Get to Know ECE

The University of Minnesota opened its doors in 1869 and graduated two students in 1873. In 1881 electric power came to the Twin Cities, and demand for the new “mysterious servant” soon outstripped supply. There was at the time no electrical engineering profession. There were professors of physics, mathematics, and of the older branches of engineering in colleges, and there were also skilled electricians. The University of Minnesota responded by offering a course in Electrical Engineering in 1888 and hiring George Shepardson three years later to head a department of Electrical Engineering.

Electrical engineering along with other engineering programs flourished in the postwar years, with scientific and technical developments transforming their respective fields. These transformations are reflected even today in our evolving curricula that prepares students for future challenges and possibilities.

The connection with industry and developments in industry, always an essential element, took on an even stronger role. With boundaries between disciplines having already blurred in the postwar decades, and computers and related devices becoming increasingly ubiquitous, it only seemed appropriate the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering establish a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, a joint initiative, in 1995.