This project involves building a cumulative, integrated set of four classes to train engineering students at the junior and senior level to work in the field of high-speed systems engineering. Contemporary engineering practitioners require an integrated understanding of high-speed system engineering that may surpass the traditional focus developed in undergraduate curricula. Typical engineering students focus on well-established subjects such as power, VLSI, materials, electronic devices, opto-electronics, networking, communication, embedded systems and programming. This project proposes that a set of courses (presented in a track called High-Speed System Engineering) be offered as a part of engineering students' curriculum to train them in essentials needed in the workforce. The curriculum track offers undergraduate students an opportunity to understand the issues of networking and high-speed interconnections by exposing them to design and practical issues and by infusing the results of research into their classes. Research transfer is done using case studies that both shed light on basic principles and also provide students with exciting applications to learn from. This project builds on the successes of two related activities at this institution: a high-speed electronics and VLSI laboratory (Carver Lab) and the dependable computing and networking laboratory (DCNL). The classes developed for this project teach the fundamentals and relationships between the related topics, and also integrate research findings to motivate students' understanding of the fundamentals and emphasize the importance of the subject. In addition, students are trained in measurement techniques and are required to conduct typical measurements themselves. The program has a strong laboratory component to enhance students' understanding of current measurement technology. The courses in the High Speed System Engineering track include: 1) Fundamentals of Measurements and Instrumentation: Electronics, digital, RF, microwave, and optical measurement and instrumentation laboratory covering the basics of measurement, the known measurement methodologies for digital and analog systems, and the details of the requirements needed to measure in the microwave to the optical domain, 2) Advanced Robust: Issues, techniques and tools used in design of future systems in the terahertz range and beyond and current and future system considerations relying on robustness, fault tolerance, and secure systems. 3) High-speed Hybrid Systems: Optical/electronics hybrid-interconnect systems including compatibility problems associated with optical and electronic based systems and EM compatibility and immunity. 4) High-speed System Characterization: Concepts applied in high-speed system integration and measurement. The design and characterization criteria for high-speed systems are different from those of DC and low frequencies systems. The goal of this class is to get students familiar with high-speed issues. This project has the potential to serve as a national prototype for curricula in the area of high-speed system engineering at the undergraduate level.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Computer and Network Systems (CNS)
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Anita J. LaSalle
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Iowa State University
United States
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