ASU Summer Semester 2018 Week 1

This week the lectures dove deeper into the Quantum Theory of Solids.

Lectures covered:

  • The Atomic Wave Equation
  • Quantum Theory of Solids
  • The Kronig-Penney Model
  • Electrical Conduction in Solids
  • The Concept of Holes
  • 3D Analysis and Density of States

I’ve started to review the end of chapter problems to prepare for the midterm per the suggestion of the professor. Hopefully working through those will prepare me well enough for the first exam. Not much information was provided short of if you can work the end of chapter problems you should be fine for the exam.

The lectures are following the book so far and the example problems are straight out of the text book. Not much else to say at this hour. Back to working problems…


ASU Summer Semester 2018 Week 0.5

I thought I had more time on break! Sunday morning after preparing a nice mother’s day brunch for my wife (that the kids sort of helped on) I checked my email and noticed that EEE 352 – Properties of Semiconductors was online. EEE 352 will be my third of four pathway courses. I thought I had a least another day or two of break since the summer semester didn’t official start until 5/16… but nope. There it was. I didn’t do too much short of glance over the syllabus and due dates on Sunday.

I didn’t get much done that I thought I was going to, but the week I had off was nice and I feel a little bit more recharged.

It was back to work on Monday. So far the class has been pretty interesting looking at how semiconductor are made, crystal structures and some quantum mechanics principles. There are going to be seven homework assignments due each week (starting next week), two midterms and a final exam. The exams are closed book and notes, but we’re allowed a one page sheet of formulas.

I made it through the 1st week lectures and knocked out the 1st homework assignment already but haven’t submitted it yet. The lecture videos are all done by the same professor who did the EEE 241 Fundamentals of Electromagnetics lectures which weren’t too bad.

Since I’ve only got EEE 352 this semester I’ve been able to keep up on the reading and have been working the example and various problems scattered about the text book. Hopefully that will put me in good shape for the exams.

EEE 352 doesn’t have a lab component which is nice although after seeing some of the videos I wish I were much closer to the ASU campus to check out some the labs! I’m hoping in the fall to take a trip to Tempe and take advantage of the various career fairs and hopefully will be able to coordinate a visit to see some of the labs then.

ASU Spring Semester 2018 Complete

Grades have posted for my three Spring 2018 classes. Two As and a B+. Not sure what happened in EEE 335 Analog and Digital Circuits. The professor hasn’t released the final grades yet, but I didn’t feel great about the final exam and there were a couple of questions I’m pretty sure I messed up on. By my math I had an A- going in. Hopefully the final exams will show up and I can go back and see what happened.

EEE 350 Random Signal Analysis was really a surprise. We didn’t receive much guidance on the final short of it was cumulative, review the lectures and homework. No sample exam was provided so I didn’t really know what to expect. I took some guesses on a couple of questions that were multiple choice and true false so guess I got lucky there.

EEE 333 Hardware Design Language and Program Logic, I made a couple of silly mistakes on the final, but still walked away with a pretty high score in part thanks to a some pretty generous extra credit. Despite the incredible amount of time that course required I feel pretty confident about Verilog and System Verilog and wish ASU had a couple more courses on Hardware Programming Languages.

Next up for me is EEE 352 – Properties of Semiconductors. That course officially starts up May 16th so I have a couple more days to relax and recharge before an 8 week sprint through my third pathway course. At this point, I am down to 9 classes to go in order to graduate!

ASU Spring Semester 2018 Week 15

Fifteen weeks have come and gone and the last lectures have been watch, final homework assignments and labs have been turned in. All that remains is three final exams for me. Monday I’ll be taking EEE350, Tuesday EEE335 and Thursday night will take EEE 333.

There wasn’t a great deal of new material added this past week which was nice.

In EEE 333 two lectures covered TCL and Compiler Directives. I had turned in Lab 5 last week and got 100% on it so that was awesome. One final homework assignment which was a nice pretest review for the final. There weren’t a lot of surprises on it so if the final is anything like the pretest hopefully EEE 333 will go well.

In EEE 335 this week there were a few lectures on the frequency response of differential amplifiers, but no new homework assignments. The professor posted an extra credit survey and a quiz and I successfully completed those so at a minimum should be an extra 20 points to help make up for a couple of the points I lost on midterm 2. I also wrapped up the final Lab and was able to get that submitted. Still no score yet, but hopefully will be seeing that shortly.

EEE 350 continues to be one odd course. I spent most of my time this past week reading through the chapters and going over past exams and homework. I need a 78% or higher on the final to pull off an A. Hopefully I can do that tomorrow. The professor is saying there will be some True/False and Multiple Choice questions in addition to some problems that we’ll need to work out and supply a numeric answer for. No partial credit, but we’re allowed 2 pages, front and back of notes. Hopefully I’ve got enough on my note sheets to pull a rabbit out of the hat.

I’ll post another update once grades are posted. For now, back to the books!

ASU Spring Semester 2018 Week 14

It feels really good to have my final lab project wrapped up and completed well before it is due for EEE 333. I was able to get it wrapped up Friday and submitted. The lab had us build a Microprocessor using System Verilog. I had a fair bit of trouble with it, but it was self inflicted and one bad line of code. There was also a homework assignment on filtering that hopefully I put together okay. Next week, just a pretest assignment to run through and then the final.

EEE 335 I wrapped up Unit 6 on differential amplifiers and cascade amplifiers, turned in another homework assignment and knocked out a quiz. The professor was kind enough to put together two 10 point extra credit opportunities due this coming Friday so that will help a bit. I was able to get the first half of the lab done and my plan is to wrap up the last half early this week.

EEE 350 had another homework assignment due, so got that wrapped up and turned in. Still not sure about this class, but its almost done. Been going through the past exams and sample exams and hoping I can pull at least a 78% on the exam to be done.

Not too much else to report this week, back to the books.

ASU Spring Semester 2018 Week 13

Home stretch now. This past week in EEE 333 the lectures revolved around Encryption, Random Numbers and Ethernet. Various Verilog applications that were interesting.

I’ve been working on Lab 5 quite a bit which is putting together a Microprocessor and I think I’ve got the basic operation codes working, but need to do some more work with the jump and comparison commands soon. Next week will be focusing on getting the details wrapped up and hopefully can begin testing on my FPGA and the hardware.

In EEE 335, still no sign of the Midterm 2 grades or the solutions for it. Perhaps early next week? It did take the professor a week or so.

I’ve been going the Unit 6 on Multistage and Differential Amplifiers which is really fascinating. I hope that I can keep the details straight. I turned in another set of homework centered around Cascode Amplifiers. Next week will be working on Differential Amplifiers.

In addition to the homework, I spent a lot of time on Friday working on Lab 5. Lab 5 focuses on two types of Differential Amplifiers, an Ideal and a Non Ideal. I have most of the analysis complete on the Ideal and Sunday plan to wrap the CMRR, Rin and Rout plots and calculations.

I got back into the EEE 350 videos and this week’s video covered:

  • Covariance and Correlation Coefficient
  • Multivariate Random Vectors
  • Conditional Expectation of One Random Variable Given Another
  • Central Limit Theorem
  • Weak Law of Large Numbers
  • Central Limit Theorem Applications


ASU Spring Semester 2018 Week 12

Stick a fork in me. I am done this week.

I had my EEE 335 second midterm yesterday and I have a bad feeling about it. I think I botched it. Not sure yet how bad, but scared to go back through my notes and even look back through the test. It will probably be a couple of weeks before I know how bad, but I’m just hoping I can salvage something in the B range for the class but fear that will be a stretch.

I studied for over a week preparing and think I made a bunch of mistakes trying to get through all the questions. 80 minutes went by so fast. I just hope there is some partial credit. Just one of those tests where in the pit of my stomach, just makes me nauseous thinking about it. I just had this feeling as I working the problems that I was doing something wrong. Hopefully the midterm solutions will at least be posted soon and I can know more, but really not feeling good about my performance on it right now.

I’m pretty frustrated about that and trying not to beat myself up over it. I really liked the amplifier topics and just not sure why the test had me stumped so badly. The tests are definitely tough for 335. I just wish I was better at this stuff than I am right now and somehow need to get better.

Working on this stuff all the time alone is so hard as an online student.

EEE 333 continues to eat up a lot of my time. We are starting in on our final lab which is building a microprocessor and the material on it is spread out across a couple of different lectures. I hope I can pull that together. I’ve been scrambling since yesterday trying to finish up Homework 12 which has us building a number of modules for it which include the instruction memory module, the register file module and a few of the operators needed for the ALU. Still have a number of other components to piece together before April 25th. That date is coming up fast.

I’m behind on the lectures in there. This week had videos on the Microprocessor and a bunch on Encryption. I will be watching the encryption ones this week.

Homework and quizzes are going well in there at least so hopefully I can finish 333 out strong. Verilog and System Verilog are pretty interesting.

No clue what is going on in EEE 350 this week, there is a few weeks until the last homework assignment is due so my plan is to get back into that next week. I’m hoping to get together with a couple of the other guys in the class and work through a few of the midterm 2 problems I missed to find out what I did wrong there.

I am definitely tired and really burned out this week.