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A Real Time Course For Computer Engineers

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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

Forum for Nontraditional Engineering Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.94.1 - 9.94.9



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Paper Authors

author page

Anthony Richardson

author page

Dick Blandford

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


A Real-Time Course for Computer Engineers

Anthony Richardson, Dick Blandford

University of Evansville


Computer Engineers work in that area that lies between the electronic hardware domain of the Electrical Engineers and the organized formal software systems of the Computer Scientist. Much of this work involves both hardware and software that is synchronized in time to events outside of the system being designed. Such systems are commonly referred to as "real-time systems".

In many computer engineering programs, real-time concepts are sprinkled through several courses, but a formal course that concentrates exclusively on real-time systems is usually an elective. In this paper a real-time course proposal is presented. The course concentrates on real- time concepts central to computer engineering. It is offered as a junior-level course and is required for all computer engineering majors.

The two major objectives while developing the course were: 1) keep hardware and software costs low so that the course can be offered inexpensively and so that students could do course assignments in their home/dorm and, 2) use hardware and software similar to that currently being used in industry. Both of these objectives were achieved by using a standard PC as the hardware platform and by using real-time operating systems and development environments that are available at little or no cost.

A course outline and a list of course resources are presented.

1. Introduction

Real-time programming and embedded systems is a topic which has taken on considerable importance in the computer engineering curriculum over the last 20 years. Many programs treat the subject piecemeal with portions treated in microcontroller, algorithms, and operating systems classes. The course described here attempts to bring all of the concepts related to real-time programming and embedded systems together in one required course in computer engineering.

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

Richardson, A., & Blandford, D. (2004, June), A Real Time Course For Computer Engineers Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13867

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