The Robotics Engineering Major 2013-14

Jacob Rosen, associate professor of computer engineering, UC Santa Cruz, with his "exoskeleton" project. Photo by Jim MacKenzie.

The UCSC robotics engineering program prepares graduates for rewarding careers at the interfaces between electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering. UCSC robotics engineering graduates will have a thorough grounding in the principles and practices of robotics and control, and the scientific and mathematical principles upon which they are built; they will be prepared for further education (both formal and informal) and for productive employment in industry.

Study and Research Opportunities

  • B.S. in robotics engineering
  • robotics and control designated emphasis (graduate minor)

Admission to the Jack Baskin School of Engineering (BSOE)

Please see the current UC Santa Cruz General Catalog for a full description of the BSOE admissions policy. 

Freshman Applicants: Once at UCSC, students will be accepted into the major based on grade-point average in selected lower-division mathematics, physics, and programming courses required for the major.

Transfer Applicants: Admission into the major will be based on the student’s academic college record. Applicants are encouraged to take and excel in as many courses that are equivalent to the department’s lower-division courses (see Transfer Preparation section) as possible. Only students who have completed a minimum of four courses required for the major will be considered for admission to the major.

High School Preparation

It is recommended that high school students intending to apply to the BSOE have completed four years of mathematics (through advanced algebra and trigonometry) and three years of science in high school, if possible one year each of chemistry, physics, and biology. Comparable college mathematics and science courses completed at other institutions may be accepted in place of high school preparation. Students without this preparation may be required to take additional courses to prepare themselves for the program. Students who would otherwise not be able to enroll in Mathematics 19A, Calculus for Scientists and Engineers, should consider taking precalculus during the summer before coming to UCSC.

Transfer Preparation

The BSOE strongly encourages applications from transfer students. Due to the prerequisite structure for upper-division courses, it is necessary for prospective transfer students to have completed as many of the lower-division requirements for the computer engineering major as possible in order to complete the degree within a reasonable time. Students must plan carefully because many courses must be taken sequentially. Applicants must take and excel in as many courses for the major as possible. Completion of mathematics courses through differential equations and linear algebra as well as physics is particularly important.

Transfer students seeking to major in robotics engineering should plan to complete the following foundation courses prior to transfer:

  • Mathematics 19A-B, Calculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (two quarters)
  • Applied Mathematics and Statistics 10, Mathematical Methods for Engineers I
  • Applied Mathematics and Statistics 20, Mathematical Methods for Engineers II
  • Physics 5A/L, Introduction to Physics, and Physics 5C/M

Transfer students should not follow the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) because it will not provide transfer students with enough mathematics and engineering courses to allow them to complete these programs at UC Santa Cruz in two years.

Transfer students should focus on articulated lower-division courses for the major listed on the web site www.assist.org.

Lower-division requirements in robotics engineering are:

  • Applied Mathematics and Statistics 10, Mathematical Methods for Engineers I; or Mathematics 21, Linear Algebra
  • Applied Mathematics and Statistics 20, Mathematical Methods for Engineers II; or Mathematics 24, Ordinary Differential Equations
  • Computer Engineering 8, Robot Automation: Intelligence through Feedback Control
  • Computer Engineering 9, Introduction to Statics Dynamics & Biomechanics
  • Computer Engineering 12, Computer Systems and Assembly Language and 12L
  • Computer Engineering 13, Computer Systems and C Programming and 13L (recommended); or Computer Science 12A, Introduction to Programming and 12L
  • Computer Engineering 16, Applied Discrete Mathematics
  • Computer Science 12B, Introduction to Data Structures and 12M
  • Mathematics 19A-B, Calculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Mathematics 23A, Multivariable Calculus
  • Physics 5A/L, Introduction to Physics /Laboratory I; or Physics 6A/L, Introductory Physics I/Laboratory
  • Physics 5C/N, Introduction Physics III/Laboratory; or Physics 6C/N, Introductory Physics III/Laboratory

Mission and Program Objectives

The UCSC B.S. in robotics engineering prepares graduates for a rewarding career at the interfaces between electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering. UCSC robotics engineering graduates will have a thorough grounding in the principles and practices of robotics and control, and the scientific and mathematical principles upon which they are built; graduates will be prepared for further education (both formal and informal) and for productive employment in industry.

The program objectives of the UCSC B.S. in robotics engineering are:

  1. Graduates who choose to pursue a career in industry, government, or academia will become successful engineers, scientists, or educators who demonstrate strong leadership, technical, and team skills, and a commitment to continuing professional development.
  2. Graduates who choose to pursue advanced degrees will gain admission to graduate programs and will be successful graduate students.

Careers

  • Assistive technologies
  • Control system design
  • Embedded system design
  • Remote sensing
  • Robotics and autonomous systems
  • Signal/image/video processing

These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.

Internships, Fieldwork, and Education Abroad Opportunities

Many students find internships and fieldwork to be a valuable part of their academic experience. They work closely with faculty and career advisers in the UC Santa Cruz Career Center to identify existing opportunities and often to create their own internships with local companies or in nearby Silicon Valley. For more information about internships, visit intern.ucsc.edu.

BSOE students may wish to develop their cross-cultural competency, typically via the Education Abroad Program (EAP). Interested students must work very closely with the faculty and academic advisers in their major very early during the freshman or sophomore year to create a plan for transferability of course work towards graduation. For more EAP information, visit eap.ucop.edu/ourprograms/pages/default.aspx.

Undergraduate Research

Departmental faculty are focused on multidisciplinary  research including embedded and autonomous systems, digital media and sensor technology, assistive technologies, and robotics. Many undergraduates contribute to  research activities as independent study students or paid employees, for example as part of the National Science Foundation-funded Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Information Technology, surf-it.soe.ucsc.edu.

More Information

Undergraduate Advising Office
Jack Baskin School of Engineering
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064
ugrad.soe.ucsc.edu/admissions
soeadmissions@soe.ucsc.edu
(831) 459-5840

See Also