Introduction to Sensors


Stanford School of Engineering

  • Fee:
    Fee may apply



Knowledge of sensors is fundamental for anyone in the field of engineering. This course is an essential introduction to the variety of sensors that are used in engineering practice. You will learn how to select and use sensors for laboratory experiments and final products.

Introduction to Sensors gives a comprehensive overview of common practice and includes some indication of the directions in which sensor technologies are heading. This course will include a lecture demonstration of a representative sensor from each category to elucidate operating principles and typical performance.

After taking this class, students should be able to describe and define performance criteria for sensors, and predict and analyze performance for different transducers and sensors. Students will also be able explain the physics of transduction mechanisms, interpret a spec sheet, analyze and interpret sensor output data, and propose a sensor system design to solve a problem.

Online students who take this course will be expected to participate in a lab component that can be completed remotely.


Recommended as equivalent knowledge: Physics 43 (electromagnetism), Physics 41 (mechanics), Math 53 (Taylor series approximation), 2nd order ordinary differential equations, ENGR40A/ENGR40 or ME210, i.e. some exposure to building basic circuits.

Topics include

  • Basics of measurements
  • Emerging applications and technologies
  • Introduction to sensors, as transducers from physical parameters to signals
  • Sensing principles for displacement, force, pressure, acceleration, temperature, optical radiation, nuclear radiation
  • Sensor range, sensitivity, accuracy, repeatability, noise
  • Introduction to common circuits for calibrating and conditioning sensor signals to improve their performance

Note on Course Availability

The course schedule is displayed for planning purposes – courses can be modified, changed, or cancelled. Course availability will be considered finalized on the first day of open enrollment. For quarterly enrollment dates, please refer to our graduate certificate homepage.

025 Spring 2017-18 Online

Enrollment Closed

Dates:April 2 - June 6, 2018
Days: Mon, Wed
Times:9:30 am - 11:20 am
Units: 3.00-4.00
Delivery Option:
For Credit $3,780.00-$5,040.00 ?


Enrollment Dates: February 11 to March 19, 2018