Letter from the Chair

John Kymissis

Welcome to Columbia’s Electrical Engineering Department!

While this year will be different from most and brings a number of changes to our lives, we are also very proud of the contributions that the faculty, students, and researchers in the department have been developing to address our many new challenges relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and the health, societal, and communication challenges of our new environment.  We have also been working hard to adapt our programs to address the needs of students in the new environment with innovative approaches to distance, remote, and hybrid learning while preserving the high quality of our programs.

Electrical Engineering is a broad, constantly evolving discipline with topics that connect to physics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and biology. Electricity is central to our lives and its role will continue to grow in the coming decades as green transportation and renewable energy rely more and more on smart electric energy. Electrical engineers also design communication networks, wireless systems, autonomous systems, computing systems, and signal and information processing systems. They invent advanced electronic and photonic devices, integrated circuits, or information processing systems. Techniques and methods developed in Electrical Engineering are at the forefront to help solve problems in biomedical engineering, bio-engineering, and neuro-engineering.

Our department, which was founded with the help and at the suggestion of Thomas Edison, is among the oldest in the United States and has a storied history including being at the foundation of modern radio communications, control engineering, and multimedia coding. Every day we are hard at work at pushing new frontiers in Electrical Engineering with innovative teaching and state-of- the-art research.

We offer undergraduate, master's, and doctoral programs in Electrical Engineering and, jointly with the Computer Science Department, in Computer Engineering. Our BS program gives students a rounded foundation in EE, with depth specializations in photonics & devices, circuits & electronics, signals & systems, and communications & networking. Our MS program is highly flexible to accommodate each student’s needs, while offering the opportunity to study the newest and most important EE topics in depth. In all areas, we stress a  hands-on approach, with theory strongly motivated by practical applications. PhD students work closely with their faculty advisors on exploring the new frontiers in research to prepare them for advanced academic or industrial research careers.

We hope you find our website informative and we look forward to meeting you on our beautiful campus in the heart of New York City.

John Kymissis
Department Chair and Professor of Electrical Engineering