News Release

UC San Diego Electrical Engineering Department Celebrates 50 Years of Innovation

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Chancellor Khosla signs the birthday banner for the 50th anniversary of the ECE department.

San Diego, Calif., December 8, 2015 -- The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of California, San Diego celebrated its 50th Anniversary on Friday, November 13. To commemorate the celebration, the ECE department hosted a booth during the UC San Diego Founders Day Festival and held the ECE 50th Anniversary Founders Day Event in the evening in Jacobs Hall. The evening event included a reception, student posters, the unveiling of the Electrical and Computer Engineering historical timeline, and talks by faculty, alumni and other special guests.

“In the spirit of celebrating the 50th anniversary, on behalf of the department, I encourage the whole ECE community – students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends – to participate in activities throughout the 2015-16 academic year,” said Truong Nguyen, professor and chair of the electrical and computer engineering department at the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Upcoming events that are part of the 50th anniversary celebration include the ITA Workshop from January 31–February 5, 2016; a Circuits/RF Symposium in February 2016; a Non-Volatile Memories Workshop in March 2016; the Jacobs School of Engineering Research Expo on April 14, 2016; the UC San Diego Center for Wireless Communications (CWC) 5G Forum in May 2016; and ECE Alumni Weekend in June 2016. The ECE 50th anniversary website will have details on these events and others as they become available. The historical timeline, presentation, video and photos from the ECE 50th Anniversary Founders Day event are currently available on the website.

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ECE 50th Anniversary Founders Day Evening Event reception and poster session in Jacobs Hall.

The ECE department has earned a world-class reputation for producing top-notch engineers for industry and academia. According to U.S. News, the ECE department at UC San Diego ranks 15th in the nation for electrical, electronic and communications engineering, and 13th in computer engineering. See the Jacobs School of Engineering Departmental Rankings here.

Notable faculty and alumni from the ECE deparment include a Nobel laureate, a National Medal of Science recipient, three members in the National Academy of Sciences, seven members in the National Academy of Engineering, as well as founders of many companies including Linkabit, Qualcomm, ViaSat, Cymer, Peregrine Semiconductor, Entropic Communications, Ubiquiti Networks, Maxlinear, Sonrgy and Tomnod.

Electrical Engineering beginnings at UC San Diego

The ECE department traces its roots back to the Applied Electrophysics department, which was established in 1965 under its founding chair Henry Booker. In 1968, the Applied Electrophysics department became the Applied Physics and Information Science department, which later transitioned to the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences in 1978.

In 1987, this department split into the two departments we have today: the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE).  (See the full Jacobs School family tree here.) 

Media Contacts

Liezel Labios
Jacobs School of Engineering