Course Syllabus

ECE 1250 – Introduction to Electrical & Computer Engineering

Course Taught:  MWF 9:40-10:30 WEB 1230

Professor: Dr. Cynthia Furse


Office: MEB 2280 (801) 585-7234 OR 210 Park Building (801) 581-7236

Office Hours:  MWF after class until noon

Academic Calendar: (dates to add/drop/withdraw, etc.)

Undergraduate Policies on Appeals, Withdrawals, Equal Access, etc.:

See Page: Textbooks And Other Resources Needed For This Class

Prerequisites: MATH 1210 or 1310 or 1311 (grade of "C" or better) OR AP Calc AB score of 4 or better OR AP Calc BC score of 3 or better.  If (when?) you find you may have forgotten some math information you need in this class, check out the Khan Academy and others linked in the RESOURCE section of the assignments for help.  The MATH tutoring center and TAs are also available to help you.

No previous experience with electronics or programming is assumed or needed in this class. We will be starting from scratch. However, many students in this class will have had some experience, either formal or informal, and a few students will have had a lot of experience.  If you are someone with little or no experience, do not be intimidated!  We will be working together, and the course is designed to start from the beginning. If you are someone with some or much experience, do not be bored!  It is likely we will be looking at the concepts in somewhat different ways than you have in the past, and I hope you will gain new ideas from this way of thinking.  The applications I have included in nearly every lecture are likely to be of interest to students at all levels.  Please do not feel you have to limit your exploration of electrical engineering to only what is in the homework.  Extra credit assignments are given specifically to enable and encourage you to explore areas you are interested in in more depth.  I hope you will enjoy this class as much as I will enjoy teaching it. 

 ECE 1250 Canvas Website:  A link to the course website on Canvas should appear on your CIS login page (the same place you login to register for classes).  When you need to login to Canvas, you use the same username (uID number) and password as you use to login to CIS.

Course Outcomes:

At the end of this class, you will be able to invent a sensor system of your own choosing.  You should be able to: 

  • Design, evaluate, build, test, and debug simple circuits using voltage and current sources, resistors and capacitors, op amps, and diodes to accomplish specific engineering tasks. 
  • Explain applications in ECE including: electrical circuit design, sensors, signal processing, communications, electromagnetics, control and embedded systems.
  • Program Matlab for applications in ECE.

FLIPPED CLASS (Step-by-Step) -- What Students Should Know about the Flipped Classroom

Step 1: 1-2 days BEFORE class... Look at the Lecture Question of the Day.  This is material you will learn in the video lecture/text for that day.  Watch the Lecture Videos (OR read the textbook section).  Take notes. You can use these notes, but not your textbook, on the exam.

 Step 3: Come to class.  Class will NOT be a repeat of the lecture videos. We will work together actively solving examples and some of your homework problems, and answering questions (so bring your questions with you). We will talk about how to apply what you are learning in real-world applications. Teaching this way roughly doubles the amount of time we have together, and gives me time to really work with you on the common problems that crop up in your homework.

 Step 4: Finish your homework THAT DAY. If you can spend some additional time that day finishing the homework, you will be well-prepared for the next day. Homework is due the following Monday, but if you wait until the weekend to do it, you won’t be as well prepared.


Assignment due dates are noted in the schedule. Turn them in online (preferred) or in the lockers located on the 2nd floor of the MEB. PLEASE WRITE YOUR NUMBER ON ANY PAPER YOU TURN IN. Details on: How to Turn in Homework

Homework will not be accepted late.  Solutions to the homework are posted on the course website.

Homework Return: Items turned in on paper will be returned in the ECE homework return room across from the ECE office (open 8am-5pm) in the black file cabinet, in a folder with your "homework return number" on it. You can find your number in the first column of the canvas grade sheet, or posted on the side of the file cabinet. IF YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR ITEMS RETURNED THIS WAY, please notify me by email.

Labs:   Lab will be held weekly. This week (Week 1), there are no labs. Next week (Week 2), do the labs at home (learn to use Multisim, and install your MyDaq). The third week, ATTEND your regular lab session to start on Lab 1. Some of the subjects covered in lab aren’t covered elsewhere in the course. Your TA will be there to help you. Lab attendance is mandatory. Be sure to make-up any labs you miss by making arrangements with your TA.  Lab work is due the next time you are scheduled to attend lab. Labs that are late will be accepted through the end of the semester for 75% credit. Labs: TA's and Overview

Permission codes and Lab Waiting Lists: If you want to change your lab section, and the one you want is full, please submit a permission code request form (use 2nd link) to get on the waiting list. 

Exams:  Four midterms are scheduled as shown on the class schedule. Please check your personal schedule to be sure that you do not have conflicts with these exams. You must take exams on the day listed in the schedule on the Home page unless you have a university excused absence.  The final exam will give you a chance to improve earlier exam scores.

Extra Credit: Extra Credit can be used to give you a maximum of 100% on your combined HW/Lab scores.  Extra credit assignments can be turned in through the last day of the semester. 

Errors: +5 Points Extra Credit If you find a mistake in the online lecture notes, textbook, solution manual, lab handouts, etc., email me the mistake (details, please, so I can fix it!) plus your corrections. Errors already found are posted here: 


Midterm 1 or Final Part 1          17%

Midterm 2 or Final Part 2          17%

Midterm 3 or Final Part 3          17%

Midterm 4 or Final Part 4          17%

Homework                                  7%

Matlab Homework                      10%

Labs                                          15%

Total                                         100%

Extra Credit                                 can bring your total HW / Lab score up to 100%

Grades are assigned by an absolute grading scale based on percentage total for course:

≥ 93%    A       ≥ 90%    A-

≥ 87%    B+     ≥ 83%    B      ≥ 80%    B-

≥ 77%    C+     ≥ 73%    C      ≥ 70%    C-

≥ 67%    D+     ≥ 63%    D      > 60%    D-

≤ 60%    E 

** MATLAB and LAB scores must be >70% to receive a passing grade in the course.

Work Load:  It is anticipated that a typical student will need to spend the following amount of time each week:

3 hours watching videos

3 hours in class

3 hours in lab

6-9 hours on homework

1-2 hours on prelab and writeup

Additional time studying for exams.

16+ hours per week

 PLEASE plan your schedule so that you have time to learn the material.

Disability Accommodations:  The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities.  If you will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Building, 581-5020 (V/TDD).  CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations.  All written information in this course can be made available in alternative format with prior notification to the Center for Disability Services.

Cheating Policy:  Just don't

Here are some things that constitute cheating in this class:

1)     Copying someone else's work on an exam.  If you accidentally see another student's work on an exam, WRITE a NOTE in your exam and tell me during the exam.  Honesty is of great value.  You will not be penalized for this.  Do not pass any papers to anyone for any reason during the exam.  Do not sit near your study partners during the exam.  If you use any scratch paper for doing exam problems, please just staple it at the back of your exam.  Loose scratch paper could look like notes passed between students.

2)     Copying someone else's work on homework or labs.  I hope you WILL work in groups on your homework, labs, Matlab assignments, etc.  And I hope that every team member will contribute to this work.  If you do not contribute (had to work late, missed the lab, and couldn't make the group meeting), then don't copy their work. 

What happens if you cheat?  Under UofU policy, you can (and will) receive an E in the class, be suspended from school, or be expelled from the university.  So just don't cheat.

What happens if someone else cheats?  Statistically, this could lower YOUR grade.  Please tell me or the TA or any other professor or TA (anonymously is fine) if you see instances of cheating in this or any other class.  The ECE Department is committed to reducing instances of cheating in our labs and classes in order to provide the best possible education for all students.  I have worked to set up my class so that there is no need nor reason to cheat.  Just learn the material, and let me give you the credit for what you have learned.

I'm glad to have you in my class!  I hope this will be a great semester for you, that you will learn a lot of really interesting things, and that you will fan the spark of interest you have in engineering into a good flame!

Here are additional College Guidelines on drop dates, etc.

-Your Professor, Dr. Furse



Course Summary:

Date Details Due