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Student Centered Educational Tools For The Digital Systems Curriculum

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.515.1 - 3.515.10



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Paper Authors

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Edward Doskocz

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Alan R. Klayton

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Parris C. Neal

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Ruth D. Fogg

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Scott A. Stefanov

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Pamela J. Neal

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George W. P. York

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Daniel J. Pack

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Steven Barrett

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

Session 1620 Student-centered Educational Tools for the Digital Systems Curriculum

Steven F. Barrett, Daniel J. Pack, George W. P. York, Pamela J. Neal, Ruth D. Fogg, Edward Doskocz, Scott A. Stefanov, Parris C. Neal, Cameron H.G. Wright, Alan R. Klayton

Department of Electrical Engineering, 2354 Fairchild Drive, Suite 2F6 United States Air Force Academy, Colorado 80840-6236 Voice: (719) 333-3190, FAX: (719) 333-3756,


The Digital Systems Division's mission within the Electrical Engineering Department at the United States Air Force Academy is to educate cadets on the fundamentals of digital systems. The division provides a digital systems curriculum to computer science and electrical engineering majors. Additionally, we teach the fundamentals of microcomputer programming to all electrical engineering majors. Over the last four years we have implemented a variety of in-house hardware and software teaching tools to enhance our educational mission while emphasizing an exciting, hands-on approach to computer education. In this paper we will detail these innovations and describe how they fit together for a cohesive educational experience.


The digital systems curriculum at the United States Air Force Academy includes five different courses: Introductory Digital Systems (EE281), Microcomputer Programming (EE382), Microcomputer System Design I (EE383), Microcomputer System Design II (EE484), and Computer Architecture (EE485). This sequence of courses serves several different audiences. All electrical engineering majors are required to complete the first two courses in the sequence. Majors may also elect to complete a digital systems option within the electrical engineering major by completing two more courses in the sequence. Computer Science majors are also required to complete Introductory Digital Systems and may elect to complete a digital systems option by taking at least the first three courses in the sequence. A brief summary of course content follows:

• EE281 Introductory Digital Systems. This sophomore level course provides an introduction to the fundamental principles of logic design including: Boolean algebra, combinational and sequential logic analysis and design, and an introduction to digital computer architecture.

• EE382 Microcomputer Programming. This junior level course focuses on assembly language programming while providing a broad-base understanding of microcontroller systems. The microcontroller principles presented provide a foundation that can be used in other project-oriented courses. Course topics include microcontroller hardware, assembly language programming, input/output interface design, and applications.

Doskocz, E., & Klayton, A. R., & Neal, P. C., & Fogg, R. D., & Stefanov, S. A., & Neal, P. J., & York, G. W. P., & Pack, D. J., & Wright, C., & Barrett, S. (1998, June), Student Centered Educational Tools For The Digital Systems Curriculum Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7435

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