June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Electrical and Computer
When electrical (EE) and computer engineers (COE) are trained, it is imperative that nearly all acquire some level of exposure to microcontrollers and associated software development skills to effectively function as engineers in their careers. At this university, electrical engineering and computer engineering majors take a one-semester course in microcontrollers to learn embedded system development in their junior year. In prior semesters, they take two programming courses and an electronics course. This embedded course is designed to teach data acquisition techniques, detail hardware operations in data processing, and how to drive peripheral components. While there are many choices of microcontroller development boards such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino, this embedded course and associated labs use hardware development boards based on Freescale (NXP) devices due to their simplicity and legacy.
The same EE and COE students take a mandatory capstone design project course spanning two semesters in their senior year. Students, individually or in groups of two, propose a few engineering problems to the faculty at the start of the first semester. After several iterations involving discussions with the faculty, each group selects one project to build a prototype to demonstrate the solution. In the first semester, they complete the engineering design steps producing documents for the selected project to develop a final design solution. Each group eventually completes the project work with a live demonstration at the end of the second semester.
This paper briefly explains the structure of the capstone project course for EE and COE seniors, and the design milestones. The author offers and discusses results from a survey conducted on senior students in a capstone project course taken by both EE and COE students. The survey and the follow-up discussion attempts to determine whether the embedded systems course influenced or facilitated the selection of microcontroller based projects compared to other types of projects. Another objective is to see if the teaching level on the application of microcontroller boards may be reduced since the public domain offers a vast amount of open source libraries to do almost anything related to them and associated peripheral components.
Karunaratne, M. (2019, June), Impact of an Embedded Systems Course on Undergraduate Capstone Projects Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32922
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