An engineer designs complex structures and systems, solves problems, creates innovation. (S)He has a social responsibility, since a bad project could lead to poor performance, bad economy, but even to the hazard of accidents or injuries. An engineer cannot make mistakes. There is only one way to form this highly reliable professional figure: construct a solid scientific background.
The undergraduate level build the foundations of an engineer: these foundations are mathematics and physics.
The systems we design (electronic circuits, bridges, engines, computers, houses, pipelines, …) have a behaviour that we have to be able to forecast. The behaviour of a physical system is described by mathematical equations. Math is the best friend of an engineer: it lets her/him sleep soundly.
Why theorems and proofs?
An engineer has to design a system with some design specifications, and/or to ensure that a certain event will or will not occur. To perform this task the engineer must use an hypothetical-deductive approach: given (a theory and) some hypotheses, (s)he has to deduce what can occur, on the basis of a rigorous logical reasoning and the outcome of the equations. A student of engineering gains acquaintance with this operative and scientific method from the very beginning, when (s)he meets, for the first time, the proof of a theorem; it has the same structure of what is asked of an engineer in daily practice.
Physics is the great arena where math describes reality. Our description of the world surrounding us is based on the construction of models that represent the specific system we want to describe; to build a model means to be able to forecast the behavior of this system. In physics we realize the power of math when describing these systems, that is when describing reality. The engineer is asked certainties; math, through physics, provides.
Professional basic disciplines and curricula
After a solid math and physics background, our undegraduate level offers some courses that are fundamentals in the IC engineering studies. They are circuit and signal theory, digital logic design, electronics, computer and telecommunication networks, but also some basic knowledge on algorithmics, computer programming and architecure. At the end of the studies, one can choose a set of courses that form a curriculum, that is a set of disciplines which are consistently linked to each other. These curricula are Computing Applications, Communication networks, Electronics, Biomedical Engineering and Data & Systems Management.