January 25th, 2013, 09:04 AM
Any Electrical Engineer will need advanced maths in some form.

"There's really a lot of math involved in electrical and electronic

engineering. How much you do depends on what area of EE (shorthand for

electrical and electronic engineer) you do. For example, there's a lot

more abstract math in communication theory and signal processing, and

many more very direct calculation differential equations in circuit

theory and systems design.

Let me begin with basic systems / circuit theory. Circuit theory at

its simplest form is really differential equations, which is basically

solving equations involving derivatives, so you need some calculus.

And algebra and trigonometry are fundamental to understanding it.

Every basic circuit element (resistor, capacitor, inductor) has a

related current-voltage relation determined by its impedance. This is

where complex numbers come in. For example:

Resistor: V = IR (V = voltage, I = current, R = resistance)

Capacitor: V = (jwC)I (C = capacitance, w = frequency, j =sqrt(-1))

Inductor: V = I/(jwL) (L = inductance)

So, even in the first area of EE, circuit theory, there's already

calculus, complex numbers, and the Laplace transform (if you look

carefully based on physical properties).

If we move on to the theory of "how" electromagnetism works, we have

Maxwell's equations. These pretty much form the basis for EE. They are

written in both integral and derivative forms and involve vectors. So,

suddenly, we also have vector calculus.

Let's go on to networks. Networks involve nodes communicating with

each other. A lot of computers linked together form a network. Cell

phone users form a network. Networking involves the study of the best

way of implementing a network. Much work has been done to find the

best protocol, or method, for doing so. It involves a lot statistical/

probability calculation. We really can't tell how people will use

networks, so we need statistical models.

If we move to Communication Theory/Information Theory, a mathematician

named Claude Shannon developed a mathematical theory to explain

various quantities related to how to communicate between devices.

Communication Theory is used everywhere, from RADAR, to telephones, to

devices within computers. The underlying theory requires at least

calculus, some linear algebra, some measure theory, etc.

If you look at modern EE, researchers have basically looted libraries

looking for abstract mathematics done in the last few hundred years.

Each abstract mathematical theorem somehow finds its use in EE. Even

wavelets, which have revolutionized signal processing, were discovered

by mathematicians early in the 20th century, but not used by engineers

until 20 years ago.

If I seem to be answering in general, it's because it is not possible

to do EE without math. And depending on whether you do research or

implementation, you use a different amount of math, either a lot of

math at a very high level or some very basic calculus. A specific

answer could potentially fill books.

I hope this helps."

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