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Author: Judy Burl

Robotics Engineering degree: New for Fall 2020!

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is pleased to offer the Bachelor of Science degree in Robotics Engineering beginning fall 2020 with the academic year 2020-2021.

  • View a sample 4-year plan
  • The new major code and degree audit are currently being set up and will be available in late-August.

The Robotics Engineering degree encompasses the three disciplines of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science.

Students develop skills and knowledge to find creative solutions to engineering problems involving robots or robotic systems. Joining the Robotic Systems Enterprise (RSE), where students work in the research and design of robotic systems, is encouraged!

Advising: Contact Judy Burl, or, EERC 131, 906-487-2232

Summer course option for Fall 2020 incoming class

Are you considering a head start on your ECE Degree? This is not required, however, you may take a summer course at a discounted price! The details are listed on our Admissions Website.

Summer 2020 recommended courses for Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering majors who are admitted for Fall 2020:

Do not take a course for which you may be earning AP or transfer credit. Students should not take more than one course from each General Education list (consider any AP or transfer credits you may earn).

One of the following is appropriate for all engineering degrees:
UN1025 – Global Issues, 3 credits
FA2520 or HU2324 or HU2503 or HU2538 or HU2700 (one of these will satisfy the Critical & Creative Thinking core list)
PSY2000 or EC2001 or SS2700 (one of these will satisfy the Social Responsibility/Ethical Reasoning core list)
MA1161 – Calculus I, (if Calc I is the correct starting math course for you)

Computer Engineers may include this as their choice:
CS1121 – Introduction to programming I

Electrical Engineers may include one of these as their choice:
CH1150 and CH1151 – University Chemistry I and Lab
MSE2100 – Introduction to Material Science and Engineering (will apply toward the SELECT approved elective area)

Electrical Engineers who are interested in pursuing a Computer Science minor or Computer Engineering double-major may take CS1121. If undecided, it is OK to postpone this class until later.

CH1150 and CH1151 will apply toward the Computer Engineering degree in the 2nd Discipline math and science electives area. Later, there are will be two other choices, in case you do not want to take Chemistry.

One of the other lower level Humanities, Arts and Social Science courses may be a choice for you, as 6 credits of lower level HASS are allowed. Ensure you don’t have the lower-level HASS already covered from incoming AP or Transfer credits.

If you have questions, please contact the academic advisor for your major:
Computer Engineers: Liz Fujita,
Electrical Engineers: Judy Burl,

Online Learning Tips and Strategies

Online learning could be more difficult, as it is very different from in-class learning, especially if you’ve never taken an online class.
Here are some tips and resources to help you adapt. You can also check out the comprehensive list of resources suggested by Residence Education and Housing Services here.

  1. Schedule your classwork at your normal class schedule. Many classes will be delivered online at the same scheduled time, in real-time, so be sure to join in. Do not skip class.
  2. Some classes will be recorded and available to view anytime. KEEP up with the lecture recordings and homework as you would on campus. Use the regularly scheduled time for a class, to do homework, listen to the video.
  3. Plan extra time for studying. Begin homework and studying for exams early, so you have time to get help. Online help from the instructor may not be available at the last hour.
  4. Be self-disciplined and stick to your schedule.
  5. Contact your academic advisor if you are unsure of your success or are experiencing anxiety over taking classes remotely. It’s best to talk about your options, and/or what strategies you could try.
  6. Be aware of your course homework deadlines and exam dates. Some exams may require a proctor which will need to be set up ahead of time. Seek help with the material from the instructor or virtual learning center.
  7. The Covid-19 situation is not an excuse for late homework, missed exams, lectures or lab assignments. (unless you have extenuating circumstances – contact dean of students office)
  8. What if you don’t have internet access or a computer? Some of our students may have access barriers. If you do not have adequate technology to complete classes online, please contact
  9. Use this opportunity to embrace the situation, adapt good online learning habits, and be successful in your academic work despite the new environment. This is a challenge to be met.
  10. Do not cheat.
  11. Do not fill your time with additional activities that interfere with completion of assignments and study time, such as a job or vacation. You are a full-time student.
  12. Read all emails and communications from instructors, TA’s, and advisors and be on top of what you need to do for each course.
  13. Ask for help, if you need it.

Liz can be reached at and 906-487-1161
Judy can be reached at or or 906-487-2232

Judy Burl, ECE undergraduate Advising

E-mail me days and times that are good for you to meet. Or, schedule a Google Hangouts Meeting here.

Email: jmburl @
Google Hangouts: jmburl @
Google Chat
Phone – provide Phone# and days/times for me to call you
Voicemail – 906-487-2232
Dept Fax: 906-487-2949
Previous name and email: Judy Donahue jmdonahu@

Summer hours:
I am usually available M-F 7:30 -3pm, with occasional evening availability. (except for meetings and vacation days)
I assist Electrical Engineers, Double-majors with CpE and EE, EE minors, and students interested in pursuing one of these!

Out of the office: July 3-12, August 6 – 11

Here is contact information for Liz Fujita, Computer Engineering Advisor and ECE Outreach Specialist.

Many questions can be answered using email or chat.
For in-person advising meetings, let’s use Google Hangouts or a phonecall — Email Judy if you ‘d like a Hangouts advising appointment in a confidential setting . Include days and times you are available. We will send you an invitation/notice of your scheduled Hangouts Meeting (appointment).
I will not be having face-to-face meetings in my office in EERC 131 at this time. (sad face)

Use your mtu email for advising communications, not other email addresses.

ECE Course Instruction / COVID-19 / FAQs

This post contains updates and FAQs specific to the ECE Department while face-to-face instruction is temporarily suspended through the end of the spring 2020 semester. Please follow the University’s official COVID-19 updates page for the most up-to-date information.

Last update of this blog post: April 6, 1 pm.

For general student FAQs, please visit the official COVID-19 page: they are addressing a wide range of questions such as, “What if I don’t have adequate technology to work remotely?” “What should I do about my student org meeting?” or “What if all of my things are in my residence hall room?”

ECE FAQS – to be updated as details become known.

1. Grades – What is the Pass/Fail option and should I use it?
Here are details and FAQS about the Pass/Fail course grading option for Spring 2020, which includes a low-pass option for CD and D grades.

When can I change my grade to the pass/fail option?
May 6
th 8am – May 12th 11:59 pm, after your letter grades have been recorded for the Spring 2020 semester.
How do I change my grade to pass/fail option? This procedure has not yet been determined – Stay tuned!

What are pass/fail grades?
SCV = A, AB, B, BC and C (satisfactory pass / covid-19 spring 2020 semester)
LCV = CD and D (low pass / covid-19 spring 2020 semester)
ECV = F (this is a failed course, does not affect the GPA)

SCV and LCV are passing grades and satisfy prerequisites.
Courses taken Spring 2020, with a grade of SCV or LCV can be applied to the degree.
Grades of SCV, LCV, and ECV are not included in the GPA calculation.

Course repeat rule addition: Students may repeat a course taken during Spring 2020, regardless of the grade earned or the number of times the course was taken.

2. Labs
The faculty and lab TAs are equally motivated to solve this! They’re actively working on solutions, which might include sending you data sets for simulations, live-streams of tests, or digital interactive tools–more info coming soon.

3. I’m in Senior Design or Enterprise–how will I do my capstone work?
The ECE Senior Design Lab is now closed. Projects are continuing, however, teams should be working with their advisors and sponsors to revise project scope such that the projects can be successfully completed with working remotely. When using the lab (if that’s an option), please observe social distancing procedures and disinfect the workspace when you’re done using the wipes located on the large blue toolbox. Other virus-related safety protocols are summarized at

Some Useful Contact Info:
If any teams need help from the ECE Machine Shop please schedule an appointment with Mike Goldworthy (

If any teams need to purchase equipment they must email a purchase requisition to Chuck Sannes (

Any questions regarding senior design can be directed to Tony Pinar (ajpinar@mtu.e).

4. Are my faculty or advisors still available?
Yes! Although campus is closed (with very few exceptions), the advisors and faculty are working remotely. If you’re unsure about where someone is, check their Canvas course page, any group emails for the course, or message them directly to find out.

5. What is happening with my courses between now and May 1?
You should have heard from your instructors by this time. Faculty are actively working to adapt homework, lectures, assignments, quizzes, exams, etc. in a variety of ways and you will hear from each instructor directly regarding the specific setup of their course(s).

Some courses may be recorded for viewing at an alternate time. Instructors will let you know how and when their course will be delivered. You are still responsible for completing your coursework. Deadlines and due dates: adhere to any plans, expectations, homework, and exams as you would on campus. Most importantly, stay alert to your Canvas alerts and emails, as you will be receiving updates from both the University and your instructors.

6. Learning Centers – ECE’s ITC Learning Center coaching hours will be held online. The ITC Learning Center will now be housed virtually via Zoom. Coaches will log in when they are on duty, both for quick “in and out” questions and  longer answers. You can chat via audio, video, or instant message.

To meet with a coach, please join this Zoom link during these posted hours. Coaches will create a Breakout Room for you if you have a longer longer questions. The usual hours are:
Monday—Thursday, Noon – 3 pm, 6 pm – 8 pm

More info about other learning center operations can be found here.

7. Can I return to campus?
As of March 11, 2020 (1:30 PM), the University urges all students to make the choice that is best for their own personal situation. However, high-risk populations are encouraged not to return to campus.

8. I need to drop a course, but I am not on campus. What should I do?
First year students: you must email your advisor to discuss the ramifications of dropping a course. We still want to make sure that you know how it might impact your schedule and future academic plans. From there, we will work with you and the Registrar’s office to get the course dropped.

All others: you are still encouraged, but not required, to email your instructor to discuss. To drop, Email to drop a course; include your M-number and the course name/crns you wish to drop.

Course Drop Deadlines have been extended. The Drop Deadline with a “W” grade is extended through Friday, April 24th, for full-semester courses. The Track B drop deadlines are: Friday, March 27th without a grade, and Friday April 24th with a “W” grade.

9. I still have questions about Fall 2020 registration. What do I do?
The new Registration Priority Schedule is found here. The Approval / Waiver fill-able form is now available, so you can communicate electronically with anyone that you may need to. Check out the e-meetings recorded for the spring advising series in our blog here! There are many answers, links, and tips in those presentations and slides. If you have more questions, contact Liz or Judy–we plan to remain active on email, phone, or other telecommute options for anyone who would like to reach us that way.

10. What about Commencement (May 2)?
A new plan is being created. The latest status of Commencement is listed in the Campus Events and Services Status Updates page.

11. I’m worried about my co-op, internship, or job prospects.
Check out the great work that Career Services is doing! In particular, you might be interested in these sessions:

How COVID-19 is affecting internships and employment this summer. 

2020 Spring Advising Series

Spring Advising Meeting Videos are ready!

Have your flowchart handy and go to appropriate link. Prepare for registration of next set of classes and plan for next two+ semesters.

First-year and new transfer students who began Fall 2019 or Spring 2020:

Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors not yet graduating: Prepare for 3rd/4th/5th years:

How to transfer credits from elsewhere one-page instructions pdf.

How to read your Degree Audit Report

Co-op: how to take a co-op semester.

Calculus I, II grades, Physics 1, and rumors

There are “rumors” and misinformation flying around about grades and what is considered “passing”, especially for Calculus II (MA2160) and Calculus I (MA1160/1161) and University Physics I (PH2100)

Please call, email or meet with your academic advisor if you are concerned or affected by these situations. DO NOT listen to advice from friends and roommates, especially those in other majors. Pay close attention to emails regarding physics and the calculus 1 grade, and those from your advisor, instructors and the Dean of Students Office.

Get to know the university policy on grades and what they mean.

1) It is rumored that a “C” grade or higher is required to pass Calculus II, MA2160, and/or move on to subsequent courses. Fact: “D” or higher is a passing grade. A course with a “D” grade should be carefully considered for a repeat, especially calculus, but know that is is not required to repeat it. Consult with your academic advisor if you are considering repeating a course.
2) Rumor: You cannot take Physics 1 if you earned less than a C in Calculus 1. Fact: Students who earned a CD or D in Calculus 1, can take Physics 1, but must also take PH2110, the Physics 1 workshop, and Calculus II, and can take ENG1102. If you decide to repeat Calculus 1, then you will take University Physics 1 and Calc II (MA2160) and ENG1102 later. You can take the Physics 1 lab either way, PH1100.
3) Fact: Mechanical Engineering majors must earn a C grade or higher in Calculus II (MA2160) in order to move onto their Statics course, MEEM2110. This does not apply to Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering majors.
Please involve your academic advisor for help with planning and knowing all of your options so that you do not get off track from where you can be or should be.
It is very important to understand your own situation. As always, please contact the academic advisor if you have questions or are unsure what to do.
Judy and Liz 1/7/2020

EE1110 and EE1111 are cancelled

EE1110 (Essential Math for ECE) has been cancelled. The key skills are added to the beginning of EE2111 (Circuits 1); you will substitute one credit of free electives for EE1110, if you did not yet take it.

EE1111 (Intro to ECE) has also been cancelled. The key topics will be added to future EE courses, and mainly to EE3901; you will substitute one credit of free electives for EE1111 if you did not yet take it.

It is best to save free electives for later on in your plan, usually. If you have something odd in your audit, an adjustment will be made by your advisors (or, you can bring it up at a future advisor appointment).