All posts by B. Soules

Academic credit for tech explorations

chuck-malloch6 Feb 2016

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. 

Cheers, Baird

Baird Soules

…………………..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 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.

       Chuck Malloch

Charles B. Malloch, PhD

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

M5, 5 Marcus Building

University of Massachusetts / Amherst

M5 now serving the entire UMass Amherst ECE community

Big news! M5 is now serving as a project space for the entire UMass Amherst ECE community: undergraduate students, graduate students, staff and faculty! That’s a lot of tech potential!

M5 belongs to the ECE community. This innovative project space exists to enable community members to explore engineering, computing, mathematics and science in modes of their own choosing.

If you haven’t been to M5 lately, please stop by! M5 is generally open on weekdays from 10 am – 5 pm during the fall and spring semesters. M5 is closed on holidays… so our first day of fall 2012 will be Tuesday, 4 September 2012.

All interested ECE people are invited to participate in the semester’s first M5 biweekly community meeting on Monday, 10 September 2012 from 6 pm until the cows come home. Bring your best ideas!

T. B. Soules
Director, M5
Marcus Hall, Room 5J (within M5)

Audio invitation by Chris Montoya

Check out Chris Montoya’s audio invitation [mp3] to all you folks wondering how designers decide which capacitor is best:


M5 TALK on Friday, 2 March 2012 at 3:30 PM

Chris Montoya, EE ’06
“Capacitors! Real vs. Ideal”
time: Friday, 2 March 2012 at 3:30 PM
speaker: Chris Montoya, Principal RF Engineer at Test Evolution (TEV,
location: Euler’s Good Room in M5, UMass Amherst, Marcus Hall, Room 5 (Lower Level)
tickets: FREE at eventbrite. DOOR PRIZES FOR REGISTERING!
Please join us for refreshments after the talk.
Have you ever wondered how real capacitors differ from their ideal cousins? Have you ever wondered how to choose between electrolytic, tantalum, thin film and ceramic capacitors? Why does Digi-Key carry over 65,000 capacitors? Alumnus Chris Montoya will shed some much-needed light in this mysterious corner of the circuit design world.
Mr. Chris Montoya graduated from UMass Amherst in 2006 with the BSEE. For his Senior Design Project Chris and his teammates, designed and built a 3D computer mouse called The Bat. It used ultrasound sensors to resolve the mouse position. His first engineering position was with Kollmorgen in Northampton, Mass. He is currently the Principal RF Engineer at a small start-up called Test Evolution (TEV, in Hopkington, Mass. His most ambitious design to date is the AXRF automated test system, a low-cost general-purpose RF semiconductor tester.


Free Workshop on Team Chartering


Richard Della Rovere to lead workshop on Team Chartering

Sunday – 20 Nov 2011 – 1PM to 5PM   UMass Amherst, Gunness Engineering Student Center, Marcus Hall

Please email mengting at student dot umass dot edu to sign up. Enrollment will be limited. Food and drink will be provided.

The Engineering Futures program of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, is coming to UMass Amherst this Sunday! The Engineering Futures (EF) program is an award-winning program designed to help you gain crucial skills to help you achieve your career goals.

Mr. Richard Della Rovere, a Tau Beta Pi alumnus and volunteer, will come up from New Jersey to present this workshop on Sunday. Mr. Rovere is a graduate of the Ohio State University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). His MS at NJIT is in Engineering Management. He is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

The topic of this EF will be Team Chartering. This material will help you be productive on teams and will help you explain your project work on your job interviews.

This particular EF will be held at UMass Amherst’s College of Engineering on Sunday, 20 Nov 2011, 1 PM to 5 PM in the Gunness Engineering Student Center, Marcus Hall – on the north side of campus. Free parking nearby in lot 65. There is no fee but registration is required. Simply send your contact info to mengting at student dot umass dot edu in order to register.

Please pass this invitation on to your friends. This event has been organized by Mengting Nan, EE ’12, an officer in the UMass Amherst chapter of Tau Beta Pi.