The Baskin School of Engineering's Computer Engineering PhD program is ranked first in the nation for its publication impact in the National Research Council's new study of doctoral education in the United States, joining several other UCSC programs with notable achievements. UCSC has frequently excelled in citation impact; for example, in the world university rankings of 2010, UCSC was ranked 4th among the top North American universities for research influence after CalTech, MIT, and Princeton, and just above Stanford.
The new computer engineering results place UCSC at the top of the nation's 20 doctoral programs in Computer Engineering, including MIT, which was ranked third. When combined with the Electrical and Computer Engineering programs, UCSC's computer engineering citation impact is 6th in the nation among all 156 ECE or CE PhD programs.
The Department, founded in 1984, was one of the first Computer Engineering departments in the country. The department has developed unique interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate research in the design of computers and computer-based systems. Since that time, the department and its faculty catalyzed creation of UCSC's Jack Baskin School of Engineering and many of its programs while expanding its own areas of excellence in computer engineering and related fields. Current areas of excellence and prominence include computer networks, computer architecture and VLSI design, robotics and control, and assistive technologies for persons with special needs. In addition to its graduate and undergraduate programs in computer engineering, the department co-sponsors UCSC's undergraduate B.S. in bioengineering and the new graduate minor in Robotics and Control, and is planning a B.S. program in robotics engineering.
Regarding its high achievement in research impact, Chair and Baskin Professor J.J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves notes that "although we are small, it is clear that we do great research at the PhD level."