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Effective Utilization of the Analog Discovery Board Across Upper-Division Electrical Engineering Courses

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Labs & Hands-on Instruction I

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Steven S. Holland Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Steven S. Holland (M ’13) was born in Chicago, IL, in 1984. He received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), Milwaukee, WI, in 2006, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in 2008 and 2011 respectively. From 2006 to 2011, he was a Research Assistant working in the Antennas and Propagation Laboratory (APLab), Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst. He was then a Senior Sensors Engineer with the MITRE Corporation, Bedford, MA from 2011 to 2013. Since 2013 he has been an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

His research interests include ultrawideband antenna arrays, electrically small antennas, Radar systems, analog electronics, and engineering education.

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Cory J. Prust Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Dr. Cory J. Prust is an Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). He earned his BSEE degree from MSOE in 2001 and his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2006. Prior to joining MSOE in 2009, he was a Technical Staff member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He teaches courses in the signal processing, communication systems, and embedded systems areas.

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Richard W. Kelnhofer Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Dr. Kelnhofer is the Program Director of Electrical Engineering and an Associate Professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). Formerly, he held engineering and managerial positions in the telecommunications industry. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University in 1997. Dr. Kelnhofer teaches courses in design, circuits, communication systems, signal processing, and information and coding theory.

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Jay Wierer Milwaukee School of Engineering

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To date, the electrical engineering education literature has presented the Digilent Analog Discovery board with a focus on usage in lower-level circuits courses and as merely a low-cost replacement for bench-top signal generators and oscilloscopes. This work broadens the domain of the Analog Discovery board beyond introductory courses, and demonstrates its use as a powerful educational tool for junior and senior level coursework. By utilizing its full suite of measurement features, sophisticated laboratory experiments are possible in courses such as electromagnetics, digital signal processing, signals and systems, communication systems, and control systems. In addition, its inherent mobility allows insightful in-class demonstrations and “lab-like” activities to be incorporated into theory-focused courses that otherwise do not have a lab, an impossible feat with traditional anchored, expensive laboratory equipment. In this paper, the unique measurement features of the Analog Discovery that are especially appropriate for upper-level courses are detailed, such as the network analyzer and spectrum analyzer modes. Selected demonstrative lab experiments from upper-division courses at XXXXX are then presented. Emphasis is placed on how these experiments are both enabled by the Analog Discovery board as well as constrained by the performance limits of the board, such as limited frequency response and power supply rails. As a result, careful experiment design is shown to be critical to the classroom success of these projects.

Holland, S. S., & Prust, C. J., & Kelnhofer, R. W., & Wierer, J. (2016, June), Effective Utilization of the Analog Discovery Board Across Upper-Division Electrical Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26904

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