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See COVID, say COVID

See COVID, say COVID

It's Fall 2022 and the masks are off. Well, officially, masking is a "personal choice". Leadership has dropped the COVID ball and is hoping that nobody is going to pick it up again. So what's left to do? Continue to mask, provide alternatives for everyone that don't require in-person gathering (classes, labs, meetings), get vaccinated […]

Computer suggestions (September 2022)

Computer suggestions (September 2022)

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). This is an update to earlier posts in 2021 and 2020. I'm writing this from the perspective of a professor that teaches first year and second year programming […]

Welcome to EECS 2021, Blended Edition

Welcome to EECS 2021, Blended Edition

Hello students, It's August 30, 2022 and we'll be starting class in just over a week. The eClass page will be available shortly, but I wanted to reach out to let you know what we have planned. The topics The EECS 2021 course is about how microprocessors work. We will examine both the hardware and […]

Welcome to EECS 1011

Welcome to EECS 1011

This class has run successfully for two years as a remote course. We redesigned the material and delivery for the pandemic and the formula that we've come up with works really, really well. So, while this course is officially an in-person course for 2022, there are no in-person tests, nor is there a requirement to […]

Ad-hoc unit testing on simAVR and VPL

Ad-hoc unit testing on simAVR and VPL

In the previous post I showed you how to use VPL and simAVR together to write a basic activity that would test to see if a student could change or assign the value of a register in the simulated microcontroller using the C programming language. While it was the most straight-forward way that I could […]

Simulated Microcontrollers in VPL Exercises

Simulated Microcontrollers in VPL Exercises

In Computer Architecture classes or Embedded Systems classes, it can be really useful to allow for students to be graded on assignments that allow them to interactively explore the inner workings of a microprocessor. One way is to have the students create programs in a hardware description language like Verilog or VHDL. Another way is […]

Being heard while wearing a mask

Being heard while wearing a mask

The following are a set of preliminary tests I did to determine relative speech sound performance while wearing a mask. I'm particularly interested in the context of mask-wearing in a classroom, but this could be helpful in many other workplaces. I tested a number of masks in my dining room. Audio levels were measured using […]

Installing SIMAVR on Mac OS X

Installing SIMAVR on Mac OS X

The SIMAVR package is for simulating AVR processors like the ATMEGA328 on the Arduino UNO. I'm looking to try to use it with VPL in courses like our computer architecture class, EECS 2021, as a way of simulating the UNO's processor in exercises involving assembler and C programming. On a Mac, we use HomeBrew. The […]

COVID is back. Here’s what we need to do.

COVID is back. Here’s what we need to do.

September is coming. And with it, more COVID.  That’s the truth of it. Universities, colleges, public schools and daycares will feel the impact of the next crop of COVID variants one student and one employee at a time.  The “back to normal” story we were fed was a lie.  It was convenient.  It was popular.  It felt good.  But it was […]