Systems Engineering Courses

Note: Not all courses are offered every semester, and new courses may be added at any time. Check the schedule of classes, for the latest offerings. For most up-to-date course descriptions please consult the online course catalog.

SYST 660: Systems Engineering Principles

The Systems Engineering Principles course provides an introduction to the discipline of Systems Engineering and its specific process framework required to create man-made systems. The course describes how the SE process is implemented in standard life cycle models and through various standard organizational structures. Specifically, this course provides an overview of the systems engineering processes outlined in the International Standard for Systems and Software Engineering (ISO/IEC 15288:2008), the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Handbook, and the INCOSE Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge. This course will emphasize that Systems Engineering Technical Processes operate within the envelope of the Project as dictated by Contracts as set forth by an Organization. As a part of this course, students will select, research, and report on systems engineering process areas of particular importance to them. Class exercises are designed to provide the opportunity to practice the concepts learned in class. 

The coursework from this class has been recognized by INCOSE as having the same content as the INCOSE knowledge exam. Therefore, a student who passes this class (required minimum is 80%) is eligible to bypass the INCOSE knowledge exam on their path to becoming an INCOSE Associate Systems Engineering Professional (ASEP) or Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP).  

SYST 661: System Architecture and Design

The System Architecture and Design course focuses on the role of the systems architect in the system development life cycle. In the operational analysis phase, the emphasis is on understanding the context of the system within the larger customer problem area, and the identification of requirements that influence system partitioning. In the functional analysis phase, the emphasis is on the dependencies between processing steps. In the architectural design phase, the emphasis is on partitioning the system into generic components, and ultimately instantiating them into physical components. A precision landing system is used throughout the course as a common case study. Within the classroom sessions, a search and rescue system is used. Three presentations by each group are given to simulate: (1) RFI review, (2) SRR, and (3) SDR. These reviews progressively reveal each group’s proposed solution to the precision landing system for a mythical country with unique complicating characteristics.

Prerequisite: SYST 660. SYST 660 may be taken concurrently with instructor permission.

SYST 662: Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis

The Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis (MS&A) course covers the use of modeling, simulation, and analysis in the development and test of systems. The course covers leading MS&A activities, architecting simulations, and making decisions based on statistical analysis of the simulation results. The techniques discussed in class are motivated through the use of examples. Typical modeling problems discussed include performance, cost, reliability, and maintainability modeling. Students will develop simple models and simulations using MATLAB and complete several course projects.

Prerequisites: SYST 660, SYST 669. The SYST 669 class requirement may be waived by passing the Mathematics and MATLAB Fundamentals Proficiency Exam. See the instructor for details.

SYST 663: System Implementation, Integration, and Test

The System Implementation, Integration, and Test course is a follow-on to SYST 661. The course covers the translation of design specifications into product elements, the integration of these elements into a system, and the verification that the resulting system performs as intended in its operational environment. The course follows the product development life cycle beyond system architecture and design. The system is decomposed into component level elements suitable for software coding and hardware fabrication. These elements are then individually tested and gradually integrated together as the various modules and sub-systems are subjected to unit test, verification and validation. Eventually the full system goes through Operational Test and Evaluation, and finally makes it into production and operation. This course covers the System Engineer role, activities and processes that are needed during this phase of the product development cycle. Areas of study will include technical planning, requirement & interface management, standards, technical performance measures, technical evaluation, technical readiness, implementation, integration, verification, validation, production, transition to operation and complexity.

Prerequisites: SYST 660 and SYST 661 or consent of instructor.

SYST 664: Advanced Systems Architecture

This course emphasizes the many partitioning alternatives that can be employed when developing physical systems architectures, including hierarchical partitioning, federated partitioning, scalable architectures, high availability architectures, and collaborative systems. The course also deals with methods for architecting successful systems, such as achieving data integrity, managing system workflow, and constructing representation models.

Prerequisites: SYST 660 and SYST 661.

ENMG 664: Quality Engineering & Management

This first aspect of this course is focused on an overview of basic quality principles and applications from engineering and engineering management perspectives. Students will examine philosophies of key figures like Deming, Juran, and Crosby and discover the value of a variety of quality management approaches (Baldridge Performance Excellence, ISO, and Six Sigma/Lean Six Sigma, and others). The second aspect of the course will focus on discussion, analysis, and application of some of quantitative tools including: Pareto charts, measurement systems, design of experiments, statistical process control, and six-sigma methods. Students will apply these tools and methods to solve engineering and management problems. Reading assignments, homework, exams, and the final project/paper will emphasize the application of quality approaches, techniques, and problem solving. Note: Students in undergraduate engineering programs or graduate degree programs other than Systems Engineering or Engineering Management need permission from their academic advisor in order to apply this course to their respective degree programs. This course can be counted as either a management course or an engineering course for the M.S. in Engineering Management.

ENMG 668: Project and Systems Engineering Management

This course will cover fundamental project control and systems engineering management concepts, including how to plan, set up cost accounts, bid, staff and execute a project from a project control perspective. It provides an understanding of the critical relations and interconnections between project management and systems engineering management. It is designed to address how systems engineering management supports traditional program management activities to break down complex programs into manageable and assignable tasks.

SYST 669: Mathematics and MATLAB Fundamentals for Engineers

This 1-credit course provides an introduction to programming in MATLAB and a review of fundamental engineering mathematics, e.g., probability, calculus, linear algebra, ordinary differential equations, difference equations, and some numerical methods). It is designed to refresh students’ basic skills in these areas of mathematics and to establish basic proficiency in MATLAB. Course work focuses on developing MATLAB programs that use these mathematical techniques to solve simple problems of systems engineering interest. Prerequisites: Knowledge of a programming language.

SYST 670: Systems Engineering Project

In this course, the student performs in an industry-based work environment on a SE project. The project spans the essential phases of the System Life Cycle and results in the development of a simulation model of the objective system. During the course of system development, engineering artifacts are created to substantiate system development. A final summary technical report summarizing the artifacts and simulation results are compiled in a form representative of a professional report in partial satisfaction of course requirements. Starting six weeks before the beginning of the semester, students form Integrated Product Teams, usually not exceeding 5 students per team. During the six weeks before the semester begins, the team prepares a proposal for the project that is submitted to the instructor for approval. The advisor may approve the project proposal, subject to adjustment, as needed. To increase the realism of the environment, an industry mentor may collaborate with the advisor during the periodic milestone reviews of the project.

Prerequisites: SYST 660, SYST 661, SYST 662, SYST 663, or consent of instructor.

SYST 672: Decision and Risk Analysis

This course provides an overview of decision and risk analysis techniques. It focuses on how to make rational decisions in the presence of uncertainty and conflicting objectives. This course covers modeling uncertainty; rational decision-making principles; representing decision problems with value trees, decision trees, and influence diagrams; solving value hierarchies, decision trees, and influence diagrams; defining and calculating the value of information; incorporating risk attitudes into the analysis; and conducting sensitivity analysis. Students are expected to have an elementary understanding of probability theory.

SYST 673: Advanced Systems Engineering Processes

This two-credit course provides students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the systems engineering processes introduced in SYST 660. Specifically, this course provides an in-depth study of the systems engineering processes outlined in the International Standard for Systems and Software Engineering (ISO/IEC 15288:2008), the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Handbook, and the INCOSE Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge. This course will emphasize that Systems Engineering Technical Processes operate within the envelope of the Project as dictated by Contracts as set forth by an Organization. In the end, the student will have a good understanding and appreciation of the process framework required to create man-made systems. As a part of this course, students will select, research, and report on systems engineering process areas of particular importance to them. Prerequisites: SYST 660

SYST 691: Topics in Systems Engineering

Computer Engineering Elective Courses

CMPE 684: Wireless Sensor Networks

A wide range of applications such as disaster management, military and security have fueled the interest in sensor networks during the past few years. Sensors are typically capable of wireless communication and are significantly constrained in the amount of available resources such as energy, storage and computation. Such constraints make the design and operation of sensor networks considerably different from contemporary wireless networks, and necessitate the development of resource conscious protocols and management techniques. This course provides a broad coverage of challenges and latest research results related to the design and management of wireless sensor networks. Covered topics include network architectures, node discovery and localization, deployment strategies, node coverage, routing protocols, medium access arbitration, fault-tolerance, and network security.

CMPE 685: Principles of Communications Networks

This course provides an overview of network communications terms, concepts, architectures, protocols, and technologies. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to construct, and assess the completeness of, architectures for simple LAN and WAN communications networks. Topics include wire/fiber and wireless WANs and LANs, the OSI and TCP/IP models, propagation media, analog and digital data and signals, error detection, error correction, data link layer protocols, multiple access techniques, medium access control, circuit and packet switching, X.25, TCP/IP, ATM, Ethernet, switches, routers, routing techniques, congestion control, queuing theory, quality of service (QoS) metrics, network architectures, and network security.

Note: Computer Science (CMSC) courses may a) have pre-requisite requirements, b) meet twice weekly, or c) meet during the day. Consult the registration system for course meeting times and/or the instructor to discuss your suitability for these courses.

CMPE 687: Introduction to Network Security

Course description not available

Cybersecurity Elective Courses

CYBR 620: Intro to Cybersecurity

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of cybersecurity by discussing the evolution of information security into cybersecurity, cybersecurity theory, and the relationship of cybersecurity to nations, businesses, society, and people. Students will be exposed to multiple cybersecurity technologies, processes, and procedures, learn how to analyze the threats, vulnerabilities and risks present in these environments, and develop appropriate strategies to mitigate potential cybersecurity problems.

Prospective students who have earned the CISSP designation within the past 5 years may, if admitted, substitute another course for CYBR 620 “Introduction to Cybersecurity” in their first semester of the CYBR MS program. Students should provide evidence of successful completion of the CISSP exam within that timeframe (such as a transcript or official documentation from the certifying authority) to UMBC as part of their application.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the CYBR program or in at least the second semester of graduate study. Other students may be admitted with instructor permission.

CYBR 621: Cyber Warfare

This course addresses some of the unique and emerging policy, doctrine, strategy, and operational requirements of conducting cyber warfare at the nation-state level. It provides students with a unified battlespace perspective and enhances their ability to manage and develop operational systems and concepts in a manner that results in the integrated, controlled, and effective use of cyber assets in warfare.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the CYBR program or in at least the second semester of graduate study. Other students may be admitted with instructor permission.

CYBR 622: Global Cyber Capabilities and Trends

This course focuses on four general areas of cyber capabilities and trends in the global community: the theory and practice of cybersecurity and cyberwar; cyber capabilities of nation-states as well as non-state actors; trends in cyber-related strategies and policies; and cyber-related challenges facing the U.S. government. The course concludes with a national cybersecurity policy exercise that helps demonstrate the challenges and complexities of the dynamic and global cybersecurity environment.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the CYBR program or in at least the second semester of graduate study. Other students may be admitted with instructor permission.

CYBR 623: Cybersecurity Law & Policy

Students will be exposed to the national and international policy and legal considerations related to cybersecurity and cyberspace such as privacy, intellectual property, cybercrime, homeland security (i.e., critical infrastructure protection) and cyberwarfare, and the organizations involved in the formulation of such laws and policies. Broader technology issues also are discussed to demonstrate the interdisciplinary influences and concerns that must be addressed in developing or implementing effective national cybersecurity laws and policies.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the CYBR program or in at least the second semester of graduate study. Other students may be admitted with instructor permission.

CYBR 624: Cybersecurity Project

This is the capstone experience for graduate students in the MS Cybersecurity program. Normally taken in the final semester before graduation, the Cybersecurity Project provides an opportunity for students to carry out an individual piece of research (or project activity) on a specified topic in the cybersecurity or cyber operations domain. Their work should make an original contribution to the body of knowledge in the area of study or otherwise demonstrate the student’s comprehensive knowledge of cybersecurity or cyber operations.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in CYBR MS program and completion of at least CYBR 620, CYBR 623, CYBR 650.

Electrical Engineering Elective Courses

ENEE 601: Signal and Linear Systems Theory

Fundamentals of signals and systems, mathematical theory of continuous and discrete systems, linear time invariant systems, linear time varying systems, state space model and approaches, stability, controllability and observability, minimal realizations.

Co-requisite: ENEE 620.

ENEE 610: Digital Signal Processing

This is a first-year graduate course for communication and signal processing majors in electrical engineering (EE) that covers the fundamentals of digital signal processing (DSP). The goal of this course is to provide the first-year EE graduate student with the foundations and tools to understand, design and implement DSP systems, in both hardware and software. MATLAB and SystemView will be the primary vehicles to provide the student with hands-on DSP design and simulation experience. The student also will acquire an understanding of DSP hardware basics and architecture. Topics covered include: (1) A/D-D/A conversion and quantization, number representations and finite wordlength effects; (2) FIR, IIR and lattice filter structures, block diagram and equivalent structures; (3) multi-rate DSP and filterbanks; (4) digital filter design methods and verification; (5) DSP hardware architecture and (6) DSP simulation/laboratory experiences.

Prerequisites: ENEE 601, ENEE 620 or their equivalent or permission of instructor.

ENEE 620: Probability and Random Processes

Fundamentals of probability theory and random processes for electrical engineering applications and research: set and measure theory and probability spaces; discrete and continuous random variables and random vectors; probability density and distribution functions and probability measures; expectation, moments and characteristic functions; conditional expectation and conditional random variables; limit theorems and convergence concepts; random processes (stationary/non-stationary, ergodic, point processes, Gaussian, Markov and secondorder); applications to communications and signal processing.

Prerequisite: Undergraduate probability course work or consent of instructor.

ENEE 621: Detection and Estimation Theory I

Fundamentals of detection and estimation theory for statistical signal processing applications: theory of hypothesis testing (binary, multiple and composite hypotheses and Bayesian, Neyman Pearson and minimax approaches); theory of signal detection (discrete and continuous time signals; deterministic and random signals; white Gaussian noise, general independent noise and special classes of dependent noise, e.g. colored Gaussian noise; signal design and representations); theory of signal parameter estimation: minimum variance unbiased (MVU) estimation, Cramer-Rao lower bound, general MVU estimation, linear models, maximum likelihood estimation, least squares, general Bayesian estimators (minimum mean-square error and maximum a posterior estimators); linear Bayesian estimators (Wiener filters) and Kalman filters.

Prerequisite: ENEE 620 or consent of instructor.

ENEE 630: Solid-State Electronics

Fundamentals of solid-state physics for the micro-electronics field: review of quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics, crystal lattices, reciprocal lattices, dynamics of lattices, classical concepts of electron transport, band theory of electrons, semiconductors and excess carriers in semiconductors.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

ENEE 631: Semiconductor Devices

Principles of semiconductor device operation: review of semiconductor physics, p_n junction diodes, bipolar transistors, metal semiconductor contacts, JFETs and MESFETs, and MIS and MOSFET structures.

Prerequisite: ENEE 630 or consent of instructor.

ENEE 680: Electromagnetic Theory I

Fundamentals of dynamics in electromagnetic theory: theoretical analysis of Maxwell’s equations, electrodynamics, plane waves, waveguides, dispersion, radiating systems and diffraction.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

ENEE 683: Lasers

Introduction to basic theory of lasers: introduction to quantum mechanics and timedependent perturbation theory, interaction of radiation and matter, stimulated and spontaneous emissions, rate equations, laser amplification and oscillation, noise in lasers and laser amplifiers, semi-conductor lasers.

Prerequisite: ENEE 680 or consent of instructor.

ENEE 698: Research Project in Electrical Engineering

Individual project on topic in electrical engineering. The project will result in a scholarly paper, which must be approved by the student’s advisor and read by another faculty member. Required of non-thesis option M.S. students. NOTE: May be taken for repeated credit up to a maximum of three credits.

Prerequisite: Completion of core courses, or consent of instructor.

Computer Science Elective Courses

CMSC 611: Advanced Computer Architecture

Memory-system design, pipeline structures, vector computers, scientific array processors, multi-processor architecture. Within each topic, the emphasis is on fundamental limitations: memory bandwidth, inter-processor communication, processing bandwidth and synchronization.

Prerequisite: CMSC 411 or consent of instructor.

CMSC 621: Advanced Operating Systems

A detailed study of advanced topics in operating systems, including synchronization mechanisms, virtual memory, deadlocks, distributed resource sharing, computer security and modeling of operating systems.

Prerequisite: CMSC 421 or consent of instructor.

CMSC 626: Principles of Computer Security

This course will provide an introduction to computer security with a specific focus on the computing aspects. Topics covered include: basics of computer security, including an overview of threat, attack and adversary models; social engineering; essentials of cryptography; traditional computing security models; malicious software; secure programming; operating system security in practice; trusted operating system design; public policy issues, including legal, privacy and ethical issues; network and database security overview.

SENG/CMSC 645: Advanced Software Engineering

Modern approaches to software development: requirements analysis, system design techniques, formal description techniques, implementation, testing, debugging, metrics, human factors, quality assurance, cost estimation, maintenance and tools.

Prerequisite: CMSC 445 or consent of instructor.

CMSC 661: Principles of Database Systems

Advanced topics in the area of database management systems: data models and their underlying mathematical foundations, database manipulation and query languages, functional dependencies, physical data organization and indexing methods, concurrency control, crash recovery, database security and distributed databases.

Prerequisite: CMSC 461 or consent of instructor.

CMSC 671: Principles of Artificial Intelligence

A study of topics central to artificial intelligence, including logic for problem-solving, intelligent search techniques, knowledge representation, inference mechanisms, expert systems and AI programming.

Prerequisite: CMSC 471 or consent of instructor.

CMSC 681: Advanced Computer Networks

In-depth coverage of fundamental and advanced concepts in computer networking: protocol design, verification and testing; medium access protocols for next-generation networks; error detection and correction schemes; distributed routing algorithms concepts and mathematical analysis; switching architectures, quality-of-service architectures; admission control and scheduling algorithms; flow and congestion control; multi-cast architectures and protocols; network security; and data compression.

Prerequisite: CMSC 481 or approval of instructor.

Looking for more info?