Class Email Archive
Old 2008 Emails
The Lab3 schematic had a small error on the RXD pin of the microcontroller. The schematic has been updated on the website. Sorry for the mishap.
Due to a conflict in my schedule, I will not be able to attend the TA hours for today. (2:30 - 6:30) I will be in the lab tomorrow (Weds) after 1pm to cover for the absence.
ECE 353 Students:
I have been asked about the weightage of the various parts of Lab 2. It is the same as for Lab 1: 25% of the grade is based on the demo, 25% on the quiz, and 50% on your lab report.
Note that the 353 schedule site,
has been updated with the correct dates for Lab 3.
Lab 3 Lecture & Demo (WB & Felipe)
Dec. 9 - 10
Lab 3 Demos
Lab 3 Reports Due
Due to a mix up, I am writing an email to see who is and who isn't receiving the course emails. Please ask around and see who did or did not get this email. If anyone you know did not get this email, please have them email me back (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know.
In order to help me better assess your lab reports, please also submit your C program. As with the report, send it to email@example.com. Be sure to label your program with your names. Thanks.
REMINDER that we have a 353 Lecture today at 1pm in ELAB 306.
We will discuss Lab 3 and have a demo.
See you shortly,
ECE 353 Students:
I will hold office hours in the lab on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-3 PM.
Feel free to stop by or send email if you have any questions.
I have made some updates to the lab description: please download it
again to ensure you have the latest version.
To the ECE 353 students:
Please ask your friends if they are on this class email list. We believe
that the list is exhaustive, but we want to be certain. If you know anyone who
does not receive these email messages, please have him contact Professor
Burleson or I and we will add him to the list.
Thank you for your efforts.
I was quite impressed with the Lab 0 demos.
You all seemed to understand the concepts and did a
good job implementing the labs.
The demos themselves were well done also.
Now it is time to take a step back and write a good
report on the Lab. Demo and report will contribute
about equally to the overall grade for the Lab.
Lab 0 reports are due on Friday Oct 3 at midnight.
See Mike's email for details on the Lab 0 report
and email me if you have any questions on the format.
They should be fully electronic and sent as a single file of
.pdf or .doc to Lab 0 TA Mike Haines at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to use this address rather than his Umass account
or he will run out of disk space!
The course will now shift gears significantly.
Prof. Krishna will lecture on Lab 1 this Tuesday Sept 30
in ELAB 306. Lab 1 will be very different than Lab 0
in that it will be only C programming. You may ask why this
sudden change. The idea is to further develop your coding
ability and solidify the distinction between an HDL and C.
The programming assignment will be to model a cache,
thus using a software program to describe the behavior
of hardware you learned about in 232. Review your 232
if you are at all shaky on caches. And don't get confused
between HDL and C programming syntax and semantics.
In Lab 2 Prof. Krishna will extend this approach even further
to a full pipelined MIPS machine.
See you for Lab 3 in late November when we will return
to breadboarding a fairily cool microcontroller design
for an enjoyable finale to the course.
Till then, Good luck!
To the ECE 353 students:
Three more demo times have been added from 1:00-2:00 on Friday. If you
still need to sign up for a slot, you can reserve one of these times.
Tomorrow we begin the demos of lab0.
In addition to the lab0 tips we sent out last week,
here are some additional guidelines.
Consider the demo to be fairly formal, not in terms
of dress, but in terms of tone. In other
words, pretend I am a prospective employer or a
large client of your product. Convince me that you
understand the lab and show me what you have
learned. Our time is very limited so you need to
move quickly and efficiently. Here is a suggested
schedule for each 20 minute demo:
Introduction (2 minutes)
Verilog and FSM discussion (5 minutes)
Demo of Midi-Ox (2 minutes)
Go-Logic (2 minutes)
Discussion of design and debug process (5 minutes)
Concluding remarks (see tip list) (4 minutes)
If we run out of time, it will hurt you, so please stay
on schedule. Make sure both team members participate
equally in the demo. If your circuit is not fully functional, show
me what works and tell me how you intend to finish up.
A TA can check it off later and you will get partial
credit. In addition, you can document it in your project
Project reports will be due Friday October 3 .
Details on the report will come soon.
Looking forward to seeing your work.
After talking to the staff at lock shop it appears as though the UCard encoder is not broken, but is very fickle and will not work every time. It has a better chance of working on a new card, however nothing is guaranteed.
If you are interested in getting your card encoded I will be at the lab at 12:30 on Wednesday and I can run a batch of UCards down to the physical plant then. I suggest you go to Franklin and get a new UCard to increase the chances that it works, its around $6 if you hand them your old UCard.
If you want to give it a try please be at the lab at 12:30 on Wednesday and realize that the lock shop is not guaranteeing that this will work on every UCard, however I can attest that my card encoded first try and it is only 2 weeks old.
To the ECE 353 students:
Since September 8, we have had trouble with the class email list. This is a
new class list. If you know of anyone who has not received this email, please
have that person email one of the professors or TAs.
If you are nervous about your demos, remember that you can prepare for them
using a checklist sent in a previous email. You can find all the class emails
archived on the course website. If you are nervous because you do not feel that
you can complete the project before the demo, Professor Burleson has arranged to
have extra TA hours today and tomorrow. You can see the changes on the course
Finally, we intend to let everyone have card access to Duda soon.
We seem to be having some trouble with the email list.
If you get this message, please send a quick email
to Michael Haines at email@example.com
If you know some who did NOT get it (e.g. your lab
partner), let him know that as well.
Note that all 353 emails are archived on the web-site so
check that regularly and the course schedule page
and you should be all set.
To the ECE 353 students,
Your Lab 0 demos will be on Wednesday and Thursday next week. You need to
sign up for a 20 minute time slot, which you can do at
www.mysignup.com/ece353_fall08_lab0 beginning 7:00 p.m. this Thursday. You must
sign up before 11:00 p.m. next Tuesday, September 23, and you can change the
time of your demo until then if you need to. Please email Professor Burleson if
you have trouble signing up for a time slot.
Professor Burleson and the TAs have compiled a list of tips to help you
prepare for the demo.
-> Know what the acronyms on the project description stand for, such
as MIDI and USART.
-> Print out your Verilog code. Be sure it is properly commented and
that you understand it. For instance, you should know the
differences between the following:
--> synchronous and asynchronous communication
--> = and <= assignments
--> sequential and combinational programming
--> implementations of functionality. For example, could you
replace a case statement with if else statements?
-> Print out a state diagram for your finite-state machine (FSM).
-> Be able to show how you implement your FSM in Verilog.
-> Show how your clocking works. What is the relationship of
the 4 MHz clock and MIDI's clock?
-> Be able to describe all parts and wires on your board and
their functionality. For instance, be able to explain
what macrocells are.
-> Show several note signals from MIDI-OX and
explain the meaning of the various MIDI fields.
-> Rehearse for the demo! TAs will be available during work hours.
-> Set up a GoLogic logic analyzer to show your circuit processing
a real waveform.
-> Arrive early to begin your demo on time. You should start your
demo at the time for which you sign up.
-> Be able to explain what would happen if a random wire were
removed or grounded during the demo.
-> Be prepared to answer questions like these:
--> Could you have used fewer states? Would that be better?
Why or why not?
--> How would you implement more reliable code with a higher
--> If you needed to modify the code so that it sends the
velocity byte of a MIDI signal to another LED bar, how
easy would that be to code?
-> (Extra credit) Be able to modify your Verilog and recompile
during the demo based on suggested changes.
If this is a duplicate email, I apologize. Some students did not receive
the original message.
Good luck with your projects.
To the ECE 353 students,
For your information, I am changing my weekend hours to 10:30 a.m. to
2:30 p.m. on Saturdays, beginning this weekend. I am doing this in
anticipation of the GREs on Saturday, October 25, which will last the entire
day. Please plan accordingly. I will maintain this weekend schedule for the
rest of the semester.
Note that there are no more lectures
in 353 until Sept 30 when we re-convene
in ELAB 306 for Lab 1.
So you are on your own to plan your time
with your partner to prepare for the demos on Sept 23-25.
Follow the web-site schedule and watch
your email for details on the demo and
Go to lab and meet with the TAs and Profs. during their respective hours
or send us email.
This is the first message using the ECE 353 email list.
The student email addresses are from SPIRE. The TAs, Technician and Profs are all cc'ed so
you have their email addresses in your address book.
See you tomorrow Tuesday 9/9 in lecture in ELAB 306
where TA Michael Haines will be giving a demo on design
tips for Lab 0. Aftera short Lecture, at 2pm, we
will all walk over to the Lock Shop where your
Student ID cards will be encoded to get 24/7 access into
the 353 Lab in Duda Hall.
If you miss this, you can contact Dave at the Lock Shop at
545-6425 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment
to get their card encoded.
TA and Prof Lab hours will also start tomorrow right after lecture.
In the mean time, get started on Pre-lab 0.
Lab 0 demos will be the week of Sept 22 with reports due
the following week.