We meet regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30-noon in 108 Keck. The meetings are mandatory (see "Grading," below). The course meetings will consist almost exclusively of working independently on projects and exercises.

You may work in the lab outside of lab hours to use LabVIEW or to work on your projects. However, for safety reasons, you must be in the lab space with at least one other person; you may not ever be in the lab space alone.

Course structure

In this course, we provide you with two design challenges. First, you will design and build a pulse oximeter. After completing that project, you will tackle the more challenging project of designing and building a real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) machine. We provide basic specifications and construction materials for these devices, and it is your job to implement the specification and demonstrate a working prototype.

At the beginning of the term, you will complete a series of exercises to bring you up to speed using the ELVIS II breadboards and LabVIEW. After that, you work on design projects.

You can work at your own pace, but it is your responsibility to have your exercises, projects, and writeups completed according to the due dates on the schedule page. You are working independently, and the course staff is here to help you, but it is your responsibility to keep your projects moving with a good time line.

The exercises and projects are done in pairs. With the exceptions of prelabs, you and your partner submit everything together and receive the same grade.

All course materials needed to do your design projects and exercises are on the course materials page.

Course communications

You are free to contact the course staff at any time, but we encourage you to use the class Piazza page for questions course topics and homework. Most of our mass communication with you will be through Piazza, so be sure to set your Piazza account to give you email alerts if necessary.

Submission of assignments


Your exercise submission must include a PDF with written explanations of your design and all pertinent LabVIEW VIs. Include screen shots of your VI in action (demonstrate test results, sources of error, etc.). Be sure to include both the front panel and block diagram in your screenshots, as well as submitting the VI itself. If you had to wire something up on the breadboard for the exercise, you should include a photo of your apparatus in the writeup.

Design projects

You will complete two major design projects in the course. You will construct a pulse oximeter and a real-time PCR device. Your goal is to develop a prototype to achieve the provided design specification. Each project has a PDF containing some background information, overall design specification, a set of details about the specification, prelab questions, and postlab questions. You should read the entire PDF before submitting your prelab questions. Additionally included are spec sheets for components used in the projects.

Prelabs consist of a set of questions to help you get the requisite background knowledge for the respective projects. While completing the prelabs, be sure to have the specification for the design in mind.

The project writeup must include the following in delineated sections.

Collaboration policy