Microprocessors and Toys: An Introduction to Computing Systems
Engineering 100 (section 250), Winter 2015

1. Instructors

Mark Brehob brehob 4632 Beyster Tuesday 2:30-4:30, Wednesday 9:00am-11:00 (in 4632 Beyster)
Friday 1:30-3:30 (in lab or the GSI room down the hall)
Erik Hildinger eshild 323 GFL Monday 11:30am-1:00, Tuesday 10:00am-11:30 and by appointment
Rhonda McCaffery rlmccaff 324 GFL Wednesday 12:00-2:00
Michael Christen mikechri 2431 EECS Friday 4:30-6:00
Austin Rovinski rovinski 2431 EECS Monday 1:00-2:30
Matt Schulte mttschult 2431 EECS Thursday 11:00-12:30

The lab (2431 EECS) is used by ENGR 100 and EECS 270 and is open during many (but not all) hours of the week. We will post the lab schedule shortly. You are welcome to use the lab any time it is open. ENGR 100 students have priority when the lab is staffed by an ENGR 100 instructor; EECS 270 students have priority when the lab is staffed by an EECS 270 instructor. GSIs are able to provide support only for students in the class they are teaching.

3. Course overview

Engineering 100 (section 250) introduces first-year students to engineering in general and computer engineering in particular. Our goal is for you to experience the life cycle of a substantial engineering project. Over the course of the semester, your team will propose, design, build, and demonstrate a microprocessor-based educational toy.

To carry out this project, you will learn the basics of a broad sweep of computer engineering, including number representation, digital logic, CPU architecture, assembly-language programming, I/O devices, general-purpose computers, and digital audio. You will also learn aspects of technical communication that are integral to any real-world engineering project, such as working on teams, understanding your audience and purpose, organizing your ideas, structuring your presentation, writing memos and reports, and giving presentations. Finally, you will be exposed to how ethical issues can impact an engineering project and how engineering projects can impact society and the environment.

This course will emphasize a hands-on approach to learning. You will apply the concepts covered in class throughout the life cycle of your educational toy project. You will apply computer engineering concepts over seven laboratory sessions (culminating with a working microprocessor) and while building your educational toy. You will apply technical communication concepts as you write or present a memo, project proposal, progress report, and final report. You will apply concepts on teamwork as you work in a team of students to propose, design, build, and demonstrate your educational toy.

4. Prerequisites

Students must have prior programming experience to enroll in this course. Specifically, you should have written programs that used variables, arithmetic operations, if-then-else statements, loops, functions, and arrays. You may have gained this experience through classes in high school or college (e.g., ENGR 101), or you may have learned programming on your own. You should be comfortable using computers.

5. Course materials and information

We will post all assignments, lecture notes, and supplementary readings on the course web page, which is http://www.eecs.umich.edu/courses/engr100/.

The suggested textbook for this course is A Practical Guide to Technical Reports and Presentations for Scientists, Engineers, and Students, by Pauline Bary-Khan, Elizabeth Hildinger, and Erik Hildinger (Pearson Custom Publishing, ISBN 978-0-555-01787-6).

6. Teamwork

Students are expected to work diligently on team assignments to the benefit of their entire team. All team members should be familiar with all aspects of an assignment, irrespective of their role. We expect all team members to contribute their fair share, and we expect to give the same assignment grade to all members of a team.

Team members will evaluate periodically the contributions of other team members. Members who contribute less than their share may receive a lower grade on assignments; non-contributing members will receive a zero.

Managing team dynamics and using each team member's time and talents effectively can be as difficult as solving the project. If there are problems with your team, please see us as soon as possible. Be open and candid with your team about problems early on so that your team can address these issues before it's too late.

Your interactions with your teammates should be honest, respectful, and considerate. Disagreements should focus on the technical problem rather than the people who are disagreeing. Do not engage or permit others to engage in personal harassment. Consider the safety of your teammates when selecting group meeting times and locations.

7. Assignments, deadlines, and extensions

Most labs will be turned in by demonstrating your circuit or program to the GSI during your lab section. You must demonstrate your work by the end of your lab section, then submit your work through a web form.

Assignments that require you to submit a document (e.g., written report, presentation slides, homework answers) will be submitted through a web form or Ctools. Submissions are due at 6 pm but can be submitted until exactly 11:59 pm. In case of multiple submissions, your last submission will count as the official one.

Sometimes unexpected events (e.g., illness) make it difficult to complete an assignment on time. To deal with these events, each individual will have a total of 3 late days that can be used throughout the semester. These late days should only be used to deal with unexpected problems such as illness. They should not be used simply to start late on an assignment or because you are having difficulty completing the assignment. Once late days are used up, assignments received after the due date will receive a zero. For most assignments, weekend days are counted in the same way as weekdays (e.g., if the assignment is due Friday and you submit it Sunday, it's two days late). For in-lab demonstrations, only weekdays count (e.g., demonstrating a lab on Monday instead of the preceding Friday counts as one day late).

For team assignments, submitting the assignment late uses late days for each of the team members. E.g., turning in the final report two days late counts as two late days for each member. Thus, the number of late days available to your team is effectively the minimum of the late days of the members.

No late days may be used on exams, presentations, or the final project. You will receive a zero for a missed exam/presentation except in cases of documented medical or personal emergency. If you anticipate a conflict with an exam/presentation time, talk with an instructor at least one month before the exam/presentation. The exam/presentation dates are given at the beginning of the semester so you can avoid scheduling other commitments on these days. Outside commitments are not considered a valid reason for missing an exam/presentation.

If a family/personal emergency causes you to miss a significant number of days in the semester, please see an instructor to decide the best course of action. To request an extension, you must discuss your situation with an instructor before the deadline and provide written documentation.

Please contact an instructor at the beginning of the semester if you have a disability that might interfere with your ability to participate in class, turn in assignments on time or in the form requested, or take exams in the time allotted.

8. Honor code

All assignments are to be conducted according to the College of Engineering Honor Code. Violation will result in a zero on the assignment or exam in question and initiation of the formal procedure of the Engineering Honor Council.

The main tenet of the Honor Code is that "It is dishonorable for students to receive credit for work that is not the result of their own efforts." Among other things, the Honor Code forbids plagiarism. To plagiarize is to use another person's ideas, writings, etc. as one's own, without crediting the other person. Thus, you must credit information obtained from other sources, including web sites, e-mail or other written communications, conversations, articles, books, etc..

On team assignments, the co-authors listed on the submission should include only those team members who have contributed their fair share to the assignment. If you allow a teammate's name to appear on an assignment to which he/she has not contributed fairly, you are violating the Honor Code. If in doubt, contact the appropriate course instructor.

You may consult with other students to understand an assignment, but you may not consult with other students to help create the solution or document for an assignment. You may not use work done by prior students of the class. On team assignments, you may consult freely with your teammates.

9. Grading

Your overall course grade will be based on the total number of points earned on all assignments. The table below summarizes the assignments and their point values (TC represents a technical communication assignment). In introductory courses in the College of Engineering, the average grade is generally a B-. We reserve the right to increase or decrease the average grade of the class based on how well the class as a whole is performing.
Assignment Individual / team Description Points
(total 1000)
Lab 1 individual Intro to DE2/Quartus 10
Lab 2 individual Combinational logic 20
Lab 3 individual Registers and memory 20
Lab 4 team Hardware encryptor/decryptor 20
Lab 5 individual E100 part 1 20
Lab 6 team E100 part 2 20
Lab 7 individual I/O devices 40
Lab 8 team Educational toy 230
TC 1 individual Introductory essay 5
TC 2 individual Memo about educational toys 20
TC 3 individual Project proposal 40
TC 4 team Proposal presentation 35
TC 5 team Progress report 30
TC 6 team Final presentation 60
TC 7 team Final report 80
Midterm exam individual Midterm exam 150
Final exam individual Final exam 200

10. Semester schedule

Course schedule