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A Matlab Based Teaching Tool For Digital Logic

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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

9.63.1 - 9.63.7



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Paper Authors

author page

Clark Merkel

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

Session 1520

A Matlab-Based Teaching Tool for Digital Logic Clark T. Merkel, Mechanical Engineering Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Abstract: This paper introduces, shows, and makes available a tool which is being used for teaching digital logic devices as part of a course in Mechatronics at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. This tool provides a menu driven set of interactive, logic device demonstrations that allows the user to set input states and clock rates to show how a variety of combinational and sequential logic devices behave. This interactive tool is appropriate for use as an in-class teaching demonstration or as an application that can be provided to students to quickly explore common digital logic applications in a laboratory setting. Each application of this menu driven program is written using Matlab program commands and uses a graphical user interface which allows the user to easily control all inputs with the simple click of a mouse button. By changing the inputs of each demonstration and examining the outputs, intermediate states, and truth tables, it is easy for students to begin to understand how common digital devices function.

This program currently demonstrates eighteen different logic gates and circuits. These include logical AND, OR, XOR, NOR, and NAND gates as well as more complicated combinational and sequential logical devices like decoders, multiplexers, flip-flops, latches, counters, LED displays, and drivers. More logical circuit devices are in the process of being added, and these logic demonstrations are available for free distribution at the web address given at then end of the paper.

Introduction: Digital logic is part of the content covered in the mechatronics course which is taught as a required course in the mechanical engineering curriculum at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. For most of the mechanical engineering students who enroll in this class, this course gives them their first exposure to digital electronics, Boolean logic, microcontrollers, and assembly language programming, as well as other selected topics. The course is taught during a 10 week quarter with three 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour laboratory each week. The laboratory content of the course is dominated by learning how to use the Handy Board microcontroller and a variety of sensors and actuators. The laboratory sessions are currently devoted to hands-on exercises that provide them with experience using different sensors and controlling several types of output device with the microcontroller. The students complete six or seven weeks of canned lab exercises to acquaint themselves with the programming skills and capabilities of the microcontroller and sensors. They spend three to four weeks designing, programming, and building a project that requires the microcontroller be used to sense, control, and respond to some design problem of the students' choosing. The project is completed using teams of two “Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Merkel, C. (2004, June), A Matlab Based Teaching Tool For Digital Logic Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14035

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