Stephen A. Edwards Columbia University Crown
  COMS W4995-02
Languages for Embedded System Design
Fall 2002
Home Projects
 General Information
  Class meets on Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:10pm-5:25pm, in Room 545 of the Seeley W. Mudd Building
  Embedded systems are single-purpose computers that are often part of larger systems such as cars or telephones. Their design requires tight integration of application-specific hardware and software, and often have strong constraints on power, cost, and speed. While most embedded systems are currently designed using ad hoc techniques, the complexity of future systems will demand formal design techniques.

The course is an introduction to a wide variety of languages used to specify embedded systems. Embodied in these languages are different models of computation, such as sequential, dataflow, discrete-event, and synchronous, that shape how design problems may be solved. Knowing about more of these languages will give you a bigger bag of tricks for solving design problems.

When you have completed the course, you will have gained some experience using each of the languages, will have learned about how each of them are implemented, and will have completed a project that will give you more in-depth knowledge of one of the languages, either by using it to design a system or by creating an analysis tool for the language.

  COMS W4115 Programming Languages and Translators or equivalent
COMS W3823 Digital Logic or equivalent

This is a course about both hardware and software languages, so I expect you to be familar with programming in a language such as C or Java, be aware of language and compiler design issues and also be somewhat familiar with digital logic design. A simple litmus test: you should be able to write a program that performs a depth-first traversal of a graph, know what an abstract syntax tree is, and should be able to design a four-bit binary counter using NAND gates and flip-flops.
 Required Text
  Cover of
Languages for Digital Embedded Systems Stephen A. Edwards.
Languages for Digital Embedded Systems.
Kluwer, 2000.
ISBN 0-7923-7925-X

Near Columbia, this is available at Papyrus Booksellers, at the corner of 114th and Broadway. Textbooks are downstairs.
Date  Lecture  Notes  Reading  Assignment  Due 
September 4   Introduction   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)   Ch. 1      
September 9   Assembly Languages   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)   Ch. 6   HW 1 PDF File (for Acrobat)    
September 11   The C Language   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)   Ch. 7      
September 16   The C++ Language   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)   Ch. 8      
September 18         HW 2 PDF File (for Acrobat)   HW 1  
September 23   Software Concurrency   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)        
September 25   Java 1   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)   Ch. 9     Project Proposals  
September 30   Java 2          
October 2   RTOS 1   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)   Ch. 10     HW 2  
October 7   (class canceled)          
October 9         Midterm 1    
October 14   Esterel 1   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)   Ch. 13      
October 16   GL: Al Aho on Awk   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)        
October 21   Writing Scholarly Papers   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)        
October 23   Esterel 2          
October 28   Esterel Programming   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)     HW 3 PDF File (for Acrobat)    
October 30   Literature Presentations         Literature Survey  
November 4   Election Day Holiday  
November 6   Dataflow 1   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)   Ch. 11, 12      
November 11   Dataflow 2          
November 13   Review of Digital Logic   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)   Ch. 2      
November 18   Verilog 1   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)   Ch. 3   HW 4 PDF File (for Acrobat)   HW 3  
November 20   Verilog 2          
November 25   (class canceled)          
November 27   (class canceled)          
December 2   System C 1   PDF File (for Acrobat) PDF File (for Acrobat)   Ch. 16      
December 4   System C 2         HW 4  
December 9         In-class Final    
December 16   Final project presentations 4:10-7PM. Project Due.  
  • Two tests, one covering the first half of the class, one covering the second. There will be no comprehensive final.
  • Five homework assignments, each generally due two weeks after it is assigned.
  • A one-paragraph project proposal.
  • A one-page literature survey reviewing your project area.
  • A five-minute presentation on the literature survey.
  • A six-page project writeup.
  • A ten-minute presentation on the project.
 Class policies
  Grading 50 % Project
15 % Midterm 1
15 % Final
20 % Homework
  Collaboration You are permitted to collaborate on homeworks, however, the homework you submit must be your own unique creation, and you must understand and be able to explain your result. My intention is not to reduce your workload, but to give you the opportunity to learn from your peers. See Columbia academic policies for more details.

Collaboration on the project is mandatory unless your "team" is just you.

Collaboration on the midterms is forbidden.

  Late Policy Zero credit for anything handed in after the due date without explicit approval of the instructor. Homeworks are due at the beginning of class on the designated due date.
 Useful Links
  A sample LaTeX file, a BibTeX file, a Makefile, and the PDF file they all produce, illustrating how to write a paper in LaTeX. You may use this as a template for the literature survey and final project report. Its content is also representative of what I am looking for in a final report.
  Homepage COMS W4995-02 from 2001
  PDF File (for Acrobat) A small annotated bibliography on embedded systems.
  EE382C-9 Prof. Brian Evans at the University of Texas at Austin teaches a similar course that focuses more on signal processing issues.
  290N Prof. Edward A. Lee at the University of California, Berkeley taught a much more theoretical class on languages and models of computation.
  ee249 Prof. Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli at the University of California, Berkeley taught a similar class.
  PDF File (for Acrobat) Kees Vissers and Pieter van der Wolf, Kahn Process Networks and system level design. A presentation that describes the use of Kahn Process networks in the design of an MPEG decoder.
  PDF File (for Acrobat) Gilles Kahn. The Semantics of a Simple Language for Parallel Programming. Information Processing 74: Proceedings of IFIP Congress. Stockholm, Sweden. p. 471-475. 1974.

Copyright © 2001 Stephen A. Edwards Updated Mon Dec 16 14:20:10 EST 2002 All Rights reserved