June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Computing & Information Technology
23.818.1 - 23.818.10
Cyber-‐Physical Systems (CPS), or embedded computers, is not traditionally emphasized in Information Technology (IT) majors. However the continuous evolution of these systems is including more and more topics that are of fundamental interest to IT majors. Some key areas include networking, security and human-‐computer interaction. They are also evolving into large, heterogeneous distributed systems requiring significant integrative design skills to implement successfully; another area of interest to IT designers. In addition to including multiple aspects of interest to IT, CPS is rapidly growing to take ever-‐larger portions of the overall computing market. A new lab experience has been designed for first-‐year IT students to introduce them to CPS concepts, with an emphasis on IT aspects of the field. Two ideas were addressed by the lab experience. Firstly that CPS systems have significant difference from conventional computer systems and secondly that there are important design issues relating these systems to core IT topics. Lists of CPS concepts were developed and a subset of the concepts were included in a lab experience for the students. The lab experience uses a microcontroller system that interacts with the real world using analog and digital sensors and then presents information through a web-‐page. The simple web page is hosted by a web-‐server on the microcontroller, which illustrates both the capability and the limitations of a typical CPS system. The lab demonstration also includes interaction with a tablet over Wi-‐Fi and thus illustrates a clear linkage of the simple system to the whole Internet, with all that such a linkage implies for IT design. Thus the students experience several aspects of CPS and are encouraged to develop cognitive relationships between CPS and IT. Details of the lab design are included in the paper. Pre-‐ and post-‐assessment tests were carried out to evaluate the degree of student understanding of both the lab concepts and their relationship between IT and CPS. Proposals and justification for including CPS as part of an IT curriculum are presented.
Helps, R. G., & Pack, S. (2013, June), Introducing Information Technology Students to Cyber-Physical Systems Using a Lab Experience Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19832
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