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Creating a Global Computer Engineering Curriculum Based on Vital Electronics

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Teaching Circuit Theory and Electronics

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.391.1 - 22.391.11



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Paper Authors


Patrick Kane University of New Hampshire and Cypress Semiconductor

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Patrick Kane is the Director of the Cypress University Alliance Program and has recently applied for the Ph.D. program in Systems Engineering at the University of New Hampshire . The Cypress University Alliance Program is dedicated to partnering with academia and universities to ensure that professors and students have access to the latest Cypress PSoC technology for use in education and research. Patrick joined the Cypress team in July 2006. Prior to joining Cypress Patrick spent 13 and a half years at Xilinx in a variety of roles including Applications Engineer, Aerospace and Defense, Automotive, Technical Training and managing the Xilinx University Program. He currently holds A.S.E.E.T., B.S.E.E., and M.B.A. degrees.

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Thadeus Paul Kochanski Vital Electronics Institute

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Thaddeus P. Kochanski, Ph.D., (Ted)
Thaddeus P. Kochanski, founding Director, Vital Electronics Institute, long-term member of the IEEE Boston Section Executive Committee (2005 Chair), co-founder of CIDLab at UNH, and “IEEE 3rd Millennium Awardee.” He coauthored with Profs. Andrzej Rucinski, and Don Bouldin, the chapter, “Paradigm Shifts in the Design of Microelectronic Systems,” in Pursuit of the 21st Century Golden key: Nurturing Young Generation to Grasp Opportunities in the 21st Century, National Chaio University Press (Taiwan). Much of his current work involves developing curriculum and supporting technology for Critical Embedded Systems along with Professor Andrzej Rucinski at UNH CIDLab. Recently, Kochanski has been involved with organizing conferences, presenting invited lectures and collaborating on diverse topics with universities, national research centers (Poland, Germany) and EU organizations. In 2008, Dr. Kochanski co-edited with Prof. Andrzej Stepnowski, Marek Moszynski and Jacek Dabrowki of the Gdansk University of Technology, the Proceedings of the 2008 1st International Conference on information Technology (GUT, 2008).

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Andrzej Rucinski University of New Hampshire

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Prof. Andrzej Rucinski represents a growing category of “transatlantic professors” defining the role of academia in the global education and global engineering era and developing global innovation and technology solutions. He was educated both in Poland and the former Soviet Union and has conducted his academic career in both the United States (University of New Hampshire, USA) and in Europe (France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine). His service has been with high tech industry, NGOs, ranging from the state level (National Infrastructure Institute) to a global level (NATO, United Nations Organization). He is a member of the Executive Committee (Innovation Chair) of the IEEE Computer Society's Design Automation Technical Committee. He chaired the 2009 Conference on Microelectronics Systems Education (MSE'09) in San Francisco. At the University of New Hampshire, he is the founding Director of the Critical Infrastructure Dependability Laboratory, the Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Space Science Center. He was the Member of the
US State Department/Fulbright National Screening Committee and he is the Fulbright Senior Specialist.

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Creating a Global Computer Engineering Curriculum Based on Vital ElectronicsThe Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming hot topic for topical conferences and articlespopular computer and electrical engineering magazines IoT takes its place alongside arelated field of scholarly endeavor known as Cyber-Physical Systems. Both terms involveusing distributed micro/nano-scale computer and transducer technology to sense andcontrol the interactions between physical objects and processes. A wide array ofapplications can be imagined with the potential to improve the global quality of life.However, while the core technology is rapidly evolving and maturing, what is lacking isthe design methodology to enable, reliable, efficient, inexpensive systems and systems ofsystems. The Vital Electronics Initiative provides a set of rules and a designmethodology to enable implementing the Internet of Things and Cyber Physical Systems,capitalizing on local subject matter expertise. As a consequence Vital Electronics has thepotential to re-ignite hardware-based entrepreneurship and re-energize the teaching ofComputer Engineering.Unfortunately, even in the OECD, most university Computer Engineering programs haveevolved toward a heavy emphasis on software. This is both to due to costs andinfrastructure requirements to teach industrial-style, laboratory-based microelectronicsand the lack of a solid curriculum adapted to today's globally sourced computer-basedelectronics “state-of-the-practice”, global-scale project management and internationalcollaboration. In addition, many developing countries lack adequately trained faculty,up-to-date text books and equipment.To produce “global computer engineers”, the golden standard of global computerengineering education needs to include: 1) Web-based tutorials on theory and up-to-dateunderlying technology fundamentals; 2) Teaching the “state of the art,” through hands-on home-laboratory exercises and then "spreading the wealth" with capacity building; 3)Applying “state of the practice,” skills to solve real problems using industry-standardtechnology; 4) encouraging global innovation and creating new breeds of enterprisestaking advantage of subject matter expertise and relevant local knowledge – needsappropriate political and financial support from governments and NGOs. Thecombination of the home lab kit and web-based content engages students who have leftthe university for full-time employment, or who can only spend a brief time at theuniversity before returning to their remote home area.This paper will discuss the implications of these new initiatives and recount theirimplementation as the foundation of a new Global Computer Engineering Curriculum.The curriculum based on Vital Electronics is being piloted through traditional universitycourses, executive-level 1 or two day classes, and as IEEE-sponsored continuingeducation short courses for practicing engineers. Beyond the kindling of theseinitiatives, the paper will also discuss how they can lead to the definition andimplementation of the Global Engineer as they gain traction in academia and industryinternationally.

Kane, P., & Kochanski, T. P., & Rucinski, A. (2011, June), Creating a Global Computer Engineering Curriculum Based on Vital Electronics Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17672

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