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ENGE 1104: Policy and Syllabus

Course Title: Exploration of the Digital Future

Course Description: Discovery-based, hands-on projects that address real-world, contemporary,
Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Computer Science problems and demonstrate how
their solutions benefit society. Students discover the important, underlying concepts and principles by
designing and evaluating solutions to the problems. Specific projects vary each semester as ECE and
CS faculty develop and present them.
Class Details: Credits: 2; Prerequisites: ENGE 1024
Lectures: M 4:00 4:50; Location: 2150 Torgersen Hall
o Lab 1: Tuesday, 10:00 11:50 PM, 212 Randolph Hall, CRN 12558
o Lab 2: Tuesday, 12:00 1:50 PM, 212 Randolph Hall, CRN 17613
o Lab 3: Wednesday, 8:00 9:50 AM, 209 Randolph Hall, CRN 12552
o Lab 4: Wednesday, 10:00 11:50 AM, 209 Randolph Hall, CRN 12553
o Lab 5: Wednesday, 12:00 1:50 PM, 209 Randolph Hall, CRN 12556
o Lab 6: Wednesday, 1:00 2:50 PM, 316 Randolph Hall, CRN 12550
o Lab 7: Thursday, 8:00 9:50 AM, 209 Randolph Hall, CRN 12551
o Lab 8: Thursday, 10:00 11:50 AM, 209 Randolph Hall, CRN 12554
o Lab 9: Thursday, 10:00 11:50 AM, 212 Randolph Hall, CRN 12557
o Lab 10: Friday, 8:00 9:50 AM, 212 Randolph Hall, CRN 12555
Course Director:
Prof. Tom Walker; 660 McBryde Hall; 231-9539;
Lab Instructors and TAs:
Lab 1: Inst.: Debbie Pollio (, TA: Brittany McNair
Lab 2: Inst.: Dr. Jen Lo (, TA: TBA
Lab 3: Inst.: Ken Stanton (, TA: Brittany McNair
Lab 4: Inst.: Christine Mac Lachlan (, TA: Umang Parekh
Lab 5: Inst.: Dr. Jen Lo (, TA: Hedieh Alavi
Lab 6: Inst.: Maheshwar Chandrasekar, (, TA: Umang Parekh
Lab 7: Inst.: Ken Stanton (, TA: David Meyer
Lab 8: Inst.: Christine Mac Lachlan (, TA: David Meyer
Lab 9: Inst.: Maheshwar Chandrasekar, (, TA: Hedieh Alavi
Lab 10: Inst: Dr. Ni Hu, (, TA, TBA
Office Hours:
Prof. Walker: TBA; Location: 660C McBryde Hall.
Debbie Pollio: TBA; Location: 614 McBryde Hall.
Dr. Jen Lo: TBA, Location: 618 McBryde Hall.
Ken Stanton: TBA, Location: TBA McBryde Hall
Christine Mac Lachlan:, TBA, Location: TBA McBryde Hall

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Maheshwar Chandrasekar: TBA, Location: TBA

Dr. Ni Hu: TBA, Location: TBA

NOTE: Please email us if you need to arrange a meeting time outside of office hours.
Computer and Software Requirements:
All ENGE 1104 students are required to have and bring to class an operating Tablet PC
computer meeting the VT College of Engineering requirements with the appropriate
software from the required Engineering Software Bundle.
Required Textbooks:
WWW Page: Enter your PID and password at the prompt; the 1104 Blackboard
Main web page and your lab sections web page will appear only if you are enrolled. It is your
responsibility to consult these Blackboard sites frequently, at least daily during the regular school
week. There is an additional Main Blackboard site for the course. Use the Main site for:
announcements, course information (syllabus, schedule) and course documents (lecture slides, lab
material, project report guidelines, presentation guidelines, schedule and other information as
appropriate). Use your lab section site for: checking your scores, completing the lab assessments, and
submitting required assignments.
Course Topics (not necessarily in order of presentation and others may be added):
Introduction to programming in Matlab
Signal Processing
Computer Bio-system Modeling
Electrical Power and Power Distribution
Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and Sensors
Autonomous Vehicle Systems
Learning Objectives: Having successfully completed this course, the student will be able to:
Describe several contemporary problemsand the impact of their solutions on societyin
various technical areas of ECE and CS;
Compare the problems solutions in terms of their: underlying principles (key concepts),
strategies, and trade-offs;
Design software programs that make effective use of data structures, modular programming
techniques, and information hiding;
Write an effective engineering report using a standard format (problem statement, methods,
results, and conclusions) and prepare and present a professional presentation; and,
Collaborate with her/his colleagues on an engineering team focused on defining, solving,
and reporting on a contemporary, real-world, technical problem.
Grading Plan:
In-class lab readiness assessments and other individual assignments
Individual grade (readiness tests available only for students attending class)
Project results assessment and other team assignments not separately addressed
Team grade all members receive same grade on these items


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Project written report

Team grade with individual grade impacted by individual students draft grade
Project presentation
Team grade all members receive same grade on this item
Design Presentation
Team grade all members receive same grade on this item
Team Participation
Individual grade calculated using team input
Instructor Evaluation of Team and Class Participation
Individual grade calculated from instructors observations over the semester
Final Exam
Final exam on 12 May, 1:05 3:05, Location to be announced


Lab Readiness Assessments: Lab readiness assessments will be conducted at random at the
beginning of the lab period. Students must be physically present in class to take them and they are to
be an assessment of individual effort and are covered by the policies of the VT Honor Code. The
lowest lab readiness assessment grade will not count toward the students overall grade. This 1
dropped assessment score is designed to account for the occasional illness, travel, or other exceptional
circumstance and no other assessment score will be dropped and no make-ups will be administered.
Students who complete the required lab reading and preparatory work will find the assessments
Final Exam: The final exam will be on Tuesday, 12 May, 1:05 3:05 PM in a location to be
announced; it will be comprehensive and multiple choice in format covering the material from the
large class meetings. The test questions will come directly from a question pool of questions submitted
by the students and instructors throughout the semester and available to all the students throughout the
semester as it is being built. Proper submission of these questions will be graded as one of the results
Lab Projects: Each lab project is designed to be accomplished by an assigned team of students. After
completion of the project the lab instructor will confirm completion and a post-project assessment will
be administered to the team. Along with other team assignments not separately addressed, this will
comprise 21% of the students grade and all members of the team physically present in the lab will get
the same score, members with an unexcused absence will not receive that credit.
Additionally, during the semester, each team will make a short oral project presentation to their lab
section. The particular project presentation assignments will be made simply by drawing numbers
during the second week of class. The oral presentation is worth 5% of the final grade and all team
members will receive the same grade. One specific project will be chosen for which all teams will
submit a written. Each team member will submit their own individual draft report. The following
week, the entire team will submit the final report based on the draft input from all the members. This
written report will also be worth 5% of the course grade and all team members will receive the same
grade with the exception that an individual team members grade may be negatively impacted by
submission of a particularly weak draft report or non-submission of the draft report (in which case the
individual student will not receive any credit for the written report). Expectations for the project report
and an initial example report will be discussed in class.
Design Presentation: Rapid innovation is a central aspect of successful technology companies.
Several highly successful technology companies encourage their employees to set aside a significant
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part of their work week to look for innovative ideas and new ways of applying current or
approaching technologies. This component of ENGE 1104 is meant to encourage that kind of forwardlooking practice.
Each team will select their own particular ECE/CS technology topic of interest to research throughout
the semester. The team will submit their topic for approval no later than their assigned lab period the
week of February 15th. The required format and information will be provided along with an example.
During the week of April 12th, all teams will make oral presentations of their technology topic of
interest to their lab sections and submit their written reports. After the presentation, each lab section
will select the team and topic they want to represent their section in the large presentation meeting.
During the last three large presentation meetings, the chosen team from each section will present to the
entire class. The design presentation and report is worth 10% of the course grade and all members of
the team will receive the same grade.
Grading Concerns: If you have a concern regarding how a project report or exam problem was
graded, please write it down (be specific), attach it to the graded item and submit it to Professor
Walker. All written concerns must be submitted within one week of the graded item's return during
class. You will receive a response within one week of submitting your concern.
Honor System: All aspects of your coursework are covered by the Honor Code. It is your
responsibility to familiarize yourself with the Honor Code; the web address is: for undergraduate students.
Classroom Computer Use: Students will be required to use their computers during class and special
application software may, at times, be used to network the entire classroom where computer screens
are shared among the attendees. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that offensive or
otherwise inappropriate material is not presented on their computer screens during class so that other
students in the class are not distracted or offended. Students who violate these simple standards of
community will be summarily dismissed from class and appropriate disciplinary action will be
initiated. This is a zero-tolerance policy.
Of Special Concern: Any student with special needs or circumstances is encouraged and welcome to
talk with Professor Walker. If you need adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you
have emergency medical information to share, or if you need special arrangements in case the building
must be evacuated, please talk with Professor Walker as soon as possible (in office hours or make an
appointmentsee contact information above). In particular, students requiring special
accommodations for testing must provide Professor Walker with the appropriate forms no later than 2
February, 2009. Students needing to miss a class for religious reasons also need to notify Professor
Walker by email detailing the event and the date no later than 2 February.
Advice: It is easier to keep up than catch up. It is never wise to borrow from integrity to pay
Welcome to ENGE 1104 and have fun!

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