Contact Information:

Time Thursday: 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM (Classroom Lectures)
Tuesday: 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM (Guest Lectures)
Thursday: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM (Laboratory)
Place Lecture: 001 Swalm (George Eastman Auditorium)
Guest Lectures: 001 Swalm (George Eastman Auditorium)
Meetings: Simrall 206
Labs: Simrall 323 (other rooms by appointment)
Instructor Joseph Picone
Office: 413 Simrall
Office Hours: 8-9 TR (others by appt.)
Phone: 662-325-3149 / Fax: 662-325-2298
Teaching Assistant Way Beng Koay
Office: 302 Simrall
Office Hours: 2 PM to 5 PM MW (others by appt.)
Phone: 662-325-8111 / 662-325-2099
Design Consultant Bill Buchanan
Office: 246 Simrall (across from department office)
Office Hours: 2 PM to 4 PM TTH (others by appt.)
Phone: 662-325-2048 / Fax: 662-325-2298
Class Alias
URL http://www.cavs.msstate.ed./publications/courses/ece_4522
Textbook Resources D.C. Hanselman and B.L. Littlefield, Mastering MATLAB: A Comprehensive Tutorial and Reference, 1/e,, Prentice-Hall, 1996, pp. 542, ISBN: 0-13-191594-0.

P. Horowitz and W. Hill, The Art of Electronics, 2nd Edition, Cambridge University Press, 1994, ISBN: 0-521-37095-7.

R. Schinzinger and M.W. Martin, Introduction to Engineering Ethics, McGraw-Hill, 2000, ISBN 0-07-233959-4.

K.A. Smith, Project Management and Teamwork, McGraw-Hill, 2000, ISBN 0-07-12296-2.

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.

You must also be a member of a team that has a project registered in the Project Proposal database.

Grading Policies:

Grades are calculated using the following weights:

  Advisor Evaluation 25%
  Weekly Deliverables 20%
  Guest Lecture Attendance 10%
  Design Document 10%
  Design Review 10%
  Hardware Prototype 10%
  Preliminary Design Review 5%
  Web Site 5%
  Business Plan 5%
Extra Credit:
  Peer Review 10%
  Business Plan Competition 5%

Letter grades will be assigned according to the following distribution:

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

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 portion of the class, your design review must convince the committee this project was finished. You must demonstrate a functional project at your design review, and that your hardware design meets your design requirements and simulation results.

The single largest component of your grade is derived from your advisor's evaluation of role on the team, and your peer review. Remember the prime directive: "Keep your advisor happy." The rationale your advisor uses to arrive at your grade is at his or her discretion. Be sure to communicate with your advisor to fully understand his or her expectations.

This semester, we are incorporating weekly deliverables into the course. Every Monday morning, you will be responsible for making a deliverable available on your web site. There will be approximately 10 deliverables over the course of the semester, each worth 2% of your grade. These will be described in detail in class and via email. A schedule is provided below. These deliverables account for 20% of your grade.

The next largest component of your grade comes from attending the entrepreneurship lectures. Developing an appreciation of global issues in engineering is very important at this stage in your career. The entrepreneurship lectures are one means by which we encourage you to start thinking about important non-technical aspects of your career. To receive credit for attendance, you must attend the entire talk (this means arrival prior to the start of the talk and departure after the end of the talk - late arrivals receive no credit for that lecture). You must also sit in the first five rows of the conference room to receive credit.

The design document is a comprehensive description of the entire project including: requirements, test specification, design, and test certification. It presents both simulation data and hardware measurements (for the packaged version of the hardware!), demonstrating that your design has met its goals. This document should address most of the points listed on the cover page of the course web site. Templates for this document are available on-line.

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). This will be a 15-minute presentation. At the time of the design review, a project web site must be available containing all information about the project, including the documents described above and the design review presentation.

Concurrent with the design review, we will host a conference-style prototype hardware demonstration. This will be set up in a room adjacent to the presentations, and consist of a conference booth type format where each team is allocated a table at which they will demonstrate their hardware. Each team will be responsible for constructing a poster providing an overview of the project. Faculty, student, and industrial representatives will visit each project and provide a detailed evaluation of the hardware. This portion of the final design review will last about two hours and run concurrently with the design presentations.

The preliminary design review should be a dry-run of the final presentation. It is a 15-minute presentation by one team member that reviews project. At this presentation, any deficiencies that are documented must be rectified in your final design review. At this stage of the course, you will be expected to show solid design constraints, a preliminary design, and a comprehensive simulation and testing plan.

The project web site will be graded according to its comprehensiveness. A good site will contain a complete archive of the project, including all documents, presentations, data, measurements, schematics in source file format, software, etc. Web sites are graded on a competitive basis so keep an eye on your competition.

You will also write a simple business plan for your project. We will describe the details of this assignment in subsequent lectures. Those desiring to enter into the business plan competition will receive extra credit. Tools for guiding you through the development of your business plan are available on-line.

Your course grade will be computed using the categories and weights described above. Final grades can be adjusted by 10% (one letter grade) based on feedback collected from a peer review process. The method of application of this input is rather complicated, and arrived at using a "raise-pool" format (based on the way salary raises work in industry). Each member of the team is allowed to influence each other team member's grade by 10%. To raise one grade by an amount delta, you must reduce another team member's contribution by an equivalent amount. The sum of your adjustments must equal zero. If all team members receive the same rating, their grades remain unchanged. To increase one member's grade by the maximum of 10%, you must lower all other members grades by an equivalent amount. Feedback from each student will be collected and averaged, so the actual contribution per team member is 10/N where N is the number of members in your group. If each team member tries to assign all the credit to themselves, the net result will be that no one receives extra credit. To arrive at these evaluations, team members will submit a written evaluation of their fellow team members. All claims of mutiny, insurgency, poor performance, etc., must be documented in sufficient detail to be given consideration.


Please note that the dates below are fixed since they have been arranged to optimize a number of constraints. You need to adjust your schedules, including job interviews and site visits, accordingly.

2:00 - 3:15 PM
  Organization and Introductions
2:00 - 3:15 PM
  The Design Cycle / MS Project Overview
1:30 - 3:15 PM
  Business Plans
  Entrepreneur Lecture No. 1
2:00 - 3:15 PM
  Entrepreneur Lecture No. 2
2:00 - 3:15 PM
  Entrepreneur Lecture No. 3
2:00 - 3:15 PM
  Project Meetings
2:00 - 3:15 PM
  Entrepreneur Lecture No. 4
2:00 - 3:15 PM
  Preliminary Design Review
2:00 - 3:15 PM
  Entrepreneur Lecture No. 5
2:00 - 3:15 PM
  Entrepreneur Lecture No. 6
2:00 - 3:15 PM
  Entrepreneur Lecture No. 7
2:00 - 3:15 PM
  Project Meetings
2:00 - 3:15 PM
  Entrepreneur Lecture No. 8
2:00 - 3:15 PM
  Entrepreneur Lecture No. 9
11/25 - 11/27
2:00 - 3:15 PM
  Design Reviews
1:00 - 4:00 PM
  ECE Exit Interviews
  Project Deliverables


Presentations and hardware demonstrations are due at times shown above. All other deliverables, such as the final design document, the web site, peer reviews, etc., are due on 12/03. The course instruction team will download these documents from the web site at this time and grade them. Team leader exit interviews will be scheduled from 12/03 to 12/06.

Due Date
proposal database: update your project entry;
updated web site;
updated design requirements;
revised problem statement;
revised design requirements;
updated test specifications;
advisor assessment.
business plan assignment no. 1
business plan assignment no. 2


Here are a few miscellaneous items that need your attention: