principles of computer science remain the same — “discrete structures, algorithms, digital logic [and] operating system basics” — the technology has seen a vast number of upgrades — “Java, wireless networking, World Wide Web, graphics, artificial intelligence and more.”

With that in mind, DeHon’s class this semester plans to focus on the shared technology utilized in both mp3 players and cell phones.

“The official title of the class is ‘Digital Audio Basics,’ but the sexy title is ‘How Does Your iPhone Work?’” DeHon explained.

The class will look at everything from the limitations of human ear acoustics to hardware capabilities.

As Engineering Associate Dean Vijay Kumar explained, studying the inner-workings of the iPhone is “every engineer’s dream.”

With computers now mediating even person-to-person interaction through text and instant messaging, DeHon believes that the new program will be better able to deal with “redefining the infrastructure of our lives” than its predecessor.

“There is a constant evolution of requirements in this field,” Sun said, “and the new program reflects these changes by giving graduates the tools and knowledge to be able to better meet the rapid changes that are coming in the future.”

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