Women's Technology Program
in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

       

WTP-EECS


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Curriculum
                                  Classes | Background




The WTP-EECS curriculum introduces students to computer science, electrical engineering, and discrete mathematics topics. The 40 WTP-EECS students are divided into 2 class groups of 20 students; everyone attends each of the 3 classes daily. The classes are very fast-paced, but are designed for students with no prior engineering or computer science exposure. Students are expected to spend several hours in the evenings (sometimes until midnight) and on weekends working on homework and going to extra lab sessions to complete projects with other students.

WTP-EECS has a collaborative culture, where all course work is done in teams, with an emphasis on developing multiple ways to approach and solve problems. Brainstorming, learning from mistakes, sharing ideas, and debugging (circuits, code, and math problems!) are important features of the WTP-EECS learning process.

For a description of the WTP Mechanical Engineering Curriculum (a separate Track from WTP-EECS) visit the WTP-ME Track.

The WTP-EECS classes are taught by female graduate students from the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. These Instructors are assisted by female MIT undergraduate students who also live in the dorm as Residential Tutors. WTP is not a certified academic program and you do not receive college credit. However, we expect WTP students to to be excited about the joy of learning engineering and computer science and will work as hard on their classes as they would if they were earning credit.

Below is the curriculum that was taught in 2016 (there may be some topical changes within each subject for 2017).

WTP-EECS Classes

Computer Science

The computer science curriculum is an intensive introduction to thinking computationally and programming in Python, with challenging conceptual exercises and daily programming assignments covering basic variables, functions, conditionals, loops, object-oriented programming, data structures, algorithms, time complexity, and recursion.   Although the students all arrived at WTP with no prior programming experience, during WTP they complete a hangman game as well as a fully functioning game of Tetris.

 

Electrical Engineering

Students complete laboratory projects in analog and digital electronics as well as a range of special topics that include soldering, biomedical electronics, and 3D printing.   The analog portion of the curriculum covers reducing and analyzing resistor, capacitor, and diode circuits; in digital electronics we introduce microcontrollers using an Arduino. Students complete complex final projects building upon the analog concepts learned in the class and basic programming skills learned in the Computer Science course.


Discrete Mathematics

Covers fundamental topics including Boolean logic, proof techniques, discrete probability, and algorithms, as well as more advanced topics such as cryptography, graph theory, game theory, and information theory. Daily homework introduces students to generalizations, extensions, and open problems, encouraging them to think beyond the curriculum. Students also chose an advanced math topic and work in teams to give a final in-class presentation.


Capstone Engineering Project

A motor building challenge in week four of the program introduces students to the engineering design process.  Students work in in teams of two created a design for a unique DC motor, then construct the motor using machine shop tools. A final contest recognizes the fastest, best built, and most creative designs.

 

Guest Speakers and Tours
MIT faculty and engineers from industry present information about their research and career paths at lunch time sessions several days each week.

cleanroom

 

 

 

 

 

Tours of some MIT labs are also included to highlight how and where engineers work.

Recommended Background for WTP-EECS Students

We are looking for female high school students who have a strong curiosity about engineering and computer science, who love and excel at math and science, and who would like to explore engineering and computer science in an academically challenging environment with other talented young women to determine whether these fields might be of interest.

Although students admitted to WTP have no prior experience (or very little) with engineering or computer science they must have the ability to handle very fast-paced college-level work, and be interested in hands-on collaborative team-based learning and projects.

The WTP-EECS computer science class is introductory, and only for students with no prior background in CS. Students who have already taken computer programming in classes or in other summer programs are not admitted to the WTP-EECS curriculum track, because they will have already learned more than the WTP CS class covers. Students with CS experience may still apply to the WTP-ME curriculum track if they have an interest in Mechanical Engineering. Check our FAQ CS question to determine if you have too much computer background for WTP-EECS.

Applicants to WTP should have high grades in all their high school classes (predominantly A's), and be taking the most advanced classes in science and math (appropriate for their grade level) offered at their schools. PSAT, ACT or SAT math scores of accepted students typically are in the 80% range or higher (though these tests are NOT required to apply to WTP).

For more information about who should apply to WTP and admissions criteria, visit our Application page.