I have a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, concentrating in VLSI, and I am currently in the process of switching fields to go into Physics. I love physics, and mathematics. I like pretty problems that need subtle insight to solve, which is why I'm moving from engineering to physics. Even though the prettiness of a problem may be subjective, I like the "feeling" I get when I'm doing physics, which was totally absent when I was working in VLSI.
That said, before I make the transition complete, I would like to learn about other areas of electrical engineering that may be closer in spirit to physics and applied mathematics. I have a vague idea that signal processing and imaging are areas that may be quite different from VLSI. Are there any others? Which area should I dive into to get a feel for a different kind of electrical engineering? (I have matlab on my computer and I would like to make use of it).
I especially like to use mathematics on real world problems, and the reason I didn't enjoy VLSI too much is because it is full of boolean algebra, which is somewhat boring and non-visual. It would be helpful if, along with your topic suggestion, you could tell me what areas of mathematics it would involve. Thanks in advance.
PS - I don't have enough points to add "projects" and "careers" tag, so it would be nice if someone could do that for me.