June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.18.1 - 13.18.12
A Common US-Europe Curriculum: An Approach for Real-Time Software Intensive Systems
With the increasing importance and demand for efficient development of high quality Real-Time Software-Intensive Control systems (RSIC), the education of modern engineers it is critical. RSIC systems need to meet stringent safety and reliability requirements and often are developed by companies operating across national boundaries. This paper describes an approach and preliminary results of research leading to establishment of a framework for creation of multinational, engineering programs, which will produce graduates capable of working efficiently in multidisciplinary teams engaged in international collaboration on industrial RSIC projects. The emphasis is on projects which require conformance to specific national and international standards mandated by regulatory authorities. A key element of the framework is the identification of appropriate educational objectives and outcomes for the program based on industry surveys and the analysis of accreditation criteria. The proposed RSIC curriculum model is designed to be used by engineering schools, both in the USA and the EU. This model will address the nations’ needs for researchers and developers of real-time safety-critical systems who are capable of engaging in projects spanning the nations’ boundaries and promoting a student- centered, transatlantic dimension to higher education and training.
Systems like aircraft avionics, air traffic control, space shuttle control, medical equipment, and nuclear power stations are heavily software-centric, implementing reactive and time-critical software, where safety is the issue and the margin for error is narrow. It is vital for future software developers to understand basic real-time application concepts: timing, concurrency, resource sharing, inter-process communication, interrupts and handling of external devices are of primary importance. The area of real-time safety-critical control systems is one of the most challenging fields of computing, relying on designs developed according to the latest advances in science and modern principles of engineering practice.
The study discussed in this paper is focused on the creation of an international curriculum framework centered on RSIC – an important aspect of the computer-system-control-software engineering education 1,2. The study explores the mechanism for involving students from multilingual, geographically separated institutions in a coordinated educational experience. The ultimate objective is the creation of a RSIC curriculum model, which can be used by engineering schools both in the USA and the EU. This model will address the nations’ needs for researchers and developers of real-time safety-critical systems who are capable of engaging in projects spanning the nations’ boundaries and promoting a student-centered, transatlantic dimension to higher education and training. RSIC is an increasingly important aspect of computer, system, control, and software engineering education. This study explores the mechanism for involving students from multilingual, geographically separated institutions in a coordinated educational experience. It will expose them to the problems, methods, solution techniques, infrastructure, technologies, regulatory issues, and tools in the domain of dependable real-time safety-critical software-intensive control systems.
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