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Biomedical Engineering

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Biomedical Engineering & Bioengineering Computer Recommendations

Minimum Computer Requirements

  • Profile: Laptop or Desktop. Laptop is recommended.
  • Processor: Intel i3 processor or high
  • Memory: 4 Gig RAM
  • Hard Drive: 500 Gig Hard drive
  • Networking: 10/100/1000 BaseT ethernet port
  • Wireless Networking: 802.11 g/n
  • Display: 13-inch or greater
  • Operating System: Windows 7 or later with the latest Microsoft service packs and updates applied. Apple with Mac OS X Lion (10.7.x) or later (Mavericks 10.9.x recommended) with the latest updates applied.
  • DVD/CD Read/Write Drive
  • USB Ports
  • Sound card & speakers
  • Lock & Cable (Recommended)
  • Backup System such as external hard drive or on-line service (Recommended)

Feel free to contact the Bioengineering Undergraduate Office Maggie Slattery or the Technical Contact, Gary Meyers.


Additional Information

Q. Am I required to bring a computer?

The College of Engineering, and the Department of Bioengineering strongly recommend students come with a computer. Students will be required to use computers frequently for communication and academic activities.

Q. Do I need Windows if I use a Mac?

No. Some software used for Bioengineering is only available for Windows, however the department maintains a computer lab with this necessary software.

However, if the need arises, there are options for running Windows on a Mac computer. These options include Boot Camp (comes with Mac OS X), Parallels or VMWare Fusion. A properly purchased copy of Windows will also be required. Some of these options are available through the Penn State Computer Store.

Q. What software should I purchase for my computer?

At a minimum, you will want Office productivity software and University policy requires the use of Antivirus software. The Penn State Computer Store offers many software applications at a reduced cost to students. Be sure to check with them before purchasing these software packages. The University also has some applications available at no cost to students such as antivirus software.

While taking courses in Bioengineering, students will learn and use software packages such as Matlab, COMSOL, LabView and Solidworks. It is not a requirement to purchase any of these products as they are available in the Bioengineering computer labs.

Q. Can I use my computer in lab classes?

Many labs require the use of special hardware and software. While you can use your computer for writing your reports and analyzing results, the data collection often occurs on the lab computers maintained by the department.

Q. What kind of calculator is recommended?

No specific calculators are recommended or required. In fact, for nearly all Math exams and quizzes calculators are not allowed to be used – this includes MATH 230 and 251, the courses required beyond MATH 141. It is the other science courses where the calculator is more often used.

General guidelines for calculators are: A suitable scientific calculator (one that handles numbers in scientific notation and provides log/antilog functions) is essential. Calculators with text-storage capabilities (such as the TI-83 used in Math 140) or communication capabilities (such as cell-phone calculators, or BlackBerries) are generally not permitted during exams.

The calculator that most students have and use in more advanced engineering courses is just a basic graphing calculator.


Additional Links:

Penn State Software Store

Penn State Downloads (requires valid PSU ID to log in)

College of Engineering Computer Recommendations