2012 BFY Abstract Detail Page
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||W04 - Real-world projects for digital & analog electronics courses
||With the limited exposure most physics undergraduates get to circuitry, the pieces can often seem disconnected with little tie to real-world applications. To overcome this problem, it is important to expose these students to projects that bring together many of the concepts from the semester. In this workshop, we will explore two examples of application-based semester projects I use in my courses. These include a real-time clock programmed in VHDL on an FPGA educational board for digital circuits, and an AM radio built from discrete components for analog circuits.
Rather than giving the students explicit instructions on the designs, each is asked to build their designs from pieces they have learned throughout the semester. To avoid students just taking a design from the web that they don't understand, when they demonstrate their working designs, they must be able to explain what each section does. Upon completing such projects, the students not only feel a sense of accomplishment, but truly appreciate the importance and connection of many topics learned.