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Real Time, Embedded Systems Networking: A Novel Way To Develop An Interactive Undergraduate Course

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Web-Based Education

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1024.1 - 13.1024.11



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Paper Authors


Ece Yaprak Wayne State University

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Dr. Ece Yaprak is a Professor of Engineering Technology in the College of Engineering at Wayne State University. Her areas of interest include computer networks and communications where she has published extensively. She has held engineering positions at General Electric and Ford Motor Company, and research fellowships at NASA (John Glenn, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ames Research Center, and the Johnson Space Center) and the U.S. Navy (SPAWAR). She has received teaching excellence awards from her Division and the College of Engineering. She has received funding for her research from the NSF, the US Navy, NASA, and the business community. She is currently Vice-Chair of the Committee on Technology Accreditation Activities (CTAA) at IEEE, and is an active program evaluator for ABET.

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Karen Tonso Wayne State University

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

Real-Time, Embedded-Systems Networking: A Novel Way to Develop an Interactive Undergraduate Course


During the last century, discoveries in the sciences and engineering aided the creation of increasingly wider bases for new scientific breakthroughs, facilitated particularly during the last few decades by advances in information technologies. These developments impact higher education and policy-making in at least two ways: globalization of knowledge and rapid change in understandings. Globalization of knowledge resulted in a flat world where knowledge is now available everywhere, at any time, and at lower cost. And, to stay competitive in such a flat world, nations are recognizing the importance of continuously creating knowledge to ensure industries are more robust, more agile, and much more responsive to people’s needs. Shifting toward the future requires joining the transformation of the world economy from computer-based to internet-based platforms; more quickly understanding the significance of all-world, around- the-clock supply chains in manufacturing; and adapting to modes of business involvement of this decade, such as outsourcing, open sourcing, off-shoring, and in-sourcing1.

Globalization places a great burden on STEM higher education programs to keep up-to-date in scientific knowledge and to invest in making new discoveries to prepare students as they become more informed individuals and learned professionals2. Upgrading science and engineering education to prepare students for today’s flat world is particularly urgent in U.S. manufacturing regions, where America is faced, at least in manufacturing belt states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, with rapid implosion of manufacturing industries, dramatic increases in unemployment, and deteriorating state economies. Here, manufacturing capabilities are giving way to facile and nimble competitors from abroad and technological products for citizens must now balance social and environmental needs, suggesting that static or unresponsive curricula risk producing students ill-prepared for the work-lives of future decades. But, the demands of changing a course can be great for individual engineering faculty and this likely prevents, or slows, needed innovation in engineering courses. We describe a way to build a new problem- based, laboratory-centered course, among the more difficult to produce, but first begin with a description of the kind of course we have in mind.


Real-time, embedded-systems (RT-ES) networking suggests an area where many undergraduate students would benefit from a systematic educational experience. The number of electronic systems embedded into automobiles, industrial systems, factory automation, machine control and medical systems, among others, has increased dramatically in the last few decades3-5. As these systems increasingly interconnect collections of distributed processors via real-time networks, better understanding the nature and the functioning of these networks will become critical. Also, rapid advances in computing hardware now make embedding these capabilities in manufactured devices common, especially where rapid communication is needed. Because of the ubiquitous nature of real-time, embedded-systems networked into a wide range of devices, any recent engineering graduate working in a wide range of technological development, production, and

Yaprak, E., & Tonso, K. (2008, June), Real Time, Embedded Systems Networking: A Novel Way To Develop An Interactive Undergraduate Course Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3269

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