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Real Time Engineering Systems Course; Methods For Self Assessment And Evaluation.

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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

Accreditation and Related Issues in ECE

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.968.1 - 8.968.10



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Paper Authors

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Ted Sarma

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Massood Atashbar

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S. Hossein Mousavinezhad

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

Session 2132

Real Time Engineering Systems Course; Methods for Self- Assessment and Evaluation

Ted Sarma, Massood Z. Atashbar, Hossein Mousavinezhad

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, Michigan, 49008


University Computer Engineering programs continue to be a popular draw for students. Still, since they are relatively new, their defining curricula continue to evolve. Traditional courses such as digital logic, and digital design, microcontrollers, computer interfacing and computer architecture are mainstays, but there continues to be many holes to fill. Part of the problem is that Computer Engineering (CE) is still considered to be an interface between Electrical Engineering (EE) and Computer Science (CS). Electrical Engineering, where it is usually housed, embraces the notion that computer hardware is fundamental to the discipline while Computer Science views computer software as the defining entity. The truth is that both are correct and Computer Engineering students need to understand both disciplines equally well. At the same time, this understanding needs to go beyond simply knowing about EE and CS. Students must be able to apply the principles of high-level system analysis and design techniques to electrical engineering applications.

It is the authors’ belief that one of the most common areas between EE and CS encompasses digital data acquisition, signal processing, communication and control. Coincidentally, these turn out to be some of industry's major needs as well. At the same time, students need to be exposed to a reasonable amount of high-level software engineering practices that are engineering based. However, there is no way that an undergraduate CE program can accommodate each of these courses in an already crowded curriculum. The solution to this problem, that has been implemented at Western Michigan University (WMU), is to create a junior level course that teaches high-level software engineering best practices using Visual Basic that is applied to data acquisition, signal processing and network communications. In addition, the students are required to maintain assignment logs providing a closed-loop feedback mechanism for continuous improvement in the quality of the course and their learning experience. This course has been highly successful in that students not only learn a great deal of information but also gain experience in applications that will be useful in further course work and senior projects as well as their future careers.

Sarma, T., & Atashbar, M., & Mousavinezhad, S. H. (2003, June), Real Time Engineering Systems Course; Methods For Self Assessment And Evaluation. Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11979

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