ECE 81 is the introduction to electrical engineering class at Lehigh. It is taught every year during fall semester at 8 A.M. with one of Lehigh’s best professors, Bill Best. As much as I hate waking up (almost) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a semester at 8 A.M. Professor Best does a great job at keeping you awake and focused on the material. So far the class has covered circuit analysis with resistors, voltage sources, and current sources. We have learned the techniques of Ohm’s Law, Kirchhoff’s voltage and current laws, nodal analysis, mesh analysis, and Norton and Thevenin equivalents. We have been given circuits with both independent and dependent sources and had to analyze them in various ways. Typically Professor Best likes to ask us to find the power in a certain resistor/source or he’ll assign variables to certain parts of the circuit and we have to find what they are.
This class is required for all engineers, although non-electrical/computer engineers take ECE 83 which is a very similar class offered in the spring semester which is introduction to electrical engineering but designed for non-electrical/computer engineers. Both of these classes are four credits with one recitation per week to both review old material, and learn new material. One of Professor Best’s key objectives for the class is to get everyone to “think like an engineer.” He doesn’t want everyone to memorize equations/techniques. He wants them to actually understand them and be able to implement them in a variety of ways. Most circuits can be solved by several of the methods mentioned above, but you want to decide what should be the easiest method to find what you are looking for.