Contact Information:

Time Tuesday: 2:00 - 3:15 PM
Place Lecture: 203 Simrall; Lab: Anywhere and Everywhere
Instructor Joseph Picone
Office: 413 Simrall
Office Hours: 8-9 MWF (others by appt.)
Class Alias
Required Textbook(s) G. Voland, Engineering By Design, Addison-Wesley, 1999, ISBN 0-20-14985-10.
Prerequisite Credit or registration in an ECE technical elective; approval of a project proposal by your advisor.
Reference Textbook(s) P. Horowitz and W. Hill, The Art of Electronics, 2nd Edition, Cambridge University Press, 1994, ISBN: 0-521-37095-7.

D.C. Hanselman and B.L. Littlefield, Mastering MATLAB: A Comprehensive Tutorial and Reference, 1/e,, Prentice-Hall, 1996, 542 pp., ISBN: 0-13-191594-0.

Grading Policies:

Grades are calculated using the following weights:

Team Leader
Team Member
  Requirements Document 10%   Requirements Document 10%
  Test Specification 10%   Test Specification 10%
  Design Document 10%   Design Document 10%
  Certification 10%   Certification 10%
  Preliminary Design Review 10%   Preliminary Design Review 10%
  Design Review 10%   Design Review 10%
  Demonstration 10%   Demonstration 10%
  Web Site 10%   Web Site 10%
  Team Journal 10%   Team Journal 10%
  Performance Review 30%   Peer Review 10%

I would thoroughly enjoy assigning letter grades according to the following distribution:

100 - 90
89 - 80
79 - 70
69 - 60
See you next semester
Below 60

Of course, if I was able to grade according to this distribution, it would be a first for a "Picone class."


The goal of our two semester sequence is to provide you with a realistic design experience, and teach you the tools and methodologies that can help you be successful at this endeavor. To be considered for a passing grade in this class, your projects must be completed, and a working prototype be demonstrated to your design review board.

The requirements document defines the design constraints from a user-level perspective. It is a four-page document (approximately 2000 words) that assigns numbers to the design constraints so that these can be cross-referenced by other documents.

The test specification is a four-page document that defines the measurements to be used to verify the design, and the experiments that need to be constructed to conduct these measurements. It will assign numbers to each test needed to be performed so that these can be cross-referenced later.

The design document is a refined version of last semester's final report that describes your from a user-level perspective. It is a 10-page document (approximately 5000 words) that describes the approach you are using to solve the problem stated above, and cross-references the design constraints and test specification documents.

The preliminary design review is a dry-run of the final presentation. It is a 15-minute presentation by one team member that reviews the entire two-semester project. At this presentation, any deficiencies that are documented must be rectified in your final presentation.

The design review is the big enchilada. You must address all design deficiencies noted in your preliminary review, and review all aspects of the project (with technical details supporting your claims). It is also a 15-minute presentation. You will be expected to produce a four-page IEEE-style conference paper along with your presentation. The design review will be conducted in a manner similar to a technical conference: technical sessions, poster presentations for your demos, etc.

You will also be required to perform a 5-minute demonstration at the end of your final review. A fully-functional project is an important step towards passing this course. In addition, at this time, all materials must be available from your web site (including the final presentation).

All team members receive the same grade for the above information. Team members will also submit a journal evaluating their fellow team members. This will include a chance to recommend individual grades for their team members, and comment on each member's contribution to the project. Team leaders, on the other hand, will participate in a performance review conducted by the instructor. Team leaders have an opportunity to receive extra credit, since in theory they are responsible for the success of the entire team.


Class Date Topic(s)
1 01/11 Organization and Introductions
2 01/18 The Design Process, Report Writing, Web Sites
3 01/25 How To Develop Measurable Requirements
4 02/01 John Benedict, BellSouth, Project Management
5 02/08 Technical Presentations
6 02/15 Phillip S. Herron, Adtran, Co-Design
7 02/22 Eric Dowling, DSP Legal Services, Patents and Consulting
8 02/29 Preliminary Design Review
9 03/14 Steve Given, Skytel, The Engineering Process
10 03/21 Clyde Payne, OSHA, Health and Safety Issues
11 03/28 Larry Hand, Peavey, Manufacturing Products
12 04/04 Wayne Causey, Eric Brown, and Anthony Mangiaracine, Howard Industries, Product Certification
13 04/11 Ann Bell, MS State Human Resources, Benefits
14 04/18 Vince Allen, Cyclaw, Intellectual Property Issues
15 04/27 Design Review
16 05/05 Project Deliverables


Item Date Description
1 01/24 Requirements Document
2 01/31 Revised Requirements
3 02/07 Test Specification
4 02/14 Revised Test Specification
5 02/21 Design Document
6 02/28 Preliminary Design Review
7 03/14 Test Certification
8 03/21 Revised Design Document
9 03/28 Revised Test Certification
10 04/11 Conference Paper
11 04/18 Final Presentation and Demonstration Poster
12 04/25 Design Review and Demonstrations
Web Site
Team Journals
Peer Review