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Evolution and enhancements of a microprocessor systems course

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2 Author(s)
Manjikian, N. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Queen''s Univ., Kingston, Ont., Canada ; Simmons, S.

This paper discusses and evaluates the core third-year microprocessor systems course in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Queen's University (Canada). To aid students in acquiring a solid understanding of hardware/software systems design and implementation, the authors have developed what they believe is an integrated, practical, and student-centered approach for teaching this important subject. They combine a popular commercial microcomputer board with their own custom-designed interface board in a kit that students retain for the duration of the course for both in-lab and at-home assignments. They supplement the microcomputer kit with a graphical software simulator that accurately models all facets of the hardware; machine code for the hardware runs directly under the software simulator with no modification. Finally, they have written their own textbook that reflects what they believe to be the most suitable sequence and organization of hardware and software topics for their course. In this paper, they outline the motivation for their approach, discuss its evolution, relate the course materials to their approach, provide an assessment of their approach including feedback from a student survey, and discuss the recent acquisition of new equipment and future plans

Published in:

Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Nov 1999

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