The course consists of the following elements:
We will try to ensure that the workload is typical for a four-credit course, namely, nine to twelve hours per week outside of the lectures. If we do not succeed, please let us know in whichever way you feel the most comfortable (person-to-person, e-mail, feedback form) and explain which parts of the course are causing you to spend too much time non-productively.
We have structured the course so that spending an hour or two per day will maximize your efficiency. You will work this way in the real worldyou cannot cram a three-month design assignment into the last nightso you may as well work this way now. Plus, you will understand the material better. If you leave the homework for the day before it is due, then you will not have time to study for the quizzes, and you will not have time to ask questions when (not if) the software misbehaves.
Software tools frequently consume more time then they should. We have designed the assignments to get you up to speed gradually (over the period of a few weeks), but undoubtedly there will be some start-up cost (as with any new tool). Essentially, you are learning a new language, a compiler, and getting familiar with a process. Every tool imposes a certain model. Your frustration can be high until you assimilate that model and learn to use it effectively. Be sure to use the tutorials, and do not spend countless hours making no progress. Ask for help. Remember that these tools are written by engineers for engineers and will not necessarily conform to expectations you may have of consumer-oriented tools such as Word.
Your assignments must be neat and legible. We will not spend time trying to decipher messy work. We urge you to use the graphical and word processing tools that are readily available to you in all the labs in the department. Please make good use of the schematic diagram editor in the tools you'll be using to make neat circuit diagrams to include in your assignments.
We will post solutions for the assignments and quizzes in a timely fashion. Please find the time to review these before the quizzes and the final exam.
We will compute your course grade as follows:
The weekly assignments are due at the beginning of class on the assigned due date (we'll try to keep the due data on a Friday so as not to ruin your weekend). Assignments handed in during or immediately after class will incur a 10% penalty. We will not accept assignments after we have left the classroom.
Assignment problems will sometimes be graded on a random basis. To get full credit for an assignment, you must, of course, turn-in solutions for each assigned problem. Only a subset of the problems will actually be graded in detail. You will not know in advance which problems this will be - so make sure to do all of them.
Please review the assignment solutions carefully before questioning a grade with either the instructor or the teaching assistants.
There will be no makeup for missed quizzes. If you miss a quiz, you will receive a score of zero so please plan your schedule carefully. We do not have the resources to be able to give make-up quizzes. Please review the quiz solutions carefully before questioning a grade with either the instructor or the teaching assistants.