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Electrical and Computer Engineering|College of Engineering and Applied Science

A One-credit Hands-On Introductory Course in Electrical
& Computer Engineering using a Variety of Topic Modules

IEEE Transactions on Education Paper - Supplemental Material


John W. Pierre, Francis K. Tuffner, Jeffrey R. Anderson, David L. Whitman, A.H.M. Sadrul Ula, Robert F. Kubichek, Cameron H.G. Wright, Steven F. Barrett, Jerry J. Cupal, and Jerry C. Hamann.


This paper describes a one credit laboratory course for freshman majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). The course is motivational in nature and exposes the students to a wide range of areas of electrical and computer engineering. The authors believe it is important to give freshmen a broad perspective of what ECE is all about, and to shine some light on topics they will see later in the curriculum. Yet with limited total credit hours in the curriculum, the ECE Department did not want to commit a significant number of hours, nor did the Department want to take significant study time away from the students’ core freshman courses such as calculus and physics. The resulting single credit hour course meets only one day a week for two hours, with a format that combines both lecture and experimentation. The course is divided into a series of one to three week modules, each covering a selected topic in electrical and computer engineering. This paper describes the purpose, format, and content of the course. A survey of the students regarding the course is also discussed.

Module List

Click on the individual module titles in the table below for files and more information about each module.
OverallNotes.pdf - Set of overall notes for lab aspect of course

Module Title Topics Duration
Circuits Equipment introduction, Ohm’s Law, voltage, current,
resistance, power, and tolerances
1 week
Electronics Kirchoff’s Laws, ideal operational amplifiers, and
transducer devices
1 week
Digital Logic Digital representation of signals, digital data, and digital
2 weeks
Microprocessors C-language programming, digital control of external
hardware, and microcontroller programming techniques
3 weeks
Communications Frequency content of signals, amplitude modulation
(AM), and amplitude shift keying (ASK)
2 weeks
Digital Signal Processing Analog-to-digital conversion, digital capabilities, and DSP algorithm implementation 2 weeks
Power Power, power efficiency, motors, generators 1 week
Lab Tours Tour of department teaching and research laboratories 1 week

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