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Design Methodology Suitable For Team Based Embedded Systems Education

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Real-Time and Embedded Systems

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.369.1 - 8.369.17

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Paper Authors

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J.W. Bruce

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

Session 1620

Design Methodology Suitable for Team-based Embedded Systems Education

J.W. Bruce Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-9571


This paper describes a design methodology useful for team-based (cooperative) and problem- based embedded systems education. The design methodology includes a detailed design conven- tion and formalized hardware and code design reviews where the quantity and nature of each design errors are documented. Reviews are held before design implementation and dramatically reduce development time by aborting the far too common cycle of develop, test, change, and test again. The design methodology presented here yields a high-quality product within a short design cycle, while mimicking design methodologies found in industry. Furthermore, data obtained in design reviews can be used to improve the instruction quality and track the maturity of the student design skills. An added benefit of the methodology is development and exercise of the students' teaming and communication skills often neglected by traditional engineering curricula. The pro- posed methodology has been used in a senior-level embedded systems course at Mississippi State University. In this course, student teams design, build, and troubleshoot a microcontroller-based project composed of common embedded systems peripherals, including I/O and electromechani- cal devices, industry standard communication networks, and complex digital integrated circuits. The target design is progressive requiring each successive subsystem to be incorporated without disturbing previously completed subsystems. Details of the methodology as it relates to this course offering, sample design review forms, collected data and discussion are presented. Course evaluations were obtained from students and external reviewers, and the results show that offering was well received and achieved its educational objectives.

1. Introduction

Embedded computer systems are quietly changing our world — the way we eat, play, work, and live. Embedded systems are used in a diverse range of products including home appliances, auto- mobiles, toys, and medical equipment. Embedded systems are located at the “front line” where technology interacts with the physical world. These systems measure temperature, motion, human response, and other inputs. They also control motors and other devices, and deliver information for human consumption. The movement of the last two decades toward more ubiquitous comput- ing systems will continue and embedded systems will become even more prominent in every aspect of technology and life [6]. Engineers comfortable with common embedded systems com-

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society of Engineering Education

Bruce, J. (2003, June), Design Methodology Suitable For Team Based Embedded Systems Education Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015