Embedded Systems - Shape The World

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10/10 stars
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FREE

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edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

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Course Description

*Note - This is an Archived course*

How do they do it? If that is your reaction every time you see an electronic gadget you like, then wonder no more. Join us on a journey that will unravel how these electronic gadgets are designed, developed, and built as embedded systems that shape the world.

We have enhanced the class since the first version concluded in May 2014. This second version will include additional teaching material for Finite State Machines, how to use a data sheet, how to debug, and an additional chapter on wireless communication and the Internet of Things.  In Spring 2014, there were 11 sequential labs and students had to finish eight of them to obtain certification. This time, there will be 13 labs and students will be allowed to choose and complete any seven of them to achieve certification.

This is a hands-on, learn-by-doing course that shows you how to build solutions to real-world problems using embe...

*Note - This is an Archived course*

How do they do it? If that is your reaction every time you see an electronic gadget you like, then wonder no more. Join us on a journey that will unravel how these electronic gadgets are designed, developed, and built as embedded systems that shape the world.

We have enhanced the class since the first version concluded in May 2014. This second version will include additional teaching material for Finite State Machines, how to use a data sheet, how to debug, and an additional chapter on wireless communication and the Internet of Things.  In Spring 2014, there were 11 sequential labs and students had to finish eight of them to obtain certification. This time, there will be 13 labs and students will be allowed to choose and complete any seven of them to achieve certification.

This is a hands-on, learn-by-doing course that shows you how to build solutions to real-world problems using embedded systems. Each student will purchase a Texas Instruments TM4C123 microcontroller kit and a few electronic components. This microcontroller has a state-of-the-art ARM Cortex-M4 processor. The course uses a bottom-up approach to problem solving, building gradually from simple interfacing of switches and LEDs to complex concepts like display drivers, digital to analog conversion, generation of sound, analog to digital conversion, graphics, interrupts, and communication. We will present both general principles and practical tips for building circuits and programming the microcontroller in the C programming language. You will develop debugging skills using oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, and software instrumentation. Laboratory assignments are first performed in simulation, and then you will build and debug your system on the real microcontroller. At the conclusion of this course you will possess the knowledge to build your own arcade-style game from the ground up.

We will provide instructions about purchasing the kit and installing required software at: http://users.ece.utexas.edu/~valvano/edX.

And be sure to connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and Google Plus!

 

FAQs

How will the Spring 2015 course be the same as the course run Spring 2014?

This course will be lab-based using the same Texas Instruments Tiva series TM4C123 LaunchPad and the set of extra components. Student must complete labs on the real board to achieve certification. We will continue to use the Keil development system, and students will first develop/test in simulation followed by testing on the real board. Nine of the 11 labs will be essentially the same; two labs will be upgraded and two new labs will be added.

How will the Spring 2015 course be different from the course run Spring 2014?

We will include additional teaching material for Finite State Machines, how to use a data sheet, how to debug, and an additional chapter on wireless communication and the Internet of Things.  In Spring 2014, there were 11 sequential labs and students had to finish eight of them to obtain certification. This time, there will be 13 labs and students will be allowed to choose and complete any seven of them to achieve certification.

Is this class related to a campus course of The University of Texas at Austin?

Yes, this course corresponds to the Electrical and Computer Engineering course EE319K Introduction to Embedded Systems, which is a required course offered in the freshman year to all ECE students and some BME students.

Is there a textbook associated with this class?

The class is based on the textbook Embedded Systems: Introduction to ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers ISBN: 978-1477508992 and is available on amazon.com. However, the purchase of the textbook is not required.

Do I need a Windows PC?

Yes, any system running Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8 will be ok. Furthermore, with a third party virtualization software like Parallels or VMware Fusion, one can install the Windows operating system on a Mac.

How much does it cost to take this class?

It does not cost anything to take the class. However, since this a lab-based class, there is a lab kit you will purchase. You will also have the option of obtaining an ID Verified certificate for a minimum fee.

How much does the kit cost?

In the US one can purchase the microcontroller board and parts for about $40 USD plus shipping. There is also an optional graphics display for an additional $10 USD plus shipping. The optional graphics display will make the last lab a lot more fun.

Can I take this course without buying the kit?

Yes, there are three approaches to taking this class. You could listen to the videos, read the assignments, and play with the interactive learning tools. The second option involves installing the Keil uVision integrated development environment on a Windows PC, and performing the lab assignments in simulation mode. The third option, which fully captures the essence of embedded systems, can be done by performing the lab assignments on a real system that you will purchase.

Can I use another microcontroller?

If you are following approach one, where you are listening to the videos, reading the assignments and playing with the interactive tools, then you can use any microcontroller. However, if you wish to obtain certification, you will need to use the Tiva series TM4C123 so you can interact with the automatic graders.

What does it mean for the display to be optional?

In the last lab you will build an arcade-style game. We expect most students will connect the microcontroller board to the PC. In this manner the game output can be displayed on a window of the PC. However, for about $10 USD plus shipping, you can order a small Nokia 5110 LCD display so your game can be operated in a stand-alone fashion.

Will this course really take 10 hours per week?

The first option of just listening, reading and playing with interactive animations will take two or three hours per week. The second option of performing the labs in simulation will take five or six hours per week. The third option of building and testing systems on the real microcontroller will require 10 hours per week.

Can I take this course if I have never programmed before?

Anyone is allowed register, but we believe to get the maximum benefit you should have prior programming experience at an introductory level. However, this could be your second class involving programming.

Can I contact the Instructors or Teaching Assistants?

Yes, but not directly. The discussion forums are the appropriate venue for questions about the course. Instructors will monitor these forums and try to respond to the most important questions; in many cases responses from other students will be adequate and faster.

I really want to take this course, what is next?

You should purchase the microcontroller and extra electronics before the start of class. This class is available worldwide and we will provide region-specific methods to obtain the kit at http://users.ece.utexas.edu/~valvano/edX.


This is a past/archived course. At this time, you can only explore this course in a self-paced fashion. Certain features of this course may not be active, but many people enjoy watching the videos and working with the materials. Make sure to check for reruns of this course.

Reviews 10/10 stars
26 Reviews for Embedded Systems - Shape The World

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Suntop Suntop profile image
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Suntop Suntop

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
One of the best course on EDX, taught by best Prof. Val* and Prof. Ramesh ! Learned a lot about embedded systems ! Any Electrical engineering student/hobbyist/professional should check this course ! *** Prof. Valvano is my favorite - cool getup like a Mafia Don, talks like a big boss, confident and admirable !!
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8/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
3 years, 8 months ago
it is useful. because of it helps me to do my final project .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... it is useful. because of it helps me to do my final project ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
Great course! It's a basic introductory course to embedded systems programming in C but enough to discover some of the complexity of embedded systems.
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Felipe Toledo G Oliveira profile image
Felipe Toledo G Oliveira profile image

Felipe Toledo G Oliveira

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 10 months ago
This is the best MOOC that I ever taken. The instructors are very skilled and the practical approach with a real board made this an unique and entertaining experience. I definitely recommend this course!
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Steven Frank profile image
Steven Frank profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 59 reviews
  • 57 completed
3 years, 11 months ago
"So, Professor Yerraballi, what are we going to learn today?" asks his senior colleague, Professor Valvano, eagerly. Prof. Yerraballi barely finishes describing the concept of interrupts when he is almost interrupted himself. "Yes," says Prof. Valvano, "but you know me. I like to build things. What are we going to build?" And there you have the heart and soul of this fantastic course, one of the best you will ever take. You build cool projects using a programmable microcontroller and various accessories. You learn how these ubiquitous devices work, how to program them, and how to interface them with other devices. Each of the 16 progressive modules in this largely self-paced course covers a new topic and has you building and programming a new project. The modules start with first principles (fundamentals of computers and electronics, C programming) and move on to more specific but widely relevant concepts: serial interf... "So, Professor Yerraballi, what are we going to learn today?" asks his senior colleague, Professor Valvano, eagerly. Prof. Yerraballi barely finishes describing the concept of interrupts when he is almost interrupted himself. "Yes," says Prof. Valvano, "but you know me. I like to build things. What are we going to build?" And there you have the heart and soul of this fantastic course, one of the best you will ever take. You build cool projects using a programmable microcontroller and various accessories. You learn how these ubiquitous devices work, how to program them, and how to interface them with other devices. Each of the 16 progressive modules in this largely self-paced course covers a new topic and has you building and programming a new project. The modules start with first principles (fundamentals of computers and electronics, C programming) and move on to more specific but widely relevant concepts: serial interfaces, interrupts, finite state machines, digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversion, game design, and the Internet of Things. You build things like traffic lights and musical instruments and games. Beyond the graded labs, Profs Valvano and Yerraballi demonstrate more ambitious projects (such as cars and robots) that can be made using the principles you've just learned, and they provide links to supporting resources for motivated students. In fact, Prof. Valvano's website brims with a vast library of projects and additional materials. He has authored a number of hands-on books on embedded systems that are well-regarded and serve as excellent references for this course. What is truly unique about this class is how the specific learning topics are always grounded in more fundamental concepts, and how they also serve as platforms for broader themes that are emphasized throughout the course: • Design and development processes: how engineers actually plan and execute projects. • C programming: the overview is so comprehensive that, although the class presumes prior knowledge of C, the ambitious student lacking such knowledge could develop proficiency based solely on the course lectures and materials. • Requirements documents and the business side of engineering. • Engineering best practices. The quality of the teaching is superb. The two professors obviously like each other and present very effectively. There are helpful animations and supporting written materials. An excellent project simulator and debugger helps you get the code right before you implement it on the real board. And an onboard logic analyzer and oscilloscope lets you test what you've built and diagnose the errors. In their closing remarks, the two instructors offer some advice for budding engineers. "Be courageous," says Prof. Yerraballi. "Be humble," says Prof. Valvano. They say more than this, of course, but you get the idea. This is a unique introduction to embedded systems, but that's really only the beginning.
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
This course should make the front pages of the newspapers. Not because of online learning, but they have figured out a way to remotely check tens of thousands of student's lab wiring and computer code, programmatically. An all round amazing course. I think all technology educators need to take notice of this revolution.
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
I hope to be able to utilize from this precious course Many thanks to all the course stuff God bless'em
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
Outstanding class ! If you are new to Electronics, and want to learn about Microcontrollers, this is THE class to take. Excellent videos, great detail, and teaches you how to dig down into the Microcontroller's internals and how to debug it. No fluff, just good solid teaching.
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Sean Murphy profile image
Sean Murphy profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 5 months ago
The most interesting online class I've taken. The labs are progressively challenging, fun, and really feel a sense of accomplishment at completing them both on the simulation and hardware.
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 4 months ago
This course can be a perfect start to join the embedded world, well organised, very rich with informations. The lab submissions are very useful and KEIL IDE was a perfect choice.
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 4 months ago
I took this course, and one the good courses about embedded systems. Everything will be started from scratch and concepts well explained with hands on labs which give full understanding about embedded systems.
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Javier Oswaldo Tacea Gonzalez profile image
Javier Oswaldo Tacea Gonzalez profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 10 months ago
Before taking this course, I had just a vague idea of how embedded systems worked, I had always asked myself how does an electrical input on a device could give and control outputs such as sound, graphics, movement, etc. This course teaches you the basic principles going from the basics of computer sience (how does a computer work, what are its components, logic gates, transistors, etc., binary and hexadecimal numbers), electrical engineering (review of Ohm's law applied in circuits) and programing in C. After the basic principles part is covered (computer concepts, circuits and C language), we start learning looking at how these principles appear on embeded systems. For me, one of the highlights of this course is that it gives great importance to the documentation and conceptual design of the system in order to implement a solution focused on our customer's requirements, It also gives importance to the modular design approach which ... Before taking this course, I had just a vague idea of how embedded systems worked, I had always asked myself how does an electrical input on a device could give and control outputs such as sound, graphics, movement, etc. This course teaches you the basic principles going from the basics of computer sience (how does a computer work, what are its components, logic gates, transistors, etc., binary and hexadecimal numbers), electrical engineering (review of Ohm's law applied in circuits) and programing in C. After the basic principles part is covered (computer concepts, circuits and C language), we start learning looking at how these principles appear on embeded systems. For me, one of the highlights of this course is that it gives great importance to the documentation and conceptual design of the system in order to implement a solution focused on our customer's requirements, It also gives importance to the modular design approach which allows us to reuse our code and give maintenance or update our systems, this allow us to keep our product's competitiveness. But the best part were the labs. First you are given the tools needed to test your system in simulation mode; These tools include an oscilloscope, a logic analyzer, a virtual display and we are thaught other debugging techniques that allows us make sure that our product will satisfy what we promised we would deliver to our customers. There are way more reasons you should take this unique course (the hands on approach is extremely valuable) but the most important thing is that by the end of it you'll understand better the importance that embedded systems have in our world; Plus, making your own hand held game is very cool!
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Mahendra Gunawardena profile image
Mahendra Gunawardena profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
"Simply the Best" This was one of the best MOOC course that I have taken so far. The LAB were phenomenal. LABs reinforced the concepts from lectures. I enjoyed this course very much and I hope you will too.
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 9 months ago
Normaly I'm to lazy writing any reviews - but this is/was a awesome course! It's amazing how the professors cover so many essential concepts and subjects and still keep it comprehensible. The focus on practical labs makes it very intuitive and help to really understand the presented material. The cost for the HW seems not too expensive. At least if I compare this with the CSP course the professor is recommending as potential sucessor. Here the myRIO boarad is in my area about 314€. I would summerize this course as learning and fun. Thanks a lot!
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 10 months ago
The best online course i have taken ever.The reason this course differs from any other course is hands on practical where you put all of your knowledge.I have always wanted learn about ARM processors but here i even learnt how to interface them. About instructors John,Ramesh and TA's were very helpful on forums.
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Appan Ponnappan profile image
Appan Ponnappan profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 10 months ago
Highly recommended course for any one interested in learning about embedded system development since it is a hands-on course which involves fair amount of lab work on the TI Cortex-M board. It is a long-haul course & some of the modules does require more than 4 hours in the week but it is worth doing the labs. Also, the teaching approach of the instructors is also very good when they are presenting concepts together and when one of them takes the role of a student !! I wish that approach is followed in other MOOCs so that students watching the videos get that sense of 'live interactivity', which is lacking in many of the MOOCs. !!! Some of the topics that are not covered are wireless protocols & creating systems using them and RTOS concepts & applications. But these are advanced & could be well made part of a follow-up course.
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 10 months ago
I always been on the edge of embedded systems, repairing and installing them, from small systems to big embedded systems like room sized note sorters. This course gave me deeper understanding and knowledge to actually design such systems, which is the next step in my professional life I want to achieve. Professors are amazing. The simplest and best explanation of FSM that ever heard. Lucky few that can actually learn from them at university. Learning curve vs time angle is so high that you must actually hold on to something real. :-)
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 10 months ago
Absolutely great course!! Highly recommended for people who want to get an entry course on programming a microcontroller and building real world applications.
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 10 months ago
I have worked in Embedded Systems in my graduation project but with no previous knowledge about all components and the interaction among them.I wrote many programs but also without any roles, without considering if it difficult to run or testing the code yet. This is my first online course and I learned a lot of things as developing and testing, more information about electronics and more things. It was an amazing and fun time spent in this course. thank you very much.
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9/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 10 months ago
An excellent course for someone who wants to get a good grasp on fundamentals of embedded system programming. The course included a good amount and quality of quizzes and lab assignments. Be it a student, hobbyist or an experienced person, this course satisfied everyone. One advice would be to prepare a follow up course which includes DSP programming on Cortex M4. All in all, I am satisfied with the course.
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 10 months ago
This was my first interaction with an ARM Cortex-M microcontroller and I think this classes are truly brilliant. It wasn't my first time with microcontrollers since I have been studying electronic engineering for 5 years now, so I didn't have to spend so much time per week to achieve labs, but I still had to learn new things in order to get the microcontroller working. (Sorry I missed a part of the review in the last one) About the labs I just have to say they are awesome, you can learn a lot whit the "hand-on" approach. You learn about lots of microcontroller basisc with different and interesting applications that you can actually see working. This course is worth every effort you make, from the first labs to the hand-held game and the autonomous robotic car.
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9/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 11 months ago
To begin with, it was the first time that I worked with embedded C and real board software development, so the workload for me was little over 10 hours per week. The course is designed to deliver the promises made in the promotional video, and you find every worth of it in the end. The best thing about this course is that you start to get in hand with reading datasheets, understanding them, using them in your programs and watching them manifesting your logic on the board. I am amazed to see that I have designed a traffic light controller, a guitar tuner, and above all, an autonomous robotic car. I wish the course could be taken to more advanced level in the later series maybe using the same board and hardware tools.
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 11 months ago
I've learned so much from following this course. At times it was frustrating but John's approach of leading you to water and letting you work it out for yourself helps to build confidence. A patient methodical approach pays dividends and there is plenty of support on the forum associated with the course.
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 11 months ago
The best course I have ever come across. Really worth it. Every class, Every Chapter is fun and interesting.
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 11 months ago
THE BEST course with THE BEST labs. Really this course help me to understand Micro-Controller programming and it gives me a better understanding about Micro-Controller.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
3 years, 11 months ago
There's one more week to sign up for the Meetups with Professor Lavine in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, CA USA. Don't pass up this exciting opportunity to meet your fellow content strategists in person and hear what they have to say about these important topics. Space is limited so be sure to RSVP for a spot today! The Meetup details are:
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