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A Multidisciplinary Team Project For Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, And Computer Science Majors

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.39.1 - 5.39.8



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Paper Authors

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Deborah Hwang

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D. Blandford

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

Session 2553

A Multidisciplinary Team Project for Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Computer Science Majors Deborah J. Hwang, Dick K. Blandford University of Evansville


This paper describes an interdisciplinary project for a freshman course designed for electrical engineering, computer engineering, and computer science majors. The project uses LEGO building sets and a microcontroller in the design, implementation, and documentation of a sequence of increasingly complex tasks. Students learn interdisciplinary team skills, and are introduced to computer hardware concepts and the C programming language. Project tasks, costs, and suggested equipment are discussed in detail.

I. Introduction

The Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department at the University of Evansville offers three bachelor’s programs: electrical engineering (EE), computer engineering (CoE) and computer science (CS). Due to historical concerns and logistical difficulties, at the present time the EECS freshman students take separate sections of an introductory freshman course divided by major, and the classes and sections are only loosely tied together. With the advent of a newly renovated building and a new evaluation criteria for ABET Engineering Criteria 2000 that students will be able to work in multidisciplinary teams, it was felt that the freshman course would be an ideal place to introduce multidisciplinary practice.

During Summer 1999, the authors developed a hands-on project compatible with computer science, electrical engineering, and computer engineering objectives, and suitable for all freshman students in these majors, allowing us to mix them. The project was designed to meet the following objectives:

The project must be suitable for EE, CoE, and CS majors. There must be some circuit design and construction for the EE majors, some “real time” control operations for the CoE majors, and some significant programming for the CS majors.

The project must be able to accommodate groups as small as 3 and as large as 6.

The project must be challenging and creative, and it must be attractive to typical, traditional- aged freshmen.

At least 75% of the project equipment must be reusable. (In fact, nearly 100% of the project equipment will be reusable.)

From this list of requirements, we determined that a hands-on robotics project involving a LEGO building set, a controller board, and controller software would meet all our requirements.

Hwang, D., & Blandford, D. (2000, June), A Multidisciplinary Team Project For Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, And Computer Science Majors Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8577

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