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A Multi Pronged Approach To Bringing Embedded Systems Into Undergraduate Education

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.27.1 - 3.27.18



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Paper Authors

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Matt W. Mutka

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Betty H. C. Cheng

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Diane Rover

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

Session 1526

A Multi-Pronged Approach to Bringing Embedded Systems into Undergraduate Education1

Betty H. C. Cheng, Diane T. Rover, and Matt W. Mutka

Department of Computer Science and Department of Electrical Engineering Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 48824

e-mail: {chengb,mutka},


Embedded computer systems play an increasingly important role in today’s society. Such diverse technologies as avionics, automobile drive trains, communication systems, and medical equipment are relying on computers to control system parameters. Al- though embedded computers are powerful and flexible tools for industry, these very advantages have contributed to a corresponding increase in system complexity. In order to adequately prepare today’s computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering students for their future careers, the special problems with embedded sys- tems development must be adequately addressed in their education. In this paper, we report on our multi-pronged approach to curriculum development that specifically incorporates embedded systems into a suite of relevant courses: software engineering, operating systems, digital system design, and computer system design (capstone course in computer engineering). The approach comprises modular course pack development, suitable for alternative teaching models, such as team teaching and development of multidisciplinary courses; team projects to give students hands-on experience with embedded systems; and incorporation of innovative teaching techniques designed to facilitate and enhance the student’s learning experience. Curriculum developments focus on embedded systems and our courses. In the software engineering course, students are exploring how object-oriented development techniques can be applied to industry-oriented embedded system projects, such as pro- cess controllers for numerous appliances (e.g., washing machines and dishwashers) and automotive-related systems (e.g., climate control and door controls). The operating system course includes a new module in real-time scheduling, with laboratory projects planned for task allocation in real-time distributed computing systems. Our digital system design course sequence includes the design of application-specific integrated ‘This work is sponsored in part by NSF grants CDA-9700732, CDA-9617310, CCR-9633391, CCR-947318, CDA-9529488,ASC-9624149, MIP-9321255.


Mutka, M. W., & Cheng, B. H. C., & Rover, D. (1998, June), A Multi Pronged Approach To Bringing Embedded Systems Into Undergraduate Education Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7301

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