This class was tough.
As an electrical engineer, this course is a very good introduction to Microcontrollers, how they work and how to program them. The language used in this course, IAR Embedded Systems is a very fun language to learn, and helps learning other languages like Xilinx Vivado and Xilinx ISE a whole lot easier. Dr. Helm is very easy to understand and is great with answering questions in and out of class. The programming projects were very fun, and it is a great feeling when you type commands on a computer and the display board does what you type. I work in a experimental lab and we use this device and programming language for a lot of our systems, and this class prepared me very well for designing circuits that are controlled with this microcontroller.
The highlights would be the programming projects. We made a digital real-time thermometer, a stop-watch, a scrolling display, a speaker that played a song and various other projects. I learned how to use a computer language to control different electrical switches within the microcontroller by predetermined commands to make a circuit do what I wanted. This process is cheaper, uses less parts, and is easier than trying to do the same thing by analog methods.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
Study the TI family guide. Start the projects as soon as they are assigned, no matter how trivial they look. The projects will always be harder than you think, and yes, most of them take half an hour once you get going, but there is always something in the debugging stage that will have you stumped sometimes for days. The tests are all open notes, open book, and it is a good idea to print out the example codes and actually go through them with a highlighter or make notes, and understand what all the commands are doing.