What are some good books to get started with EE major?

Maybe this should be in cafe society because it’s book related, but I think I can get some better answers in this part of the forum, and since I feel this is a pretty important topic to bettering my future, please forgive my misdoings oh great mods…

I’m going to be a sophmore in EE’ing, but I can’t take any damn classes remotely resembling electrical engineering until I finish 3 more math courses. Since I’ll be skipping the whole job thing over the summer, I figured I might as well spend some time getting a head start on my education and read into the subject, so I was looking for recommendations on books to get me started. In case it mattered, I’m adequately knowledgeable in Calculus and Algebra, though I admit that my Trig is lacking a bit. Anyway, I’d like some recommendations on reading material to go along with the Loudspeaker Cookbook, which I will be reading for both entertainment and educational purposes. The name of the book and what topic it covers would be appreciated, just in case I decide to go through more than one. Thank you sirs…

Get a copy of Horowitz and Hill’s The Art of Electronics. Good stuff, with worked problems and counter-examples.

Horowitz and Hill, “The Art of Electronics”

When books come to be known by their authors’ names rather than their title, you know they’re classics.

This book was originally written for scientists who found themselves needing to be able to “do electronics”, so it covers a lot of topics from a practical point of view. It starts from scratch, but progresses faster than a normal textbook and while it doesn’t hesitate to include math as necessary, it skips the harder math and some of the theory that you don’t need in practice.

I am an EE and I wouldn’t be without a copy in my office.

Awesome, two seperate people recommending the same book. I’ll definitely look into it. If anyone has something else to add, go for it. Out of curiosity, how old is this book? Will the info provided be up to date.

An understanding of electronics doesn’t really go out of date since the invention of ICs. Understanding AC/DC and components like diodes, transistors, operational amplifiers, flip-flops, and logic gates are really par for the course.

Texas Instruments has a great PDF on Operational Amplifiers in PDF form. If you would like me to email it to you just drop me a line… though it is a little bit passed the Ohms law stage.

Have fun. Electonics is great stuff to learn about.

make it 3 votes for the art of electronics. No EE should be without it.

Also, as much as it pains me to say it, no matter how many times you insist that you’re a hardware guy, SOMEONE’s gonna make you write some C. So you should probably pick up Kernighan (sp?) & Richie’s (sp?) The C Programming Language

The analog stuff is still quite accurate. The digital side is a bit dated as far as the processors are concerned, but is still a good read. Starting with older processors is a good way of learning the digital stuff anyway. Besides, while AofE is probably the one best book you can have, a decent book on digital electronics is going to beat the handful of chapters in AofE devoted to it. Still, you can’t beat AofE for shoving a lot of different things (with practical exmaples nonetheless!) into a single book. I would definately recommend it.

I used to talk to Winfield Hill in some of the electronics newsgroups. There was always rumours of a 3rd edition but it never seemed to materialize. I’ve been too busy to read newsgroups for a couple of years now, but I suspect that there is still no 3rd edition. The 2nd is still very good (IMHO).

There’s also a student workbook that goes with it. I’ve never seen it though (except for the cover and to take a very brief look at it), so can’t say whether or not I’d recommend it.

Judging by your interest in loudspeakers (and possibly other things audio related) I’d also recommend Don Lancaster’s Active Filter Cookbook.

I also have Art of Electronics. It’s a great book, but I wouldn’t recommend it for “preparation reading.” It covers just one aspect of EE – practical solid state electronics.

If you really want a leg up, learn some fundamental skills that will help you in many classes. Examples include:

Complex mathematics
Phasor math & notation
Spherical coordinate system
Polar coordinate system
System theory
Wave theory
Programming (C++ or whatever)
Electrical fundamentals (electromagnetic waves, fields, etc.)

I think that when Crafter_Man says “complex mathematics”. he means the mathematics of complex numbers, not just any old math that’s tough to understand.

Is that “The C Programming Language” book any good? I figured I have to learn that eventually as well, but would the book alone be sufficient in teaching me C++ without a teacher? Basically, is the book intended for beginners of the program, or people with some experience? Maybe I could check out all three books and just see how far I go in each…

C is NOT C++, and the K&R C book doesn’t cover C++ at all. But it’s written by the guys who invented C, so it doesn’t get much more authoratative. I don’t recommend learning C++ without knowing C first, although it’s prossible, I suppose.

In any case, you’re not going to need or want C++, unless you really get into programming. If you remain a “real” EE :wink: C is enough.

I learned C in one night from that book. Or at least enough to do my computer vision project for that night (a histogram equalizer for tiff files). It’s probably not the most user friendly book, but it doesn’t baby you, and it worked for me.

anyway… Crafter_Man in right about the fundamentals, but that will come in your classes, and probably will be hard to learn on your own. (I really liked Engineering Circuit Analysis by Hayt and Kemmerly, which we used in circuits class. But I wouldn’t have been able to learn from it without a teacher. maybe you can.)

With a book like the art of electronics, and maybe an electronics starter kit from radio shack, you can start hacking things together fairly quickly. You might not catch all the nuances, but you’ll have a better feel of where everything is going once you start learning the theory.

OK, thanks for the clarification. I’ll look into the C book along with the Art of Electronics book. Hopefully I’ll learn something, and if I have questions, I’ve always got you guys…

The best of them all is “Introduction to Electrodynamics” By David J Griffiths. It’s understnadable and comprehensive and, believe it or not you’ll actually be able to know what he’s talking about. It’s truly a self study book, of ourse having the solutions manual helps alot.

Yes, you’re correct. :slight_smile: