Skip Navigation
Home Syllabus Schedule Assignments Labs Blog

image of handshake

Syllabus - Summer 2014

Instructors :

  • Marinos Vouvakis (
        Marcus Hall 215J
        Office Hours: Mon - Fri: 3:00 - 4:00 pm EST, via skype.
  • Lectures:

    Tu,Th 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 pm EST, via skype

    (check your section)

  • none
  • Laboratory:
    (check your section)

  • students must have pass the lab component during a previous offering to attend this course
  • Graduate Teaching Assistants

    • TBD

    Undergraduate Instructional Assistants (UIA)

    • TBA

    Course Web Sites

    Required Textbooks

    • Digital Design M. Morris Mano and Michael D. Ciletti, Prentice Hall, 5th ed. 2012 ISBN 0-13-277420-8. The 4th edition is also acceptable.

    Alternatively you can use the condensed version of the book:

    • Digital Design, M. Morris Mano and Michael D. Ciletti, Custom Edition for University of Massachusetts), Prentice Hall, 2011 (ISBN: 9781256323242).

    Textbooks available at UMass Textbook Annex, tel. 545-3570.

    Course Overview

    This course covers theoretical and practical topics of the operation of digital electronic circuits, a ubiquitous and critically important foundation for the ECE discipline. Binary data representation, Boolean algebra, combinational and sequential logic, and abstraction of standard design components are introduced to discuss the design and analysis of digital circuit designs. A discussion and software lab component reemphasize these concepts with examples and practical applications.

    Course Goals

    After taking this course, you will be able to design and analyze digital electronic circuits. In the process, you will learn how Boolean algebra forms the theoretical foundation on which these circuits are built. You will learn how information can be represented in a digital system and what common logic functions are used to process it. You will learn how memory components expand the functionality the behavior of digital circuits. You will learn to use software tools that will aid you in the process of design and analysis of these circuits. Most importantly, you will see how circuits can be aggregated into larger components that allow more complex designs. You will experience the convergence of these goals at the end of the semester when we discuss the functionality of a simple microprocessor.

    Class Meetings

    There are three types of class meetings that will be held for ENGIN 112:

    • Lectures will be held three times a week by Professor Vouvakis. The main goal of the lectures is to present and discuss the main content that is covered in this course. It is expected that you have worked through the assigned reading and are familiar with the topic of the lecture. Lectures are not intended and cannot be a replacement for reading assignments.

    The different components of ENGIN 112 are designed to provide ample opportunity for you to clarify reading assignments, ask questions, and practice your skills. You are encouraged to seek any additional help you need from the instructors and TA’s during their office hours.


    Your final grade will be derived from your performance in three areas:

    • Homework is one of the most important methods of evaluation as it lets you track your continued progress in the course. Homework is assigned weekly (refer to the schedule). Each homework assignment is graded with an A-grade and a B-grade. The A-grade reflects the fraction of problems where a full solution was attempted. The B-grade reflects the score achieved for a selected set of problems. The total grade for a homework is (A+B)/2.
    • Exams are the most heavily weighted component of the grade. Two midterm exams and one final exam will be given. The exams are closed-book, closed-notes (but open-minds) and evaluate how well you retained and understood the course content as well as how well you can apply the course concepts to new problems. For each exam, an in-class review and a question and answer discussion session will be held to provide time for resolving issues regarding the content and procedure of the exam.

    The final grade will be norm-referenced (i.e., graded “on a curve”) with the following weighting:

    • Midterm– 30%
    • Final Exam – 40%
    • Homework – 15%
    • Laboratory – 15% (from previous offering)

    You are encouraged to track your scores on Umass Moolde to ensure that you have received the appropriate credit for each of your assignments and exams. No extra credit or “make-up” assignments will be given (with exception to the cases stated in the examination policy below).

    Course Policy

    Attendance and Punctuality

    You are expected to attend the all of the lectures as well as the discussion sections for which you are enrolled. Attendance at the scheduled lab sessions in which you are enrolled are mandatory. You are expected to come to lectures, examinations, discussion sections, and laboratory sections on time; arriving late and/or leaving early is disrespectful and disrupts the entire class.

    Communication with Instructors

    E-mail will be the preferred mode of indirect communication. All e-mails regarding questions or comments on lectures, discussions, homeworks/solutions, exams and gradesshould be sent to both Professor Vouvakis (e-mail one instructor and copy (cc) the other). To facilitate prompted responds, e-mails should use clear subjects, using have the following subject format: engin112 - <meaningful subject goes here>. E-mail communications with TAs or UIAs may not include the instructors.

    Homework Assignments

    Homework problems are critically important for understanding and reinforcing the course material. Homework assignments, consisting primarily of problems from the Mano text, will be assigned weekly and posted on UMass Amherst Moodle along with the due dates. Homework assignments will be due online on the posted due dates. Late homework will not be accepted.


    There will be two midterm exams:

  • Midterm Exam: Thu., June. 12
  • Examinations can be made up only in the case of excused absences, as defined in the UMass Code of Student Conduct ( and if both instructors (Prof. Vouvakis and Prof. Siqueira) are notified in a timely fashion (in advance). An unexcused absence at an exam will constitute a failure of the exam. Cheating will not be tolerated, and will be handled in accordance with the UMass policy on Academic Honesty (