Congratulations to Ray Simar, Professor in the Practice of electrical and computer engineering (ECE), on winning a 2017 Brown Teaching Grant! Brown Teaching Grants support innovative undergraduate teaching.
Simar first received a Brown Teaching Grant in 2015. That award made it possible for his team to design and fabricate a new computing platform. The students created a platform packed with a high-performance microcomputer, micro-switches, LEDs, a micro USB and one hundred external connections, all within the footprint of a piece of chewing gum. The students named the platform â€śWrigleyâ€ť.
This newest Brown Teaching Grant will allow for growth of the project through more collaboration and sharing between students.
â€śNow our goal is to develop a student-centered ecosystem that allows students to share their design experiences with each other,â€ť Simar said. He expects that this open-source, collaborative environment will spur students on to the next level of design work.
â€śThe system will be a custom-designed website open to Rice students,â€ť he explained. â€śWe want to capture student experiences and use them to show other students how to build their own system.â€ť
Currently, Wrigley is utilized in the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program and Senior Design. The VIP Program at Rice unites undergraduate education and faculty research in a team-based context. The program extends the design experience beyond a single semester, providing the time and context to learn and practice professional skills, to make substantial contributions, and experience different roles on large multidisciplinary design/discovery teams.
In March, Simarâ€™s VIP Team, Team â€śDISSECTâ€ť (Distributed Sensors, Effectors and Computers Team) won â€śBest Undergraduate Researchâ€ť at ECE Corporate Affiliates Day. The team showed that Wrigley builds on the capabilities of the Texas Instruments Tiva C Series Launchpad.
With less than half the size and a 250% increase in pin connections from the Launchpad, Wrigley is a powerful and conveniently sized device that allows students to apply familiar concepts in a more powerful and flexible way, to realize bigger and better projects.
Read more about Wrigley here.