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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Michael Hochberg
E E 299
Seattle Campus

Introductory Topics in Electrical Engineering

New and experimental approaches to basic electrical engineering. May include design and construction projects.

Class description

Many of today's most exciting technologies - from modern computer chips to new functional materials - rely on the innovations that have been produced by work in nanoscience and nanotechnology. We hear these words every day, but very few of us really know what 'nanotechnology' is all about.

The aim of this course is to provide an overview and a functional understanding of nanotechnology. We will cover the history of the field, and will explore in detail several areas where there is ongoing research and development, both at the University of Washington and in the wider world.

For example, there will be discussions of: -The technology used to design and fabricate computer chips. How do we build these fantastically complex structures, with billions of transistors, for only tens or hundreds of dollars? -Nanophotonics - How can we use nanoscale structures to manipulate light? -Nanomechanics - Why it's interesting to make 'nanoscale guitar strings', and how we do it. -Integrated micro- and nanofluidics - How we can use the same processes that exist for making microprocessors, and use them to build entire laboratories on a chip for manipulating fluids. -The difference between top-down (design based) and bottom-up (chemical synthesis based) nanotechnologies -What kind of tools are available for examining and manipulating the nano-world. -What kinds of careers are available in nanoscience and nanotechnology, and how does a degree in engineering relate to these career paths? -What are the ethical issues associated with nanotechnology and nanoscience? -Where will the greatest impacts of nanotechnology arise, and what can we expect for the next decade in the field?

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to attend, and the course is open to both EE and non-EE majors. No technical background is required. Opportunities for undergraduate research on campus will be highlighted, for students who are interested in potentially pursuing careers in this field.

Class assignments and grading

The course will be graded on the basis of papers and small-group projects.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Stephen Graham
Date: 03/02/2009