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Using Embedded Systems To Teach All Levels Of Programming To Electrical Engineering Students

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

ECE Poster Session

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1383.1 - 11.1383.6



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Paper Authors


Joerg Mossbrucker Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Dr. Mossbrucker is Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Milwaukee School of
Engineering (MSOE). He did graduate studies at Michigan State University and received the Ph.D. degree from the
University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. He has extensive industrial experience and teaches courses in analog and
digital circuits, microprocessors, and computer programming.

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

Using Embedded Systems to Teach All Levels of Programming to Electrical Engineering Students


This paper describes the implementation of a programming sequence in Electrical Engineering starting at the freshmen year which places a considerable emphasis on embedded systems. Freshmen are introduced to procedural programming techniques using a popular 8-bit micro-controller. Assembly language programming is introduced in the sophomore year, followed by an embedded systems design course, which introduces students to a mixed assembly language and high-level language software design. A final course in the sophomore year covers object-oriented concepts.

A development platform has been designed which is able to support high-level language programming for freshmen as well as embedded systems design in a mixed-language environment. This platform also allows a seamless transition to a fully independent embedded systems design course. The integrated development environment allows complete design in a procedural programming language, assembly language, and object- oriented language without changes in the software or hardware platform.

I. Introduction

Graduates of Electrical Engineering programs nowadays are required to show proficiency in programming languages of various levels, ranging from assembly languages to object- oriented or even dynamic languages1. This is very often covered in a sequence of courses in Electrical Engineering programs.

Informal surveys of freshmen in the Electrical Engineering program at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) show a very diverse background in programming, ranging from no programming experience to almost proficiency in object-oriented programming. Hence the following course sequence was chosen.

Programming using a procedural programming language is introduced in the freshmen year. This course covers all aspects of procedural programming techniques, including algorithm development, elementary data types, standard operations, arithmetic and assignment statements, logical expressions and control constructs, looping techniques, one and two-dimensional subscripted variables, library functions, and user-defined functions. Parallel interfacing techniques and input/output streams are also introduced. This course also introduces the students to the integrated development environment (IDE) common to all programming courses in the EE program. Detailed installation and getting- started documents can be found at the author's web-site10.

Assembly language programming is introduced in the sophomore year. All microcontroller programming aspects are covered, including structured assembly

Mossbrucker, J. (2006, June), Using Embedded Systems To Teach All Levels Of Programming To Electrical Engineering Students Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1136

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