2004 Schillig Special Teaching Grant Awarded

Dr. J. W. Bruce

Convergence, the seamless combination of computing, data communications, and consumer electronics, is rapidly becoming a reality. The computing systems that make convergence possible are changing the way people live, work, and play.... and Mississippi State University engineers will be prepared.

J.W. Bruce, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been awarded a grant from the Schillig Special Teaching Projects Program to develop a new laboratory course on the hardware and software issues in convergence electronics. Dr. Bruce's proposal, "Development of an Internet Embedded Systems Laboratory" was one of fifteen grants awarded across the University, and the only one awarded to Bagley College of Engineering faculty.

The Schillig Special Teaching Projects grant is providing $3,000 to purchase software and hardware that will make the Internet embedded systems course possible. The new three credit hour course, being offered in the Fall 2004 semester, will be two hours lecture and three hours of laboratory each week. The new course will be just one of a handful of its type being offered in the nation. "Mississippi State is taking a national leadership role in preparing the next generation of computer engineers," Bruce said.

Students, working in teams of 3-4, will design and build a functional Internet appliance. The team-based design emulates conditions found in contemporary engineering practice and develops the student's teaming and communication skills. "Students will be expected to design their Internet appliances to be cost-effective to manufacture and operate, just like engineers working in industry," Bruce said. "The experience this course will provide will be invaluable in their future careers as design engineers."

The Ottilie Schillig Special Teaching Projects program provides financial support to encourage new ideas for improving undergraduate teaching. Through this program, teaching activities and/or materials for which usual financial resources do not exist or cannot be used can receive financial support. Proposed projects create opportunities that otherwise would not exist and also address continuing benefits.