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Verilog in Virtual Programming Lab

Verilog in Virtual Programming Lab

Unit testing is really important in general programming, but it's also really useful when creating interactive programming assignments. With Java, I like to use JUnit and with C I like to use the Unity unit tester. With Verilog it's actually really straight-forward to set up testing frameworks. In the EECS 2021 (Computer Organization) labs written […]

Suggestions for Computers (Oct 2021)

Suggestions for Computers (Oct 2021)

To new students (and their parents) who are looking to get a computer for the upcoming university school year, here are some tips (via my Twitter thread) How much? Get what you can afford.  Most people will spend between $500 and $2000 for a computer.  $1000 - $1500 will get you a phenomenal machine that […]

Lab Kit details for EECS 1011/1021

Lab Kit details for EECS 1011/1021

EECS 1011 (and 1021) Lab Kit The EECS 1011 kit will be available for purchase from the York University Bookstore. The link for all lab kits at the Bookstore is here. As soon as it is available your course instructor will let you know. While the official kit is designed to work for most students, […]

Open letter about COVID-related air quality in an elementary school

Open letter about COVID-related air quality in an elementary school

Executive Summary The current portable air filter setup at CS Viamonde’s La Mosaïque (LAMO) [Viamonde is the French public school board in Toronto; LAMO is its largest elementary school] does not meet the minimum set of recommendations based on the latest scientific and engineering results related to the mainly aerosol nature of COVID19.   Children in […]

VPL: Simple C Assignment with Unit Testing

VPL: Simple C Assignment with Unit Testing

August 2021 Background Here, we're going to apply ThrowTheSwitch's Unity unit test framework to C programs. The test framework is available on GitHub. Three files need to be downloaded from the GitHub. There are a few more files that need to be developed within VPL to make it work, and those are described below. We're […]

VPL: Using Maple for Math Assignments

VPL: Using Maple for Math Assignments

One of the places that Moodle falls down in is in supporting math assignments. It occurred to me that we could treat math assignments like we do programming assignments by extending the Virtual Programming Lab plugin for Moodle to support Maple. This doesn't replace existing products like the Maple / DigitalEd Möbius platform, nor does […]

VPL: Basic Custom Evaluation Example

VPL: Basic Custom Evaluation Example

Sometimes you need to go beyond the default settings in VPL. That means creating a custom "run" and "evaluate" setup. Here, I'll simplify a great example by Dominique Tiebaut, Emeritus prof at Smith College, written for an assignment in C. (archive) We'll check a "hello world" example in C, but won't use the default evaluate.cases […]

Debuggers, MPLAB X and the Arduino

Debuggers, MPLAB X and the Arduino

This page is about programming ATMEGA328 chips, like the one found on the Arduino UNO, using modern (post 2015) tools like MPLAB X and the Snap or PICKit4 debuggers. As of July 2021 there is a little hiccup in how to do this. Hopefully in the future Microchip will fix the issue and render this […]

Pedagogy in a Pandemic: Teaching without Exams

Pedagogy in a Pandemic: Teaching without Exams

This is the first semester that I've taught 100% online.  The Fall 2020 lockdown and the YorkU strike in 2018 gave me a taste of what it would be like and alerted me to the need for restructuring of my classes in order to make them more favourable to learning.  During the pandemic, students are struggling but […]

Modifying an Arduino for MPLAB X

Modifying an Arduino for MPLAB X

To allow the UNO to be programmed by the PICKit 4 via the ICSP header (circled in blue, below), we need to cut the reset signal trace that links the '328P processor to the USB Bridging chip that is also found on the UNO, the MEGA16U2. There are also two other wires that we won't […]