M5 is hosting discussions during the Spring 2016 term addressing mbed-enabled ARM-based microcontrollers. On Wednesday afternoons at 2:30 we will be working with STM Nucleo microcontrollers and will address hardware and software issues. More details and a reading list are posted at http://umassamherstm5.org/spring-2016-mbed-discussions. For more information, visit the link or contact Chuck Malloch (CBMalloch / engin.umass.edu)
Dear ECE students:
Here is yet another fantastic opportunity for you to expand your tech knowledge (and land those amazing internships and jobs): Chuck Malloch, ECE-lecturer-extraordinaire, is offering you, the lucky ECE student, the opportunity to get support and academic credit for extra tech work/play: ECE 297DP, 1 credit, pass/fail. Obviously. add/drop is over but Chuck can late-add you if you act FAST… by FAST I mean you must meet him at M5 today, Saturday, 6 Feb 2016 (2:30-4:30)… or, at the very latest, on Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016 (2:30-4:30).
>>>>>> You will find Chuck’s announcement below. Please read it carefully as it explains the difference between his Wednesday and Saturday sections.
…………………..Begin forwarded message: ……………………
From: Charles B. Malloch, PhD
CBMalloch at umass dot edu
2016 Spring Term — M5 According to Chuck
I (Chuck Malloch) will be available at M5 on Wednesdays and Saturdays this term. My core hours will be 2:30-4:30, but I will usually be here by 1 on Wednesdays and by 2 on Saturdays.
The ECE297DP course is offered as always for individuals with interest in completing independent projects. In addition, I will be hosting a workshop series on Wednesdays, exploring the ARM mbed initiative.
What is the ARM mbed initiative, you ask?
Look at www.mbed.com for the official details. The short version is that these folks have identified a bunch of microcontroller boards that can be used in the development and deployment of embedded systems. Think automotive, industrial, instrumentation, and medical systems, for example. Also Internet of Things. The mbed idea is to provide a simple path to programming all these different systems with portable tools and code.
What will we be doing with mbed?
The Wednesday time slot will be primarily a workshop series for the mbeds. We’ll start by looking at the STI nucleo 32-bit boards and programming them using the on-line tools. Next, we’ll set up the freeware Eclipse development environment on our PCs and using that to work with the Nucleos, making up various tasks as homework exercises. While I will be emphasizing high-level programming techniques, we will most likely address many hardware-level concerns as well.
So how will ECE297DP be run this term?
As I indicated above, the Wednesday section will be workshop. Students in this section will be expected to attend that session each week, and do homework assignments in between. Nucleo development boards will be made available to the students enrolled in this section.
The Saturday section will be devoted to students with independent projects, as usual. Students will be expected to attend each weekly session and to make consistent effort on their projects.
All students will be expected to spend at least two hours each week on project work outside of the session meeting time.
Students enrolled in ECE297DP will be required to prepare and deliver a 5-minute lightning talk (exactly 20 slides, exactly 5 minutes, auto-advance) at the mid-term point, present their finished project at Circuits and Code (the Saturday afternoon coinciding with SDP days), and submit a final report describing their project and their adventures in working on it.
See more soon on the M5 web site! C’mon down and join the fun. We’ll be looking at 32-bit mbed microcontrollers, Eclipse, SPI communications, C++, and will be having planned and ad-hoc adventures in all these areas.
Charles B. Malloch, PhD
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
M5, 5 Marcus Building
University of Massachusetts / Amherst
If you are a monster coder, you might be interested in this contest to streamline code used in a project to simulate the human brain. CERN and Intel are putting on the competition; whoever submits the fastest equivalent code will win either a visit or an internship at CERN. It’s not directly ECE, but I know some denizens of M5 who are mighty good codeslingers. http://hackaday.com/2015/09/23/win-an-internship-at-cern-openlab/
M5 is hosting discussions during the Fall 2015 term addressing several aspects of the Internet of Things. On Tuesday afternoons at 2:30, we will be discussing wireless communications in the context of smart sensors. On Wednesday afternoons at 2:30 we will be discussing issues of battery operation for wireless operation of smart sensors. More details and a reading list are posted at http://umassamherstm5.org/fall-2015-iot-battery-operated-wireless-smart-sensors-discussions. For more information, visit the link or contact Chuck Malloch (CBMalloch / engin.umass.edu)
Circuits and Code is coming! The end-of-term exposition of M5, its students, projects, and other amazing technological whizbangery is scheduled for Saturday, April 25, starting at 10AM at M5. There will be posters a presentation, and some delicious snacks. Please sign up using EventBrite (<link pending>) so we know how many people are coming!
If you have spent time at M5 this term, and would like to present your work, please use this template. Complete the template and get it to me by Wednesday for approval before I give it to Professor Soules at 3:00.
The 1:30 PM presentation by Chuck Malloch will feature Ultra Violet, the teleoperated robot M5 has made in collaboration with the Theater Department, and the differences between a project made for one’s own use and one made for delivery to another party.
See you there! Again, please sign up using EventBrite (<link pending>) so we know how many people are coming!
— Chuck Malloch
Late post, but we have some projects here that are worth sharing.
First up, Jake Spinney’s [CSE ’16] 3D Printed Wifi-Booster holder for his laptop. He whipped up the design in Autodesk Inventor in a couple minutes, and hit print.
Next is Shamit Som [M.S. ECE ’15] with another 3D printed holder. This box is to hold his self-designed voltage regulator for USB charging in his car. After designing the printed circuit board, getting it manufactured, and soldering the components, he now has a regulator that performs better than most commercial USB chargers on the market. Ask him about unstable GND!
Lastly we have Alex Maerko’s [EE ’15] recreation of an arduino driven 3x3x3 LED Cube. He pulled up the instructables and put it together in a couple days: http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-LED-Cube-3x3x3/
Check it out
Processor-Level Fault Tolerance Techniques in Current Processors and Servers
Prof. Israel Koren was our guest speaker at the fifth M5 Talk of the spring semester:
Prof. Koren is a highly regarded expert in the areas of Fault-Tolerant Computing and Computer Arithmetic. Come to M5 and meet Prof. Koren and learn about how some computers are able to continue operating even after one or more failures occur. Prof. Koren’s bio is included below.
Thursday, 5 March 2015, 2:30 – 3:30 PM, M5
Students came and enjoyed some light refreshments and a great talk.
Dr. Israel Koren is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a fellow of the IEEE and a Master of the DeTao Masters Academy, China.
Dr. Koren has been a consultant to companies like IBM, Analog Devices, Intel, AMD and National Semiconductors. His research interests include Fault-Tolerant systems, secure cryptographic devices, VLSI yield and reliability, Computer architecture and computer arithmetic. He publishes extensively and has over 250 publications in refereed journals and conferences. He is the author of the textbook “Computer Arithmetic Algorithms,” 2nd Edition, A.K. Peters, Ltd., 2002, and a co-author of the textbook “Fault Tolerant Systems,” Morgan-Kaufman, 2007.
Dr. Koren received the B.Sc., M.Sc. and D.Sc. degrees from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, in 1967, 1970, and 1975, respectively, all in Electrical Engineering. He is currently a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is a visiting Professor at the Instituto De Informatica, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil. Previously he held positions with the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Southern California, Los Angeles and the University of California, Santa Barbara.
3D Printers, micromouse robotics, and robotic arms. Today was a great day for making.
Aaron Lucia [CSE ’17] is the first to 3D print an enclosure and gears for his team’s maze-solving MicroMouse robot. Here is a video of last year’s all-freshman team taking 1st place at the MicroMouse competition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dE4V7iMUHj8
Onlookers Walter Brown [CSE/CS ’16] (right) and Jake Spinney [CSE ’16] (left) watch the printer at work as it prints the base and walls of Aaron’s (middle) enclosure.
Walter then got to work on re-resurrecting a 1980s robotic arm, after its first (known) resurrection at last years HackUMass 14: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alwlA4jO5rs&index=6&list=PL-ncmR8qLthwr2-8EsWj_Bdy3G8i2j–G
Earlier in the week, Walter and Minh Tran [CSE ’16] started reviving the arm (MiniMover) to give M5 some electronic life. It is now up and running, just in time to give a show for the early-acceptance tours coming through.
Be sure to stop by next week!