ASU Fall Semester 2017 Week 1

First full week is well underway. Been working hard this week trying to keep up.

EEE230 – Computer Organization and Assembly Language focused this week on Operators and Operands, in particular:

  • Introduction to MIPS
  • Using MARS
  • Using Registers
  • Using Constants
  • Using Memory
  • Syscalls

The lectures have been interesting and each lecture has a nice set of review activities to practice. Monday a weekly quiz and weekly homework assignment are due. I have a bit of work to do yet this weekend to get the homework wrapped up.

EEE241 Fundamentals of Electromagnetics is continuing work on Vector Calculus. Some challenging stuff, but I’ve been going through some of the book problems and hopefully with a bit more practice, I can make it through.

EEE334 Circuits II is focusing on op-amps and the homework is a bit tougher than I anticipated. I don’t think I’m alone after chatting online with a few other students, but the TAs have been really helpful this week. Definitely a lot of work and tough problems right now. Monday we have our first homework assignment due.

EEE350 Random Signal Analysis has been interesting with a review of Set Theory and Probability. I haven’t been as focused on this course yet as I should be, but hopefully I can get EEE334 and EEE230 under control this weekend and do a better job next week.

Not too much else to report this week, just busy and next week hope to have some more exciting news to report.



ASU Fall Semester 2017 Week 0.5

Year 3 kicked off officially on 8/17 for me. Two out of three classes came online Monday, with one online Tuesday. My fourth class is online, but the due dates are all off and conflicting professors are reported so not sure what is going on there. This semester I’ve got a mix of session A and session C courses. Session A runs for 7.5 weeks and I’ve got EEE 230 – Computer Organization and Assembly Language. Session C is a full 15 weeks so at about the midpoint of the semester, I’ll just have three courses to focus on. Hopefully this will be the only semester where I have a mix of 7.5 and 15 week courses. My session C courses are EEE 241 – Fundamentals of Electromagnetics, EEE 334 – Circuits II and EEE 350 – Random Signal Analysis.

EEE 230 – Computer Organization & Assembly Language starts off with only two topics this short week covering some background information and decimal, hexadecimal, and binary conversions. No labs, but a quiz due Monday. Looks like we get multiple attempts for the quizzes and highest score is counted. In addition to weekly quizzes there will be labs/homework assignments and a final exam. Hopefully won’t be too bad. I took a course similar to this at UCR so hopefully it will come back to me.

EEE 241 – Fundamentals of Electromagnetics is supposed to be wickedly challenging. Numerous EE’s I’ve spoken with have told me its the toughest course. Advice from a friend was to start praying. This first week we’ve been looking at a review of vector calculus and Cartesian, cylindrical and spherical coordinate systems. A lot of review from MAT267 which is welcomed. I fear I’ve forgotten too much, but hopefully after running through the homework assignments it will all come back to me. There will be weekly homework assignments, 2 midterms and a final exam.

EEE 334 – Circuits II is hard to say too much about since the blackboard site has a few missing details, but looks like six long labs, homework, quizzes, probably a midterm or two and a final, but not 100% sure. Hopefully by end of day Friday everything will be updated, but definitely most unusual for a course to be late and no communications from the professor at the time of this post. The topics for the first two weeks though are all on op-amps which look really neat. I’ve never messed with them so really looking forward to learning more about them.

EEE 350 – Random Signal Analysis starts off with discussions on Set Theory and Probability which I’ve seen a bit of, but its been a long time. I’m not sure what to make of this course yet, but curious to learn more. Looks like 7 homework assignments, 2 midterms and a final exam.

From what I can tell of the session C courses, they are a 7.5 week course stretch out so topics seem to be discussed for around 2 weeks instead of the usual 1 week. I really hope this is a bit more manageable and allows me more time to really work with a topic. Sometimes I have to go through things a couple of times, reflect on it and come back before it clicks and I’ve felt so rush lately. Keeping my fingers crossed I can make it through!

Lastly, I’m also an undergrad teaching assistant for EEE 202 Circuits I session A and session B this semester. I had EEE 202 last spring and really liked the course, but definitely felt I could have used a bit more time and practice so hopefully by helping others, I’ll get a bit more confidence and be much better at analyzing circuits.

Arduino MP3 Project for Local Sacramento Artist

Local Sacramento artist Jim Piskotti reached out to me a few months back looking to add sound to his Storm kinematic painting. Mr. Piskotti had an MP3 file put together by Mark Hanzlik that include wind and rain, lightning and thunder. I had used Arduino Microcontrollers in the past and found had an MP3 shield and mono amplifier parts that neatly met Mr. Piskotti’s requirements. I was able to put together the parts with help from Sparkfun’s website guides, libraries and datasheets. The MP3 file was copied over to a microSD card and loaded into the MP3 shield. After a few hours of tinkering the Arduino MP3 player was looping through the file. Mr. Piskotti has a show coming up in Roseville in a few weeks and looking forward to seeing and hearing the completed work!

Below are a few shots of the Arduino MP3 Player solution, Sparkfun MP3 shield and Mono Amplifier solution put together for Mr. Piskotti. (Thanks to Mr. Hanzlik for sending over the photo of Jim and I!)