Pocket PCs as tools in digital circuit laboratories

Christopher R. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Digital circuit laboratories are notoriously brimming with high-technology instrumentation and all sorts of gadgets that can boggle the mind of students entering any electrical or computer engineering program. These labs are generally the first electrical or computer laboratories encountered by students, since introductory digital topics do not require the math or physics prerequisites needed by electronics or systems courses that come later in the program. Because these are the first labs encountered by students still adjusting to their chosen major, it is important to dazzle the students with plenty of high-tech gadgetry in order to entice them to continue in the program, but it is also important not to intimidate them with too much daunting complexity. The latest high-tech wrinkle in the world of personal computers is the hand-held, or "pocket" PC. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth has required each freshman student entering the program since Fall, 2001, to purchase such a pocket PC, in particular the Compaq(HP) iPAQ device. This paper details some of the iPAQ application programs that have been developed for use in the Electrical and Computer Engineering program. These applications serve two purposes. First, they provide students with tools that are useful in completing their lab exercises in the program. Second, they give students an opportunity to apply the latest in PC technology while simultaneously learning material in lab exercises. Using the iPAQ pocket PCs in digital circuit labs exposes students to the latest in high-tech mobile computing, while also providing them with tools that aid in lab experiments. Students are excited about applying the latest technology, while at the same time they benefit from an enhanced educational experience using the iPAQs as tools in the lab.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6055-6059
Number of pages5
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003
Event2003 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Staying in Tune with Engineering Education - Nashville, TN, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2003Jun 25 2003

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