Asee peer logo

Utilization of Eclipse-based Software Tools in Teaching a New Software Development Methodology to Engineers

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE International Forum


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 14, 2014

Start Date

June 14, 2014

End Date

June 14, 2014

Conference Session

Track 1b - Session 1

Tagged Topic

Curriculum and Lab Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

20.41.1 - 20.41.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Nannan He Minnesota State University, Mankato

visit author page

Nannan He received the Ph.D. in computer engineering from Virginia Tech. She did Post-doc at Oxford University in UK and participated two EU projects. From 2012 to present she is an Assistant Professor at the ECET department in Minnesota State University at Mankato. Her teaching and research interests are in safety-critical embedded software, real-time embedded systems, and software verification. She is an IEEE member and reviewers for many conferences and journals in EDA field.

visit author page

author page

Han-Way Huang Minnesota State University, Mankato

Download Paper |


Utilization of Eclipse-based Software Tools in Teaching a New Software Development Methodology to EngineersSoftware development is often considered to be difficult for engineering students. Nowadays,many control and automation embedded systems are facing increasingly sophisticated functionaland non-functional demands. In such systems, software portion is always expected to have thegreater impact. Therefore, educators continue to face great challenges in getting students to becapable of conducting efficient software development. With the goal of equipping engineeringstudents with the knowledge of using real-world software tools and cost-efficient softwaredevelopment methods, we introduced advanced model-based design (MBD) methodology andeclipse-based software tools into a Programming Tools course.In the last decade, eclipse-based tools and MBD methodology have been widely applied todeveloping dependable embedded software systems in various embedded applications such asautomobile and automation. Eclipse is an integrated software development environment fromIBM, which comprises a base workspace and an extensible plug-in system for customizing theenvironment. Eclipse owns several important benefits for computer programming. First, bymeans of various plugins, Eclipse provides the multi-language programming, such as Java,C/C++. Second, Eclipse is cross-platform, which supports Windows, Linux and Mac OS as well.Thus, it is preferable for developing Linux-based embedded systems. Third, Eclipse is freeunder the term of the Eclipse Public License. Most Eclipse-based software tools are also free forthe education purpose. In recent years, Eclipse-based development tools have been employed bymore and more software projects in both academy and industry. These tools have becomeavailable for a wide range of the embedded systems development problems, such asmicrocontroller programming, systems modeling for embedded model-based design, real-timecomputing platform, and FPGA based embedded system development.Many Eclipse-based software tools support MBD, which is an emerging developmentmethodology for complex embedded software. Several European Union supported projectsrelated to MBD have been launched or completed, such as MOGENT (Model-based Generationof Tests for Dependable Embedded Systems), CESEAR (Cost-efficient methods and processesfor safety relevant embedded systems). As far as our best knowledge, there are few universitiesin America that offer engineering students the knowledge of MBD. The novelty of our work isto introduce students the MBD process in combination with eclipse-based tools. We focus ontwo unique features in MBD - automated code generation and model-based verification andvalidation. Our primary experiences show that this combination could help students understandadvanced software development technologies in practice, and improve the efficiency ofdesigning and implementing complex embedded software projects.

He, N., & Huang, H. (2014, June), Utilization of Eclipse-based Software Tools in Teaching a New Software Development Methodology to Engineers Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--17204

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2014 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015