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A Hybrid Software/Hardware Approach For Teaching Digital Logic Design For Computer Science Undergraduates

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Computers in Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.49.1 - 9.49.12



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Paper Authors

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Mahmoud Quweider

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Document: 2004-327 Division: Computers in Education

A Hybrid Software/Hardware Approach for Teaching Digital Logic Design for Computer Science Undergraduates

Mahmoud K Quweider, Anna Hernandez

CS/CIS Department University of Texas, Brownsville 80 Fort Brown Brownsville, TX 78521 U.S.A. 1-956-574-6605

Abstract As a means to stress basic concepts in digital logic design for Computer Science majors at our minority based institution, a hybrid approach was creatively followed to enforce key concepts in digital logic design. The approach allows students, who are enrolled in the senior project course, to simulate a digital logic project of their choosing and implement it both in software and hardware. The approach was found to be enriching and very effective in enforcing concepts taught in the class as well as in drawing the students’ attention to issues of cost and real world implementation by using a hardware-based kit for the projects realization; additionally, students where asked to run a component and cost analysis of their projects as well. The success of the approach will be departmentalized for students who wish to conduct their research in the digital logic design area.

Introduction The University of Texas at Brownsville is a minority based university with almost 85% being of Hispanic background. In order to foster and encourage retention of students in the Computer Science area, we have improved many key courses by either creating a companion web site that complements the course or by improving the course content through several lab modules with a hands-on approach. One of the courses that were targeted for improvements is Digital Logic and Computer Architecture and the following senior project in the same area. Students who were interested in digital logic design as a topic for their senior project were allowed to choose a topic such as the design of a digital clock, a digital calculator or a simple electronic game; the students prepared for the project by implementing in software, in a gradual approach and under the instructor’s supervision, many of the basic functional units making up their projects. This software simulation stage allowed the students to grasp many of the key concepts underlying their project. The stage additionally isolated the more subtle and tricky problems that usually arise in a pure hardware implementation such as module

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Quweider, M. (2004, June), A Hybrid Software/Hardware Approach For Teaching Digital Logic Design For Computer Science Undergraduates Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13668

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