School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Diversity Programs in Engineering
CURIE Academy 2021
Design Project: Computing at the Edge
Prof. Christopher Batten
Fully Virtual • July 19–23, 2021
|Faculty Director||Prof. Christopher Batten (cb535)|
|Shipping Coordinator||Patty Clark (pac244)|
Nick Cebry, ECE PhD (nfc35)
Shreyas Patil, ECE MEng (sp2544)
Sabrina Herman, ECE BS'21 (sh997)
Guadalupe Bernal, ECE Junior (gb438)
Ruyu Yan, CS Junior (ry233)
Tito Maresca, CS Junior (tjm275)
Neha Malepati, CS Sophomore (nm458)
|Staff Email||curie-staff-l cornell edu|
Faculty Director Bio
The director for the CURIE Academy in 2021 is Prof. Christopher Batten. Prof. Batten is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a graduate field member of Computer Science at Cornell University. His research and teaching is in the field of computer architecture: the principle and practice of improving the performance, efficiency, reliability, and programmability of future computer systems. This highly interdisciplinary field stretches from circuits to operating systems with a focus at the hardware/software interface.Prof. Batten's research has been recognized with several awards including a Cornell Engineering Research Excellence Award, an Intel Early Career Faculty Honor Program award, an NSF CAREER award, a DARPA Young Faculty Award, and an IEEE Micro Top Picks selection. His teaching has been recognized with two Michael Tien '72 Excellence in Teaching Awards and a James M. and Marsha D. McCormick Award for Outstanding Advising of First-Year Engineering Students. In 2018, Prof. Batten was a Visiting Scholar at the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge and a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall in Cambridge, UK. Prior to joining Cornell University, he received his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2007 to 2009, he was a visiting scholar in the Parallel Computing Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley; he received an M.Phil. in Engineering as a Churchill Scholar at the University of Cambridge in 2000, and received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering as a Jefferson Scholar at the University of Virginia in 1999.
The CURIE Academy is a one-week summer program for high school girls. CURIE scholars spend their mornings learning about the various fields within engineering, and spend their afternoons working on a design project. The morning sessions are meant to provide breadth across engineering disciplines while the afternoon design project is meant to provide depth in a single engineering discipline. The design project can help scholars evaluate whether or not they are interested in pursuing a career in engineering. By the end of this course, students should be able to:
- describe the various levels of abstraction used in computer engineering including devices, circuits, gates, instruction sets, operating systems, programming languages, algorithms, and applications.
- apply this understanding to new computer engineering design problems including a multi-bit binary adder and an Internet-of-Things "smart door" system.
- create a simple internet-of-things (IoT) system inspired by a real-world application of IoT.
Scholars are expected to have a strong background in math and science, enjoy solving problems, and want to learn more about careers in engineering. Scholars are not expected to have any prior experience with computer engineering; we will teach scholars everything they needed to know to succeed in their design project!
Format and Procedures
The week-long design experience included a combination of assigned readings, short introductory lectures, structured lab sessions, an open-ended design project, and a final presentation.
- Readings – There were three assigned readings posted on this website that scholars were expected to read before starting the CURIE Academy. In addition, there were lab notes that accompanied each lab session that scholars were expected to read before the corresponding lab session.
- Introductory Lectures – Monday and Tuesday began with a short introductory lecture. These introductory lectures gave the director a chance to review background material relevant for completing the lab sessions.
- Lab Sessions – Small groups of scholars completed two lab sessions involving incrementally building: (1) a simple "calculator" for adding small binary numbers by assembling basic logic gates; and (2) an IoT "smart light" system by incrementally programming a microcontroller in C++. Scholars were required to work in different groups for the first two lab sessions.
- Design Project – Scholars had an opportunity to rank their choices from a selection of several project themes. The staff then formed groups of three scholars based on the scholars' background and project selection. During Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, these groups designed, built, and tested their IoT system.
- Final Presentation – On Friday evening, each group of scholars gave a short presentation including: (1) the motivation for their project; (2) a real-world example of an embedded system or IoT device similar in spirit to their project; (3) the design of their specific IoT system; and (4) photos or videos to illustrate their IoT system.