Group Tutorial

This offering of BME 194 is a prototype run for a new course: "Applied Circuits for Bioengineers".

The course is intended for sophomores and juniors in biomolecular engineering, but is open to anyone who meets the prerequisites:

    Calculus (Math 11B, 19B, or 20B, or AP Calculus BC with 4 or 5)
    Physics Electricity and Magnetism (Physics 5C or 6C, or AP Physics C: E&M with 4 or 5)

The theme for the course is "connecting real-world signals to computers using analog electronics", and we will be working with interfacing thermistors, microphones, electrodes, photo-detectors, capacitance sensors, and strain-gauge pressure sensors to Arduino microprocessors.  The final lab will be the design, implementation, and testing of a small single-channel electrocardiogram (or electromyogram).  

The Bioengineering major will accept this course as fulfilling the EE101/L (circuits) requirement, but EE will not be accepting it as a prerequisite for further electronics courses.  It is possible to take both the Applied Circuits course and EE 101/L for credit, though there is substantial overlap in content.

To take the prototype version of the Applied Circuits course, register for both
BME 194  Section 01 class #31115    MWF 2–3:10 PSB 140    (5 units)
BME 194F Section 01 class #31118    Th 2–5 Baskin Engr 150    (2 units)

Please register by 2012 Dec 10, as the instructors will need to order sufficient parts and tools to make up parts kits for the lab during winter break. The parts kit will be the main expense for the course—probably $50–80.  To offset the high parts cost, we'll be using only free on-line material for the textbook. Some of the parts take weeks to arrive, so we may not be able to add people to the class later.  Also, we're having to buy these parts out of our own pockets for resale at cost, so we want to minimize shipping costs and get the best volume discounts.

There is one item that we want students to buy on their own: an Arduino microprocessor.  We'll be testing the software we use with an Arduino Uno and an older Arduino Duemilanove, but it should work fine with a Leonardo as well. The Arduino Due uses a different processor and is unlikely to work. Be sure to get the right USB cable for your board (the Leonardo uses a smaller connector than the Uno).  Cost should be about $21–30 plus $3–4 for the USB cable plus shipping, but it may be possible to get a used one from other students, as other courses also use this board. Warning: some of the "Arduino compatible" and "Arduino Pro" boards
don't include the USB connection, but you will need that.

Currently, the best description of the course is on Prof. Karplus's blog:
    http://gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com/circuits-course-table-of-contents/
but most students probably don't want to read the hundreds of pages of notes there on the design of the course.  For a shorter description, try
    http://gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/supplemental-sheets-draft-2/

Students will learn to use standard electronics equipment (multimeters, oscilloscopes, function generators, power supplies) and tools (pliers, wire strippers, soldering irons).  The course is an engineering design course—we aim to make almost all the labs require design, not just cookbook procedures.  The complexity of the design tasks should ramp up through the quarter.

Because this is a prototype course, we will seek frequent feedback from the students in the course about improvements that can be made. Undoubtedly some of what we currently plan will be extensively modified during the quarter. 

Instructors and Assistants

Class Web Page