Course Catalog

Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering (CpE) combines the disciplines of electrical engineering and computer science. It encompasses computer hardware, software, and systems. The study of computer engineering is not limited to general purpose computers, but also covers embedded computer systems that control a vast multitude of devices and functions from automotive ignitions to cellular phones and various industrial controls, medical instruments, robotics, consumer electronics. Computer hardware design involves logic design, digital electronics, computer architecture, and integrated circuit design. Computer software involves the design of programs in various languages using structured and object-oriented techniques to control devices and systems. Computer systems involve the combination of hardware, software and operating system that will provide the most effective realization of a system.

Computer engineers are continually developing newer and faster computers, and they find new applications for computers every day to fill the needs of society. The computer engineer must have a broad understanding not only of computer systems, but also of basic engineering fundamentals to apply computer technology to the solution of real engineering problems.

The courses and laboratories offered in the CpE program are organized into the three disciplines of hardware, software, and system design. Technical electives that are chosen from various fields of specialization (e.g., communications, computers, controls, electronics, and power) enable CpE seniors to apply their computer engineering knowledge in selected areas in their professional career.

The department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, in conjunction with its various constituencies, has clearly defined program objectives. These engineering program objectives are listed in the School of Engineering and Applied Science section of this catalog.

The BS in Computer Engineering (BSCpE) is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

B.S. in Computer Engineering: 133 credits

Technical Electives in Computer Engineering

Only 300 and 400 level courses that are not required in the degree plan can be used to satisfy the technical elective requirements. Approved electrical and computer engineering and computer science courses with a EENG, CPEN or CPSC designation may be used as electives. The student’s advisor must approve the selection. However, a maximum number of two approved computer science courses with a CPSC course designation may be used to satisfy computer engineering technical elective degree requirements. Please see your advisor for current course offerings.

Computer Engineering and Computer Science

  • CPEN 435 Parallel  and Cloud Computing
  • CPEN 436 Machine Learning in Biomedicine
  • CPSC 435 Parallel and Cloud Computing
  • CPSC 436 Machine Learning in Biomedicine 
  • CPSC 321 Database Management Systems
  • CPSC 346 Operating Systems 
  • CPSC 348 Computer Security
  • CPSC 450 Advanced Algorithms

Electrical Engineering

  • EENG 340/EENG 340L Introduction to Electric Power Engineering
  • EENG 401 Electronics III
  • EENG 403 Passive and Active Filter Design
  • EENG 406 VLSI Circuits and Systems
  • EENG 411 Introduction to Control Systems
  • EENG 412 Digital Control Systems
  • EENG 413/EENG 413L Automation
  • EENG 421 Introduction to Communication Systems
  • EENG 422 Digital Communication Systems
  • EENG 424 Digital Signal Processing
Lower Division
CPEN 230 Intro Digital Logic
3.00 credits
Number systems and codes, Boolean Algebra, Logic gates and flip-flops. Verilog HDL. Combinational and sequential Logic Design using CPLDs. Three lecture hours per week.
CPEN 230L Intro Digital Logic Lab
1.00 credit
Three laboratory hours per week. Taken concurrently with CPEN 230.
CPEN 230
CPEN 231 Embedded Computer Systems
3.00 credits
Study of components of simple computer systems: CPU's memory, registers, busses, computer control, microprogramming, assembly language programming. Three lecture hours per week.
CPSC 121 Minimum Grade: D
CPEN 231L Embedded Computer Systems Lab
1.00 credit
Three laboratory hours per week. Taken concurrently with CPEN 231.
CPEN 231
CPEN 247 Network Interfacing & Sockets
3.00 credits
Reviewing main programming concepts. Introducing network models, services and applications. Processes Communications. UDP and TCP Client/Server Sockets. Offered during Spring semesters.
CPSC 121 Minimum Grade: D
Upper Division
CPEN 342 Cyber-Physical Systems
3.00 credits
The micro controller as an engineering component. Hardware expansion with analog and digital devices. Board level design of real-time systems. Design of user-friendly interactive displays. Design project. Troubleshooting with logic analyzer and in-circuit emulation. Three lecture hours per week.
CPEN 231 Minimum Grade: D and EENG 201 Minimum Grade: D and EENG 201L Minimum Grade: D
CPEN 442 - Taken before Fall 2005
CPEN 342L Cyber-Physical Systems Lab
1.00 credit
Three laboratory hours per week. Taken concurrently with CPEN 342.
CPEN 342
CPEN 430 Digital System Design
3.00 credits
Modern methods of digital design realization. Technology independence. Designs utilizing gate arrays and custom integrated circuits. Use of high level design software. Extensive use of Verilog hardware design language for system description, simulation and implementation. Three lecture hours per week.
CPEN 230 Minimum Grade: D and CPSC 121 Minimum Grade: D
CPEN 430L Digital System Design Lab
1.00 credit
Three laboratory hours per week. Taken concurrently with CPEN 430.
CPEN 430
CPEN 431 Comp Hardware Design & Arch
3.00 credits
Understanding the design techniques, machine structures, technology factors, evaluation methods that will determine the form of computers in 21st century. Three lecture hours per week.
CPEN 231 Minimum Grade: D or CPSC 260 Minimum Grade: D
CPEN 435 Parallel & Cloud Computing
3.00 credits
Parallel Programming platforms; principles of parallel algorithm design; basic communication operations; programming using the message-passing paradigm (MPI); programming on shared address space platforms (POSIX Thread and OpenMP); cloud computing; big data analysis; and other advanced topics. On sufficient demand.
CPEN 231 Minimum Grade: D or CPSC 260 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 435 - OK if taken since Fall 2022
CPEN 436 Machine Learning in Biomed
3.00 credits
Investigation of the role of computers in the provision of medical services; machine learning algorithms for regression, classification and clustering; medical decision-making support; genomic medicine and its techniques. On sufficient demand.
CPSC 121 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 436 - OK if taken since Fall 2022
CPEN 442 Introduction to Robotics
3.00 credits
Principles of real-time systems and robotics. Thread management and inter-thread communications. Semaphores and thread synchronization. Design and simulation of simple robotic systems. Cooperation, blocking semaphores, FIFO queues, and deadlocks. Thread sleeping and scheduling. File system management, solid-state drives (SSDs), Controller Area Network (CAN). Robotic control systems and fuzzy logic.
CPEN 231 Minimum Grade: D and CPEN 231L Minimum Grade: D
CPEN 481 Special Topics
1.00- 3.00 credits
Courses of special interest may be offered from time to time. Prerequisites will depend on the nature of the material offered and will be announced.

In addition to their major and minor areas of study, all undergraduate students follow a common program designed to complete their education in those areas that the University considers essential for a Catholic, Jesuit, liberal, and humanistic education. The University Core Curriculum consists of forty-five credits of course work, with additional designation requirements that can be met through core, major, or elective courses.

The University Core Curriculum is a four-year program, organized around one overarching question, which is progressively addressed through yearly themes and questions. Hence, core courses are best taken within the year for which they are designated. First year core courses encourage intellectual engagement and provide a broad foundation of fundamental skills. Second and third year courses examine central issues and questions in philosophy and religious studies. The fourth year course, the Core Integration Seminar, offers a culminating core experience. Taken at any time throughout the four years, broadening courses intersect with the core themes and extend students’ appreciation for the humanities, arts, and social and behavioral sciences. Finally, the designation requirements (writing enriched, global studies, and social justice) reflect important values and reinforce students’ knowledge and competencies.

Overarching Core Question: As students of a Catholic, Jesuit, and Humanistic University, how do we educate ourselves to become women and men for a more just and humane global community?
Year 1 Theme and Question: Understanding and Creating: How do we pursue knowledge and cultivate understanding?

  • The First-Year Seminar (DEPT 193, 3 credits): The First-Year Seminar (FYS), taken in the fall or spring of the first year, is designed to promote an intellectual shift in students as they transition to college academic life. Each small seminar is organized around an engaging topic, which students explore from multiple perspectives. The FYS is offered by many departments across the University (click here [PDF] for list of FYS courses).  
  • Writing (ENGL 101, 3 credits) and Reasoning (PHIL 101, 3 credits): The Writing and Reasoning courses are designed to help students develop the foundational skills of critical reading, thinking, analysis, and writing. They may be taken as linked sections. Writing (ENGL 101) carries one of the three required writing-enriched designations (see below).
  • Communication & Speech (COMM 100, 3 credits): This course introduces students to interpersonal and small group communication and requires the application of critical thinking, reasoning, and research skills necessary to organize, write, and present several speeches.
  • Scientific Inquiry (BIOL 104/104L, CHEM 104/104L, or PHYS 104/104L, 3 credits): This course explores the scientific process in the natural world through evidence-based logic and includes significant laboratory experience. Students pursuing majors that require science courses will satisfy this requirement through their major.
  • Mathematics (above Math 100, 3 credits): Mathematics courses promote thinking according to the modes of the discipline—abstractly, symbolically, logically, and computationally. One course in mathematics, above Math 100, including any math course required for a major or minor, will fulfill this requirement. MATH 100 (College Algebra) and courses without the MATH prefix do not fulfill this requirement.

Year 2 Theme and Question: Being and Becoming: Who are we and what does it mean to be human?

  • Philosophy of Human Nature (PHIL 201, 3 credits): This course provides students with a philosophical study of key figures, theories, and intellectual traditions that contribute to understanding the human condition; the meaning and dignity of human life; and the human relationship to ultimate reality.
  • Christianity and Catholic Traditions (RELI, 3 credits). Religious Studies core courses approved for this requirement explore diverse topics including Christian scriptures, history, theology, and practices as well as major contributions from the Catholic intellectual and theological traditions (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses) .

Year 3 Theme and Question: Caring and Doing: What principles characterize a well lived life?

  • Ethics (PHIL 301 or RELI, 3 credits): The Ethics courses are designed to help students develop their moral imagination by exploring and explaining the reasons humans should care about the needs and interests of others. This requirement is satisfied by an approved ethics course in either Philosophy (PHIL 301) or Religious Studies (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • World/Comparative Religion (RELI, 3 credits): Religious Studies courses approved for this core requirement draw attention to the diversity that exists within and among traditions and encourage students to bring critical, analytical thinking to bear on the traditions and questions considered. These courses carries one of the required two global-studies designations (see below) (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).

Year 4 Theme and Question: Imagining the Possible: What is our role in the world?” 

  • Core Integration Seminar (DEPT 432, 3 credits). The Core Integration Seminar (CIS) offers students a culminating core experience in which they integrate the principles of Jesuit education, prior components of the core, and their disciplinary expertise. Some CIS courses may also count toward a student’s major or minor. The CIS is offered by several departments across the University (click here [PDF] for list of CIS courses).

The Broadening Courses

  • Fine Arts & Design (VART, MUSC, THEA, 3 credits): Arts courses explore multiple ways the human experience can be expressed through creativity, including across different cultures and societies. One approved course in fine arts, music, theatre, or dance will fulfill this requirement (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • History (HIST, 3 credits): History courses are intended to develop students’ awareness of the historical context of both the individual and the collective human experience. One course in History (HIST 101, HIST 102, HIST 112, HIST 201, HIST 202) will fulfill this requirement.
  • Literature (3 credits): Literature courses foster reflection on how literature engages with a range of human experience. One approved course in Literature (offered by English, Classics, or Modern Languages) will fulfill this requirement (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • Social & Behavioral Sciences (3 credits): Courses in the social and behavioral sciences engage students in studying human behavior, social systems, and social issues. One approved course offered by Criminal Justice, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, or Women and Gender Studies will fulfill this requirement (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).

The Designations
Designations are embedded within already existing core, major, minor, and elective courses. Students are encouraged to meet designation requirements within elective courses as their schedule allows; however, with careful planning students should be able to complete most of the designation requirements within other core, major, or minor courses.

  • Writing Enriched (WE; 3 courses meeting this designation): Courses carrying the WE designation are designed to promote the humanistic and Jesuit pedagogical ideal of clear, effective communication. In addition to the required core course, Writing (ENGL 101), which carries one of the WE designations, students must take two other WE-designated courses (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • Global-Studies (GS; 2 courses meeting this designation): Courses carrying the GS designation are designed to challenge students to perceive and understand human diversity by exploring diversity within a context of constantly changing global systems. In addition to the required core course, World/Comparative Religion (RELI 300-level), which carries one of the GS designations, students must take one other GS-designated course (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • Social-Justice (SJ; 1 course meeting this designation): Courses carrying the SJ designation are designed to introduce students to one or more social justice concerns. Students must take one course that meets the SJ designation (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).

Major-specific adaptations to the University Core Curriculum

All Gonzaga students, regardless of their major, will complete the University Core Curriculum requirements. However some Gonzaga students will satisfy certain core requirements through major-specific programs or courses. Any major-specific adaptations to the core are described with the requirements for the majors to which they apply.