Course Grading

Grade Computation

Course Grading Policy : Your grade will be determined in one of two options depending if you choose to take the final exam. The Final exam is optional, but if taken, it must be included. using the following scheme:

No Final Exam

 Projects (4)  75%
 Short Class Questions  5%
  One Exam   20%

Final Exam

 Projects (4)  55%
 Short Class Questions  5%
 One Exam  15%
 Final Exam  25%

Grades will be assigned on a curve; however, I will guarantee the following grades if you reach the following percentages: 89% for an A, 79% for a B, 60% for a C, and 50% for a D. Rarely does the line for a C or D move as a result of a curve; the curve for an A and B vary significantly between classes.

Textbook: none. There is a book possible for this class, but really would only be a good reference text. I will try to make as much material that we need available through other sources through the course, particularly on-line materials. I expect most in the class appreciate not having to buy yet another expensive textbook as well at this point.

Examination: Relavent information for exams

  • There will be one, closed book midterm examinations each of 50 minute duration
  • Rules of exam: 1 sheet of notes, last exam's sheet of notes, and a calculator. All other resources are closed.
  • Each exam is basically cumulative: Every unit builds on all the previous units.
  • Expect the unexpected: The exam will be over material covered in lectures (primarily), and handouts, but I reserve the right to make any / all problems not look like homework problems. I expect that you get the intuition of the key concepts from the homework; in the exam, I want to see if you can apply these concepts to slightly different problems.
  • All grades become final one week after they are returned in class.

Final Examination: The rules will be similar, except

  • The time for the exam will be different because of the final exam schedule.
  • Final exam will be cumulative, and 2 sheets of notes are allowed.
  • Final exam will not be rescheduled except for valid institute reasons. I require knowing about any / all issues before December 1.

Projects : (4 this semester). The core of the class is based around four design projects, designed to develop depth for integrated circuit design.

  • We will utilize Scilab / Xcos, an open source clone of Matlab / Simulink, for our experimental projects. Scilab / Xcos is This system is encapsulated in an Ubuntu Virtual Machine (VM); the system was designed to run in VirtualBox. At this link, you can find other (unsupported) options.
  • We will use this system for circuit simulation. We include a paper draft on T-square (protected resource) on the circuit level simulation. Your fourth project might make use of macromodeling approaches in this tool.
  • These projects will involve experimental data. Sometimes we will give you experimental data.
  • These projects will involve circuit design that you get to experimentally verify.
Projects are potentially a combination of theoretical analysis, simulation, data (simulation or experimental) analysis, data measurement, on simulation (SPICE-like in Xcos/Scilab), and / or analysis. You must use the EKV model (for MOSFETs) that we make available in this tool.

Project Analysis will be done in MATLAB or Simulink or equivalent type language for data analysis (not excel; excel plots will be ignored and no credit given). We do not need to see your MATLAB/Scilab code, unless explicitly asked for. My research group has built a set of tools, based on our experience in MATLAB / Simulink, built on scilab / scicos / Xcos, which is an open source, nearly code compatible, version of MATLAB / Simulink. This approach requires having VirtualBox ( ) as well as have loaded our current version of our Ubuntu virtual machine that contains this code.

Project submission Here are some details about the project submission:

For the projects and final project, we will require the following proceedure that we will use to grade these projects:

  • You need to complete all required items for the project, which will include analysis, experimental measurements, some system level modeling, and data analysis. Each group might be somewhat different in terms of their particular project, which enables everyone in the class to see some different situations / cases.
  • You will have a maximum of 7 minutes for video to present the result of your project that will be made available for the entire class to view. One should minimize the number of slides with only text You may do anything with your video; it will be the primary item you turn in that we will evaluate your project. If you wish to directly publish your video (i.e. Youtube), you can directly send me the link, assuming it stays easily availible for a at least a week after you submit the video. You are allowed to send us additional slides (.pdf) on data, analysis where desired; we will evaluate these materials based on available time. One should minimize the number of slides with only text.
  • The video is due by the day before a project is due (e.g. thursdayi for a friday class) by 5pm. Within two hours, we will have the videos available for the entire class to view, which is required before class the next day. We are making videos available instead of having class time taken up by presentations, as well as enabling a long-term record of results done in each project. All items are due by email to me (jennifer.hasler at In the e-mail please identify your name (of all people in the project), as well as on the project items, so I know who should get credit for the project. Projects handed in after this deadline will not be accepted. This policy is firm, so do not fall behind! The work load will not get any lighter later in the semester. Only one set of materials will be accepted per group.
  • For the day the project is due (friday), we will have a discussion for each group on their project. therefore each person must watch the videos before class. You are allowed one slide, in .pdf format (or .ppt), if you want to start your discussion, and you are allowed to highlight differences with other groups.
  • Also, and this is extremely important, include the words "3400 Lab Write Up" in the subject line as an email filter will be filtering these into a specific folder. Failure to do so may cause us to not see your email. Each of us gets MANY emails each day. Most are unwanted, so we have fairly significant spam filters. Please help us get your emails.
  • Extensions on due dates will not be granted unless there is a very compelling reason (e.g., a medical problem by a majority of the team). To get an extension, you must talk with me before the due date.
Resources for Building your own Video I expect most people are better at video editing than I am at this point, but just in case, here are some links that I've found. Please don't hessitate to email other links / suggestions you know about. If you are fortunate to have a MAC, then you already have iMovie for video editing built into your system, as well as you can use Quicktime to record from part of your screen. A few links for PC users