Posted: October 5, 1999
Using some of the most advanced hardware available, a Hewlett-Packard engineer is spending his Tuesday afternoons teaching a new course at California State University, Sacramento.
The course focuses on the research and development of embedded systems, the small electronic controllers that help run everything from microwaves and cell phones to military jetfighters. The systems are difficult to work with because they have limited memory, they must operate flawlessly and the software used to program them is highly specialized. Computer engineers who understand the systems are in high demand.
The new course is taught by H-P engineer and CSUS alumnus Peyman Shahmirzadi, with assistance from CSUS computer science professor Senad Busovaca. The course is the latest result of a long partnership between H-P and CSUS - the company has donated Shahmirzadi's time to teach the class and also helped coordinate a donation of about $100,000 in equipment and software from VLSI Technologies and Windriver Systems.
Plans call for eventually expanding the course and making it part of the University's new master's degree in computer engineering.
"We're teaching students what embedded systems are and how to approach them," Shahmirzadi says. "Most of them have been working on personal computers, and this requires a different mindset. The great part is, we're showing them how the development process works in industry."
The student project this semester is to develop an embedded system for communicating with printers.
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