Hands-on projects and exercises to strengthen understanding of basic computer engineering concepts
The Introduction to Computer Engineering course at the University of Missouri-Rolla provides a thorough understanding of basic digital logic analysis and design. The course covers: digital numbering systems, Boolean algebra, function minimization using Karnaugh maps (K-maps), memory elements, and sequential logic design. Students' grades are determined by their performance on homework assignments, quizzes, and in-class examinations. A laboratory course (optional for all but EE and CpE majors) supplements the lecture by providing experiments that include analysis and design using Mentor Graphics and FPGAs. While the laboratory is a very useful supplement to the lecture, almost half the students taking the lecture are not required to take the laboratory and there is not sufficient time in the laboratory schedule to introduce significant design elements. In Fall 2004, hands-on group projects, for all students, were introduced to the lecture course. The goal was for students to develop a more practical understanding and appreciation of hardware design and to improve motivation. Two projects were introduced that involve design of simple digital systems (based on practical applications), design optimization, and physical realization of the system using logic gates and/or memory elements. Two surveys, conducted during the semester, show the benefit of hands-on projects in gaining experience on basic digital hardware design.
Dua, Rohit, John E. Seiffertt, Brian Blaha, Kapil Gupta, Venkat Satagopan, Joe R. Stanley, Daryl Beetner, and Donald C. Wunsch. 2005 "Hands-On Projects and Exercises to Strengthen Understanding of Basic Computer Engineering Concepts." In Proceedings of the 2005 American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Portland, OR, June 12-15, 2005. https://doi.org/10.18260/1-2--14397
ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings