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15b. Masteropleiding Embedded Systems

















Master of Embedded Systems

Information dossier in support of the application for the New Graduate Studies Test




Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

University of Twente










Version: 0.9 Hoeven





May 30, 2005








Authors*:

Dr.-Ir. G. Smit

Dr. G.F. van der Hoeven



* PARTS OF THIS DOCUMENT ARE QUOTED AND COPIED FROM

Aanvraag TNO ES,Version: 1.8 OF June 4, 2004

BY

Prof. dr. ir. Jan Friso Groote and Arlène E. Louiza MBA

OF

TU/e,



1 INTRODUCTION 5

1.1 General motivation 5

1.2 Focus of the University of Twente 7

2 OBJECTIVES AND LEARNING OUTCOME OF THE MASTER DEGREE COURSE 9

2.1 Domain-specific requirements 9

2.2 General and scientific requirements 11

2.3 HBO/WO orientation 11

2.4 Teaching and learning approach 12

2.5 Benchmark master degree courses 12

3 THE MASTER DEGREE COURSE 13

3.1 Overview of the master degree course 13

3.1.1 Background knowledge 14

3.1.2 Homologation phase (15 EC) 16

3.1.3 Mandatory courses (20 + 10 EC) 16

3.1.4 Elective courses (25 EC) 16

3.1.5 Industrial traineeship (20 EC) 18

3.1.6 Master thesis (30 EC) 18

3.2 Relationships between courses and final qualifications 19

3.3 Relation between the master degree course and academic research 21

3.4 Cohesion of the master degree course 21

3.5 Study load of the master degree course 21

3.6 Admissions 22

3.7 Duration 22

4 HUMAN RESOURCES EFFORTS 23

4.1 WO requirements 23

4.2 Staff quantity 23

4.3 Staff quality 24

5 FACILITIES 25

5.1 Teaching facilities 25

5.2 Teaching Staff Offices 25

5.3 ICT facilities 25

5.4 Library and learning resources 27

5.5 Study materials 27

5.6 Academic support facilities 27

6 QUALITY MANAGEMENT 28

6.1 Internal quality assurance 28

6.2 System of quality control 28

6.2.1 Goals and objectives of the degree course 29

6.2.2 Programme of the degree course 30

6.2.3 Subjects and classes for students of the degree course 31

6.2.4 Match between teaching staff and teaching duties 31

6.2.5 Adequacy of support facilities 32

6.2.6 Results 32

6.2.7 Monitoring quality control 32

6.3 Stakeholder involvement 33

6.3.1 Employee involvement 33

6.3.2 Student involvement 33

6.3.3 Alumni involvement 33

6.3.4 Professional involvement 33

7 CONDITIONS FOR CONTINUITY 34

7.1 Guaranteed completion 34

7.2 Financial Analysis 34

8 LIST OF APPENDICES 36

9 REFERENCES 36

10 37

1Introduction

The master degree course in Embedded Systems focuses on the design methodology of embedded systems in hardware and software. It covers a wide spectrum of topics ranging from integrated circuit design, computer architecture, communication networks, real-time operating systems to software engineering and formal methods for embedded applications. Embedded systems (ES) is a key area of development in the Information Technology world [1][2][3][4][6][7]. Embedded Systems is an interdisciplinary area of Computer Science (CS) and Electrical Engineering (EE), and since both are departments in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science (EEMCS) at the University of Twente (UT), activities in this area build on an existing, strong local cooperation. .

1.1General motivation

“Embedded systems are combinations of hardware and software whose purpose is to control a device, a process or a larger system. Specific examples of embedded systems include: those controlling the ABS of a car or the operation of its engine; the automatic pilot of an aircraft; the chip set and software within a set-top box for digital TV; a pacemaker; chips within telecom switching equipment; ambient devices, and control systems embedded in a nuclear reactor (including its sensors, actuators, control algorithms, filters, etc)” [3]. The importance of embedded Systems is growing continuously. For example: in 2003, there was an average of 8 billion embedded programmable components worldwide. Conservative estimates foresee a doubling of this figure by 2010 or 3 embedded devices for every person on earth. In automotive industry, electronics are an increasing fraction of a vehicle’s value from 22% in 1997 to 30-40% in 2010 [2].

Exponentially increasing computing power (Moore’s law), ubiquitous connectivity and convergence of technology have resulted in hardware/software systems being embedded within everyday products and places. As a consequence, new functionalities have become viable, and new mass markets for embedded systems have emerged. Yet such market successes create new challenges that themselves need to be addressed by innovative technology and education. As systems become ever more intelligent and distributed, they also become more complex and interdependent. Security, dependability and interoperability requirements continue to grow. Timely and cost-effective system design, development and interworking all have become major research challenges. These can only be addressed effectively through a new generation of students educated in Embedded Systems research.

The revolutionary development in computing technology has caused Computer Science to drift away from the more classical engineering disciplines, such as Electrical Engineering, causing a significant gap in concepts and methods. In mathematical terms, Computer Science is becoming a discrete science, based on graph-theory, combinatorics etc., whereas the traditional engineering sciences use means such as differential equations, various continuous transformations etc. Within most Computer Science curricula topics such as differential equations have been removed, as they are considered of insufficient importance.

Actually, this gap is even widening. Typically, students in Computer Science are increasingly taught to first understand systems from a high-level (the architecture) viewpoint. Once developed, this initial high-level viewpoint is then refined in order to understand the working principles of modules, algorithm and programs. This is fundamentally different from Electrical Engineering, where the focus is on the efficiency and effectiveness of isolated parts.

As a consequence, in the area of Embedded Systems, where both disciplines meet, engineers from differing backgrounds find it difficult to communicate effectively and work together. Within many companies we have actually seen cases where traditional engineers could not understand and appreciate the more abstract approach of Computer Science, whereas the computer scientists in turn lacked the imagination and knowledge to bridge the ensuing gap.

This can only be done in a course that is embedded in a strong research environment, as formulated by the Dutch ICT forum “To ensure that these people are familiar with the most recent developments in the field, it is essential to ensure that their education is conducted in an excellent research environment. The Forum therefore wishes to encourage the creation and maintenance of strong research environments, including but not confined to university research departments.” [4]

An accredited Master’s program in Embedded Systems will contribute to the realization of the university’s strategic goals by educating engineers who meet today’s business needs, while providing the researchers of tomorrow with an excellent academic foundation. The absence of a dedicated program that bridges the gap described earlier constitutes a strong motivation for the initiative to start an MSc in Embedded Systems program. The business community is in need of experts who are able to discuss and deal with large systems implemented in a combination of software and hardware.

The Master’s in Embedded Systems should be an independently CROHO-registered and accredited degree because:

1.In agreement with the 3TU (three universities of technology in Twente, Delft and Eindhoven) policies towards improvement of macro efficiency of education (macrodoelmatigheid) as detailed in the Sectorplan Wetenschap en Technologie , the UT will be one of the Dutch universities to offer an interdepartmental Master’s program in Embedded Systems in both the Electrical Engineering and the Computer Science Departments. In order to be considered, both nationally and internationally, as a serious education program, this Master’s program should have the appropriate position and accreditation;

2.Embedded Systems is the fastest growing sector in ICT technology [2]. This is acknowledged by Dutch ICT Forum Vision Report “Innovation through ICT” edition 2003 [4], and STW/Progress [3]. Embedded Systems is also one of the main research themes of NOAG-I [6]. The importance of such an area of strategic focus should be reflected in an independent education program in the Netherlands;

3.For Embedded Systems new models of cooperative industry-university system-oriented research and education must be found and implemented. There is a need for more intense and structured collaboration between universities and industrial research institutions. The frequent contacts of the UT with industry provided further evidence of the need for a dedicated ES master program within the relevant industrial community;

4.Embedded Systems can no longer be designed by two separate threads of hardware and software that are merged at a later stage [2]. A systems approach is required that mixes functional and non-functional requirements from the start. Central to this approach is the need to understand the interaction of the system with its physical and network environments. These changes require engineering teams that possess skills in a wide range of disciplines such as: computer science, electrical engineering, real-time computing, systems architecture, control, signal processing, security and privacy, computer networking, mathematics, hardware, sensors and actuators. Engineering teams are currently unable to effectively consider fundamental design issues from all these perspectives at once, because they lack the common background and technical language to interact efficiently. Creating these cross-disciplinary skills requires fundamental changes in engineering education, (and also the organisation of academic research). This is one of the main motivations for this master program;

5.As evidenced by the discussion above Embedded Systems is by definition multidisciplinary; it consists of cooperation between the departments of Mathematics, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Industrial Design. The program will stimulate multidisciplinary research. This is in line with strategies stipulated in the paper ‘Voortgangsrapportage Wetenschapsbeleid 2002’, by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OC&W) ;

Note: it is not the intention (nor possible) to ‘retrain’ CS Bachelors to EE masters, nor EE Bachelors to CS masters. The main motivation of a master Embedded Systems is that a graduated ES master student with a CS Bachelor diploma better understands the language of EE engineers, and gets a better feeling of the EE problems, and visa versa. In this way they can effectively work together on future Embedded Systems.


The proposed master degree course in Embedded Systems at the UT evolved from the Embedded Systems tracks in the master degree courses in Computer Science and in Electrical Engineering. The new degree course is firmly embedded in the research activities on embedded systems, as were the original tracks..

The research of the participating chairs is performed with the research institutes CTIT (Centre for Telematics and Information Technology) and Mesa+ (Institute for nano-technology). The CTIT, the largest academic ICT research institute in the Netherlands, is one of the six key research institutes of the University of Twente. It conducts research on the design of advanced embedded ICT systems and their application in a variety of application domains. Over 325 researchers actively participate in the CTIT programme. One of the main strategic research orientations is embedded systems (SRO uBricks). MESA+ (institute for nanotechnology) trains graduate students and PhD-students and conducts research in the fields of nanotechnology, microsystems, materials science and microelectronics. Its multi-disciplinary composition is a unique feature of MESA+..

The University of Twente has good relations with the Telematica Institute. The researchers at Telematica Institute are addressing both fundamental research and the market-oriented application development in the area of telematics and its applications. As a member of a network of (inter)national centres of expertise, the insitute is involved in strategic research for business and industry.

In the embedded systems domain at the UT a close cooperation exists between the researchers from the disciplines of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. This is illustrated by a large number of national and international, cross-disciplinary research projects (e.g. NWO, STW/Progress projects, BSIK projects (Smart Surroundings) and EU-FP5 and FP6 projects).

The UT has excellent contacts with a variety of large and small companies active in Embedded Systems in the region e.g. Thales Hengelo, Bruco Borne, Nedap Groenlo and Bell Labs Enschede.

The UT is a breeding ground for start-up companies; the university stimulates start-ups with special arrangements (e.g. TOP plaats regeling). During the last 5 years on average 25 persons per year have used the TOP regeling (see www.utwente.nl/top).

1.2Focus of the University of Twente

The main focus of the University of Twente is on networked embedded systems. In recent years there has been a shift within embedded systems from isolated (stand alone) systems to globally connected systems. The increasing level of connectivity, including connections to public infrastructures such as the worldwide WEB, is leading to increased availability of data and information, anywhere and at any time. It offers a huge potential, but also presents tough challenges in terms of interoperability, efficiency, complexity and vulnerability. Networked embedded systems must be safe and reliable: it is important that increased complexity does not compromise their dependability and correct behaviour. On the long run networked embedded systems will enable a vision of an environment in which intelligent objects work together on goals set by surrounding persons. This is in line with the ambient intelligence vision developed by ISTAG [5], which defines an environment in which “humans will be surrounded by intelligent devices supported by computing and networking technology that is embedded in every day objects, such as furniture, clothes, vehicles, roads, and smart materials”.

The Master of Embedded Systems is a scientific and engineering master. It is research-driven and firmly ‘embedded’ into the research performed in the below-mentioned chairs. Six chairs participate in the CTIT SRO uBricks (building blocks for ubiquitous computing and communication) (see www.ctit.utwente.nl/research/sro/ubricks).




Table 1: Participating chairs in the master degree course in Embedded Systems


Chair holder

Department

Institute

Signals and Systems (SAS)

Slump

EE

CTIT

Computer Architecture Design & Test for Embedded Systems (CADTES)

Krol

CS&EE

CTIT/Mesa+

Control Engineering (CE)

Van Amerongen

EE

CTIT

Integrated Circuit Design (ICD)

Nauta

EE

Mesa+

Formal Methods Group (FMG)

Brinksma

CS

CTIT

Distributed and Embedded Systems (DIES)

Hartel

CS

CTIT

Design and Analysis of Communication Systems (DACS)

Haverkort

CS

CTIT


Two chairs also participate in MESA+. The research proposed within uBricks is a combination of digital information processing technology, efficient (wireless) communication technology, integrated circuit design, efficient reconfigurable architectures, software engineering, formal methods, and distributed applications.

The above mentioned chairs collaborate in TESI (Twente Embedded Systems Initiative), which fosters joint (multidisciplinary) research on Embedded Systems. TESI has a unique position in Embedded Systems research in the Netherlands. Its activities cover all aspects of embedded systems, from analog/digital hardware design, via computer architecture and distributed systems, to formal modelling and analysis. As can be seen from the vast amount of cross-disciplinary projects and project proposals there is a very strong cooperation between the various research groups.

The main research themes are:

Efficiency (Efficient architectures)
Each application domain dictates its own architectural constraints, such as area, power, speed, throughput etc., which lead to efficient dedicated architectures. All software implementations, however, have a greater flexibility, but put strict requirements on high-frequency chip-design, and require flexible (reconfigurable) architectures. In this setting efficiency is a so-called “vertical” parameter, as its optimization influences all layers of the system: from the software applications all the way down to the digital/analog hardware design.

Methodology (of design)
Embedded Systems research should be generic, and its results widely applicable. Still, ES research is typically application-driven. Therefore, the design trajectory, and the applied design methods and models, are just as important as the design itself. Hence, Embedded Systems design methods in relation to the various application domains are an important issue. Because each application has its own characteristic constraints, e.g. low-power, low-cost, or hard real-time constraints, particular emphasis will be given to design methods for embedded systems with such resource constraints).

Correctness
Embedded Systems usually inherit dependability constraints from the application domain. These constraints are difficult to satisfy due to the complexity of the embedded systems. System correctness depends on all steps in the design and manufacturing process, varying from the correctness of the specification to the correctness of the manufacturing and testing process. This makes research in the areas of conformance testing, model checking, design-for-correctness/testability/debugging, as well as production testing, crucial.


2Objectives and learning outcome of the master degree course

This section details the skills and knowledge of a graduate in Embedded Systems and gives an indication of the final general academic qualifications.

According to the Dublin descriptors [8], a Master’s degree in Embedded Systems will be awarded to students who:


-have demonstrated knowledge and understanding that is founded upon and extends and/or enhances that typically associated with Bachelor’s level, and that provides a basis or opportunity for originality in developing and/or applying ideas, often within a research context;

-can apply their knowledge and understanding, and problem solving abilities in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study;

-have the ability to integrate knowledge and handle complexity, and formulate judgements with incomplete or limited information, but that include reflecting on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgements;

-can communicate their conclusions, and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these, to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously;

-have the learning skills to allow them to continue to study in a manner that may be largely self-directed or autonomous.


2.1Domain-specific requirements

After completing the master degree course in Embedded Systems the graduate is acquainted with the whole trajectory of embedded systems design and knows all the major fundamental concepts involved. He is aware of the role of embedded systems in society, he knows of the life span of embedded systems, and of the role of architectures in the field of embedded systems He is capable of determining and formulating the requirements for an embedded system and can reliably transform them into a realization. He is familiar with a range of realization platforms, ranging from distributed computer systems, and reconfigurable hardware to direct realization in silicon. He knows how to test and optimize an embedded system.

Listed below are the expected capabilities of a graduate of the master degree course in Embedded Systems:


Table 2: Domain specific requirements overview

Domain-specific requirements

Description

1.Holistic view on systems and development

2.Master complex systems

The graduate has a holistic view on systems and system development. On the one hand, he is capable of formulating abstract views to understand and master systems of great complexity. On the other hand, he is able to describe and study the structure and the behaviour of (embedded) systems in great detail. He understands the position and importance of the system during its lifetime

3.Knowledge of contemporary techniques

The graduate has a thorough knowledge of contemporary techniques to realize embedded systems. He has a sufficiently academic background to understand and apply techniques that will become available within the next decades. He is cost and environment aware, and capable of making optimal use of the available means (e.g. software/hardware).


4.Design of Embedded Systems

5.Knowledge of requirement engineering, modeling, testing and implementation techniques

The graduate has a sufficient basis for designing embedded systems of the required level of quality, or assessing a priori that such a design cannot be realized. This presupposes a thorough knowledge of requirement engineering, modeling, testing and implementation techniques.

6.Flexible and inquisitive mind with regard to developments in the field

7.Invent own specific tools, theories and techniques if unavailable

The graduate has a flexible and inquisitive mind. He understands the theories, techniques and tools in this field in such a way that he is able to adapt these to optimally fit their purpose. He is able to invent his own tools, theories and techniques if these are not available.

8.Aware of his own position and that of embedded systems in society

9.Present and communicate his ideas and visions on embedded systems

10.Can work in a multi-disciplinary design team

The graduate is aware of his position and that of the embedded systems he constructs in society. He is aware of, and has a responsible attitude concerning the impact of new technology on the economy, environment, and daily life of citizens. He is able to present and communicate his ideas and visions in a clear and concise way.


2.2General and scientific requirements

The master degree course in Embedded Systems has both a scientific and a design orientation. Regarding academic design orientation he has the following qualifications:


Table 3: General and scientific requirements overview

General

Description

1.Can effectively operate in a team

The graduate can operate in a team and take over the role of project leader.

2.Has an open, inquisitive mind

The graduate has an open, inquisitive mind and is always searching for innovation. The graduate does not have mind-sets hindering understanding of alternative views of the matter at hand. He does not restrict himself to the boundaries of the embedded systems domain, but is capable of crossing these boundaries.

3.Can reflect on complete design

The graduate has the capacity to reflect on the complete design trajectory, as well as the intended usage of designs.

4.Has the potential to contribute to research

As a designer the graduate understands the potential benefits of research, and can understand and incorporate the results. He is in essence capable of performing or contributing to research.

5.Communicates effectively

The graduate knows the importance of oral and written communication, and can make effective use of these.


Professional

Description

6.Deals with unavoidable compromises

The graduate knows that compromises are unavoidable and can effectively deal with these.

7.Makes decisions based on calculated risks

The graduate can make decisions based on calculated risk.

8.Knows limitations of models

The graduate knows that models do not describe reality, and is able to adequately develop and use models for his own benefit.

9.Can work efficiently and effectively

The graduate can ascertain design functionality effectiveness. He can efficiently and effectively make use of the available resources.

10.Takes disadvantages of design decisions into consideration

The graduate is familiar with the drawbacks of certain designs and can communicate these to the stakeholders. He takes the design purpose and context into consideration.

11.Able to implement life long learning

The graduate has an attitude of life-long learning. He will keep track of relevant developments in the field of embedded systems design.

More details on how both types of requirements are covered in the courses of the Embedded Systems curriculum are provided in section 3.2.

2.3HBO/WO orientation

The master degree course in Embedded Systems is a science and engineering degree course on the WO-level (‘Wetenschappelijk onderwijs’, i.e. university education). It is a research-driven course with strong links between the subjects and (thesis-)assignments for students on the one hand, and research done at the various collaborating departments on the other. In section 3.3 more details of the relation between the degree course and academic research are presented. To help them reach the required entry level for the master degree course in Embedded Systems, pre-master courses are offered for students from HBO and other Dutch university Bachelor degree courses, and for students with Bachelor degrees from qualified foreign universities

2.4Teaching and learning approach

Business and industry look for employees that know how to deal with the ever-growing amounts of knowledge and information. They expect their staff to be independent, self-directing, and able and willing to learn during their whole professional lives. The key competence for modern students is to be able to navigate a sea of information. This requires not only a shift in emphasis from teacher-guided knowledge transfer to student-guided knowledge construction, but also requires new capabilities and attitudes.


The university is familiar with traditional teaching methods such as lectures, laboratories, program-centered teaching with or without ICT support.

A more cognitivist approach of the learning process, however, calls for more student-oriented methods with emphasis on activities like: writing of papers, literature reviews, making of computer simulations, projects, problem-oriented education and research assignments. Within this approach a wide variety of learning methods is used to foster professional training, active learning by students, teamwork skills, creativity, integration of knowledge on specific subjects, as well as a multidisciplinary cooperation.


Acquisition of knowledge calls for abilities as well. Therefore, it is necessary to interconnect the process of information assimilation to the process of cognition and learning behaviour. The course is increasingly focused on competences. During the course students are mastering academic skills among which the most important skill for research-driven master degree courses such as Embedded Systems: doing research.

In this master degree course we try to find a balance between lectures and laboratories on the one side, and problem-oriented projects and research assignments on the other. Several core lectures will have a laboratory part to develop the modelling and research abilities of the students. Parts of lectures refer to research papers and some of the lectures require reports and papers to be made and presented by the students themselves. In the lectures teachers will be able to place their subject and the related research in a broader context, to motivate the students, and to transfer efficiently the basic knowledge that is a precondition for knowledge acquisition by the students. In the laboratory classes students will start their own process of knowledge acquisition. In project groups students analyse problems, formulate sub-tasks, and report their findings from literature studies and other educational tools. This educational approach demands a great deal of individual initiative. In projects software architectures, control systems, and system-on-chip (SoC) designs are made.

Competence learning is thus interwoven with all parts of the curriculum. Consecutive course tracks are followed, where each part of the course builds upon the preceding ones, thus contributing to the students’ competences.

Contrary to the other projects, the master’s thesis project consists of an assignment for an individual student. The underlying motive for this is to make the students experience the frustration as well as the level of fundamental understanding that comes with performing research or making a unique system design.

The link between each part of the degree course and the objectives and learning outcome of the degree course, including the competences to be developed, is presented in paragraph 3.2 below.

2.5Benchmark master degree courses

In the Netherlands there is no master degree course in Embedded Systems with a comparably tight integration of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. A number of universities (e.g. Nijmegen, UVA ,and Leiden) offer special Embedded Systems themes (specialisations) as part of the Computer Science master degree course. These courses deal with embedded systems from the software perspective only, whereas this course is an integrated EE / CS Embedded Systems degree course. Internationally, master degree courses in Embedded Systems can for instance be found at the Universities of Oakland, Lugano, Lyngby, Irvine, Singapore, Lugano and Oldenburg. Several programs are under development

In Oakland and Irvine the core program is primarily focused on computer architecture and communication and there is a wide range of electives stemming mainly from general computer science with some coming from programmable hardware. The difference between the two is that Irvine is slightly more focussed on the automotive industry. The Embedded Systems curriculum at the UT is taught at a more abstract level, and is much more oriented towards the design of embedded systems.

In Lyngby (Denmark) a master degree course in Embedded Systems is operational that is similar to our approach. “An essential part of the design of embedded systems is the integration of both hardware and software components subject to tight resource constraints. This requires a careful development of dedicated solutions where hardware and software are developed in parallel. The aim of this curriculum is to educate engineers capable of combining the key competences necessary to bring systems knowledge onto embedded systems with tight resource constraints.”

In Singapore there is a Master of Technological Design course, which has its roots in Electrical Engineering and has only a limited overlap with our program in VLSI design, distributed processor systems and digital communication. This program can be considered mostly incomparable.

In Lugano there is a two years’ master degree course as well as a one year post-graduate course in Embedded Systems. This is provided by the insitute ALaRi, which offers courses taught by lecturers from a wide range of universities in Europe and the United States. The topics offered are very comparable to the range of topics in our degree course, yet, the structure and the embedding in a research context is very different.

In Oldenburg there is a focus on mechanical engineering; otherwise, as far as computer science and electronics go, the level is quite comparable to our course. The duration of the Oldenburg course is a year and a half.

3The master degree course

This master degree course is mainly intended for students that have completed a Bachelor in Computer Science or in Electrical Engineering (at the UT, TUe or TUD). It will take admitted full-time students two full years to complete the 120 EC of the course.
For each individual student the Admissions Board will decide on the admission and the potential deficiencies. For students from HBO, other Dutch university Bachelor degree courses, and students with Bachelor degrees from qualified foreign universities additional courses are offered to help them reach the entry level requiremenst for the master degree course .

Students with a Bachelor degree in a related field can also be admitted

A variety of students (both CS and EE students) can satisfy the entry level requirements of the course. This does not mean that hey have the same starting level. For example: students with an EE background will lack knowledge and experience in software engineering and formal design methods, whereas students with a CS background have less knowledge of and experience with basic electronics, control theory, and digital signal processing. Because of these different starting levels, in the first part (approx. ½ year) of the master course there is room for students to take subjects to repair the differences in starting level. Depending on a student’s background, some of these subjects will be compulsory. This reapir of differences in starting level is called homologation.

3.1Overview of the master degree course

The course has the following overall structure:

Homologation courses (15 EC)

Compulsory courses (20 EC)

Elective courses (25 EC)

Industrial traineeship (20 EC) or an equivalent of 4 elective courses (20 EC)
The internship is preferably carried out with an international company or research institute.

Final project (30 EC). Before the final project can be started the student has to do a (10 EC) individual project in preparation. This individual project is tailor-made and may contain such elements as literature surveys related to the final project’s subject, preparatory research studies, or additional specialist courses, whatever is needed to make the student well-prepared for the project.

The final project is a research-oriented individual project which is concluded by the student’s presentation and defense of his master’s thesis. The thesis must provide proof of the student’s engineering and scientific attitude.


Apart from the compulsory subjects, the programme for each student is an individual programme, where choices are made between homologation subjects on the basis of the student’s entry level, and choices between elective subjects, traineeships and final projects on the basis of guidelines of the Admissions Board, individual preferences of the student, and the availability of places. In order to guarantee the quality and coherence of the individual programmes, and to ensure that each individual programme meets the objectives and the learning outcome of the course, the Examination Board has to give its prior approval to each programme. For that purpose the board has appointed individual programme supervisors, who help students compose their individual programme, and give their approval on behalf of the board of examiners.

3.1.1Background knowledge

In the sequel we assume that the admitted student has a sufficient background in mathematics (in particular discrete mathematics), programming, computer networking, computer architecture, and modelling of physical systems.

After the homologation phase and the compulsory courses (after approx. ½ year), we assume the student has a basic knowledge of the following main themes:

1.Modelling and analysis of embedded systems

2.Software systems

3.Hardware systems

4.Electrical engineering

In the table below these subjects are described in more detail.


Table 4: Knowledge after the homologation phase

Main theme

Detailed subjects

Short description

1

Formal methods for embedded systems

formal modelling, functional and non-functional correctness, simulation, model-checking, test generation, test selection, analysis tools

1

Quantitative Evaluation of Embedded Systems

Performance, availability, reliability, Markov chains, fault-trees, queuing networks, response time (distributions), stochastic Petri nets, stochastic process algebras

1

Control theory

Block diagram, transfer function, state description, frequency / phase plot, Bode diagrams, stability, sensitivity, pole diagrams, feedback

1

Modelling application domains

Modelling, analysis and simulation of dynamical systems, relation between physical and mathematical entities, use of numerical methods for solving differential equations

2

Software engineering for embedded systems

Functional and non-functional requirements, software architectures, design patterns, odels and diagrams in UML

2

Operating systems

interrupt handling, process/thread-concept, semaphore, synchronization problems, inter-process communication, process scheduling, deadlock, memory management (swapping, segmentation), file systems, protection

3

Computer architectures for embedded systems

super scalar, VLIW, EPIC, parallel architectures MIMD, SIMD, NUMA, UMA, SoC, on-chip networks, cache coherency protocols, reconfigurable architectures, FPGA

3

Computer networks

Layered protocol stacks (ISO/OSI), network protocols (IPv4 and v6), LANs, WANs, medium access, bridges, routing protocols, transport protocols(TCP, UDP), congestion control, support for real-time traffic (integrated services, differentiated services)

4

Electronic components

Electronic network theory, amplification, filtering, Fourier series, data acquisition, sampling, AD and DA converters, modulation, sensors

4

Digital signal processing

Input/output relations, impulse- en frequency response, difference equations, time-discrete Fourier-analysis; time-discrete stochastic signals, design and realization of finite and infinite impulse response filters (FIR and IIR), recursive filters, FFT

1, 2, 3, 4

Working in a multi-disciplinary design project

In a group project (preferably 2 EE and 2 CS students) a complete design trajectory has to be completed, including integrated circuit design, communication with the outside world and application / driver software


Most of this knowledge is among the entry requirements and should have been obtained in the preceding (EE or CS) Bachelor course; however, a limited number of missing elements of this list (up to 15 EC) can be compensated for during the homologation phase. This knowledge should give a common background in electrical engineering, system-on-chip design, computer architecture, computer networks, control theory, formal methods and advanced programming. The remaining part of the master degree course relies on the presence of this knowledge.

3.1.2Homologation phase (15 EC)

Below an example is given what a (15 EC) homologation phase could look like .
For a student with a CS Bachelor degree of the UT the homologation subjects are:

(121000) Instrumentation of Embedded Systems (5 EC)

(121044) Control Theory or (156056) Introduction mathematical system theory (5 EC)

(121059) Embedded Signal Processing (5 EC) or (121034) Physical modeling of Embedded Systems (5 EC)


For a student with an EE Bachelor degree of the UT the homologation subjects are:

(214012) System validation (5 EC)

(213510) Software Engineering Models (5 EC)

(211045) Operating systems (5 EC)

If a student has taken one or more subjects as a Bachelor elective already, then the load of his homologation phase will decrease, and there will be room to choose an additional elective from the list below.

3.1.3Mandatory courses (20 + 10 EC)

(213024) Embedded Computer Architectures I (5 EC)

(xxxxxxx) Quantitative Evaluation of Embedded Systems (5 EC)

(xxxxxxx) Multi-disciplinary design project (10 EC)
The multi-disciplinary design project is a group project (ideally 2 EE and 2 CS students). It is a new course inspired on the current EE-ES master course “System-on-Chip design project”, with an embedded software part.

(xxxxxxx) individual project to prepare for the thesis (10 EC) (see 3.1.6)

3.1.4Elective courses (25 EC)

As elective courses (total 25 EC) the student should select a coherent set of courses, preferably taken from the table below. The student needs the approval of the individual programme supervisor for the choices he makes. Elective courses can also be chosen from master courses of other departments or master courses from the TUD or TUe, provided the selection is coherent and relevant in the opinion of the individual programme supervisor (who acts on behalf of the board of examiners). All elective courses are 5 EC.


Table 5: Elective courses for Embedded Systems


Electrical Engineering

EC

121111

Modelling and Simulation

5.0

121079

Transmission media

5.0

121108

Systems Engineering

5.0

121087

Integrated circuits and systems for mixed signals

5.0

121110

Mechatronic design of motion systems

5.0

152025

Theory of complex functions

5.0

121077

Digital control engineering

5.0

121078

Transmission systems

5.0

121096

Signal processing in acoustics and audio

5.0

121090

Classification, estimation and data analysis

5.0

121081

Magnetic recording systems

5.0

121119

Optical communication networks

5.0

156162

Optimal control

5.0

121091

Imaging processing

5.0

121095

VLSI signal processing

5.0

121089

Digital measurement systems

5.0

121103

Mobile wireless communication

5.0

121107

Intelligent control

5.0

121099

Integrated circuit technology

5.0

121132

Testable design and test of nano systems

5.0

121085

Advanced analog IC electronics

5.0

121092

Optimal estimation in dynamic systems

5.0

121097

Computer-aided design tools for VLSI

5.0

121094

Advanced digital signal processing

5.0

121133

Digital VLSI circuit design for SoC

5.0

121109

Real-time software development

5.0

121098

Reliability Engineering

5.0

121106

Modern Robotics

5.0

121101

Modern modulation and detection techniques

5.0

121084

A/D Converters

5.0

121034

Physical modeling of Embedded Systems

5.0


Computer Science


211130

Ubiquitous computing

5.0

211133

Design of software architectures

5.0

211170

Computability and computational complexity

5.0

213002

Design of digital systems

5.0

213009

Fault tolerant digital systems

5.0

213011

Distributed systems

5.0

213012

Hardware/software co-design

5.0

213020

Real-time systems 1

5.0

213021

Real-time systems 2

5.0

213025

Embedded computer architectures 2

5.0

213531

Modeling and analysis of concurrent systems 1

5.0

213532

Modeling and analysis of concurrent systems 2

5.0

213540

Advanced design of software architectures 1

5.0

213545

Advanced design of software architectures 2

5.0

211028

Advanced programming concepts

5.0

213014

Process control and robotics

5.0

217001

Test techniques

5.0

262000

Telematics networks

5.0

211035

Compiler techniques

5.0

156057

Introduction to mathematical system theory

5.0

xxxxxx

Coding Theory

5.0

211094

Secure Data Management

5.0

265400

Security of telematics systems

5.0

3.1.5Industrial traineeship (20 EC)

Industrial traineeship (20 EC) is preferably carried out with an international company or institute. The Department mediates in finding suitable places. Optionally, the internship can be replaced by an equivalent of 4 elective courses (20 EC).

3.1.6Master thesis (30 EC)

The final project (30 EC) is a research-oriented individual education project that must provide proof of an engineering and scientific attitude. It is carried out as part of one of the research projects of the groups participating in the master degree course in Embedded Systems (see section 1.2), and may involve third parties like industry or research institutions. Before the student can start the thesis project an individual project (10 EC) has to be finished. This project is tailor-made and is a preparation for the final project. It consists of elements such as literature surveys, preparatory research/studies, or additional, specialized courses.

3.2Relationships between courses and final qualifications

The relationships between the courses and the domain specific requirements are indicated in the table below.


Table 6: Specification requirements matrix

COURSE NAME

1. Holistic view on systems and development

2 Master systems of huge complexity

3 Describe and study the structure and the behavior of the (embedded) systems

4Knowledge of contemporary techniques

5Design embedded systems

6 Knowledge of requirement engineering, modeling, testing and implementation techniques

7 Flexible and inquisitive mind

8 Invent own tools, theories and techniques

9 Aware own position and that of the Embedded Systems in society

10 Present and communicate his ideas and vision

Instrumentation of Embedded Systems



X

X







Control theory


X

X

X

X






Mathematical system theory

X




X

X


X



Embedded Signal Processing




X

X






Physical modeling of Embedded Systems

X


X






X


System Validation

X

X

X



X


X



Software Engineering models

X

X

X


X

X


X


X

Operating Systems


X


X

X






Embedded Computer Architectures I


X


X

X





X

Multi-disciplinary design project

X




X

X

X


X

X

Quantitative Evaluation of Embedded Systems

X

X

X

X


X





Electives / internship

X




X

X

X


X

X

Master’s thesis

X


X


X

X

X

X

X

X


The relationships between the courses and the general and scientific requirements are indicated in the table below.


Table 7: General and scientific requirements matrix

COURSE NAME








1Can effectively operate in a team

2Has an open, inquisitive mind

3Can reflect on complete design

4Has the potential to contribute to research

5Communicates effectively

6Has a habit to reflect

7Deals with unavoidable comprises

8Makes decisions based on calculated risks

9Knows limitations of models

10Can work efficiently and effectively

11Takes disadvantages of design decisions into consideration

12Able to implement life-long learning

Instrumentation of Embedded Systems







X

X

X




Control theory



X




X

X

X



X

Mathematical system theory



X




X

X

X



X

Embedded Signal Processing







X

X

X


X


Physical modeling of Embedded Systems


X

X



X

X


X


X

X

System Validation


X

X

X


X

X

X

X



X

Software Engineering models

X

X

X


X

X

X

X


X

X

X

Operating Systems


X

X



X

X

X

X


X


Embedded Computer Architectures I


X

X



X

X

X

X



X

Multi-disciplinary design project

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X


Quantitative Evaluation of Embedded Systems


X

X



X

X

X

X



X

Electives / internship

X


X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Master’s thesis


X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X



3.3Relation between the master degree course and academic research

The course incorporates research from the CS and EE departments in the following ways:

1.Research provides examples for courses.

2.Research papers are used as course material.

3.Student research/design tasks are related to academic research projects.

4.Student research/design tasks contribute to academic research projects.


The table below depicts the relationship between the courses and the research performed.



Table 8: Application of research matrix

Relation between courses and research

Course name

Research as example

Research papers as course material

Research/

design tasks related to academic research

Research/

design tasks contribute to academic research

Instrumentation of Embedded Systems





Control theory





Mathematical system theory





Embedded Signal Processing

X

X



Physical modeling of Embedded Systems

X




System Validation

X

X

X


Software Engineering models

X

X

X


Operating Systems

X

X



Embedded Computer Architectures I

X

X

X

X

Multi-disciplinary design project

X

X

X


Quantitative Evaluation of Embedded Systems

X

X



Electives / internship

X

X

X

X

Master’s thesis

X

X

X

X

3.4Cohesion of the master degree course

The cohesion between the final qualifications, teaching method and examination type is designed to be transparent and consistent. The programme has been set up to cover the whole field of Embedded Systems from high-level system architectures to low-level implementation in silicon. The structure of the program is horizontal and was chosen because it suits the nature of the subjects in the field of Embedded Systems. The topics of the courses are arranged in such a way that vertical dependencies between courses are minimized. This structure allows for multiple points of entry to the program. This is done to facilitate the smooth entrance of Dutch Bachelor students graduating at different points in the academic year. These students avoid any delay as they can immediately start taking Master’s courses. Each course is studied to advanced academic level, providing the student with the necessary in-depth knowledge of the subject.

3.5Study load of the master degree course

The study load of the degree course is 120 EC. The first year is for homologation courses, compulsory courses and electives. Half of the courses require passing a regular exam that can be taken twice a year. The other fifty percent of the regular courses require a passing grade on a final assignment. The study load is monitored continuously using evaluation forms and interviews, which for existing curricula consistently show that students complete most of the courses well within the prescribed time. It is reasonable to expect similar results for Embedded Systems students.


Sufficient allowance has been made for students to schedule their elective courses throughout the year, taking both planning sequence (specific courses to eliminate deficiencies in prior education – so-called “homologation courses” - first, specialization courses last) and study progress into consideration.

Based on current experience with other courses, it is reasonable to expect that the traineeship will pose no particular problems. ES students are expected to complete their internships on schedule.

A strict monitoring system will be set up to detect students that might fail to meet their planning. This allows for early-stage intervention so that the root causes of the delay can be analysed and hopefully eliminated. The objective is that 80% of the students will obtain the master’s degree. Experience with other master degree courses suggests this to be feasible.

3.6Admissions

Graduates with Bachelor`degrees in Computer Science and Engineering and in Electrical and Information Engineering of the TUe, TUD and UT will be admitted to this master degree course. Dutch students with a BSc degree in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering from non-technical universities are, in principle, admissible to the course. General admission to the course is accompanied by a draft individual programme that is decided upon by the Admissions Board. The draft individual programme contains the guidelines for the student’s invidual programme e.g. w.r.t. homologation subjects and w.r.t. the possibility to skip a traineeship. The draft individual programme is based on the Admissions Board’s assessment of the student’s entry level. If the Admissions Board judges that a student does not reach the enry level requirements for the course, it can still issue a conditional admission, with a list of subjects the student should take in preparation, before final admission can be granted

Applications of foreign students with a university BSc degree in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering will be evaluated by the Admissions Board, taking into account both the academic level of the degree and the subjects studied by the applicant. As far as the general level of the degree is concerned, NUFFIC recommendations will be followed.

Students with a BSc degree in a related field can be admitted. Arrangements for these cases will be made in advance, in coordination with the Directors of Education, the Admissions Board, and the Examination Board.

3.7Duration

It will take a full-time student two full years to complete the 120 EC of the master degree course in Embedded Systems.


4Human resources efforts

4.1WO requirements

The staff is at the heart of the educational program.

Staff is available in sufficient number and possesses the competencies to cover all of the curricular areas of the program; The staff in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science already have experience with master students in the themes Embedded Systems.

There is sufficient staff to accommodate adequate levels of student-staff interaction, student counseling and support, university service activities, professional development and interactions with industrial and professional practitioners, as well as (potential) employers of students;

The program staff has appropriate qualifications (mostly PhD degrees) and demonstrates sufficient authority so as to ensure the proper guidance of the program and develop and implement processes for the evaluation, assessment and continuing improvement of the program, its educational objectives and outcomes;

The overall competence of the staff is indicated by factors as education, diversity of backgrounds, engineering experience, teaching experience, ability to communicate, enthusiasm for developing more effective programs, level of scholarship, participation in professional societies and research experience.

Many of our full and associate professors are leading figures in their research fields. Fifty percent of their available time is spent on research and personal development, which guarantees a continuous refreshment and enhancement of knowledge and skills. There is a program for sabbaticals in which teachers have the possibility to leave to perform research elsewhere for a period of three month once every five years.

4.2Staff quantity

The student-staff ratio for the Embedded Systems program will be 20:1. The teaching staff consists of a number of researchers with tenure track positions, listed in the table below, together with researchers and research assistants with temporary positions. New staff members must follow a number of teacher training courses to qualify for their role as teacher in the program (in accordance with the Twente University policy)


Table 9: Staff contributing to the compulsory Embedded Systems master courses


Name


Job title


Courses

Allocated capacity (in hrs/yr)


Department

Prof. dr. ir. P. Regtien

Professor

Instrumentation of Embedded Systems

??

EE

Prof. dr. ir. J. van Amerongen

Professor

Control theory


EE

Prof.dr. A. van der Schaft

Professor

Mathematical System Theory


MATH

Prof. dr. C.H. Slump

Professor

Embedded Signal Processing


EE

Dr. ir. J. Boenink

Assoc. Professor

Physical modeling of Embedded Systems


EE

Prof. dr. H. Brinksma

Professor

System Validation


CS



Software Engineering models


CS

Dr. A. Schoute

Assoc. professor

Operating Systems


CS

Dr. ir. G.J.M. Smit

Assoc. professor

Embedded Computer Architectures I


CS

xxx


Multi-disciplinary design project


EE/CS

Prof. dr. ir. B. Haverkort

Professor

Quantitative evaluation of ES


CS







In addition to the staff members included in the table above, the department also employs a number of scientific, management and administrative support personnel and a number of PhD’s.

4.3Staff quality

Staff quality in the departments of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering has been judged to be very high in pervious quality assessments (visitaties) of teaching and research.


To maintain high quality of staff the faculty follows a strict policy w.r.t. the following issues

New staff members must meet high standards in order to obtain a position

Each staff member has a yearly assessment interview with his superior, in which job conditions and achievements are discussed and goals for the near future are set,

Each staff member has ample opportunity to follow teacher training courses, for new staff members it is mandatory to take the introductory teacher traing course (DUIT) that the university offers.


5Facilities

The following chapter details the facilities available at both the university and departmental levels.

5.1Teaching facilities

Facilities within the faculty

At this moment the teaching of subjects for degree courses related to Computer Science and Electrical Engineering relies heavily on the facilities in the buildings for the departments of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering on the University Campus. (In the near future there will be a renovation on the Campus, to the effect that housing and facilities for the two departments will be more concentrated, and that sharing of facilities between departments becomes easier) Other facilities on the Campus, in particular the lecture rooms under central management located in various buildings, are used as well.


Zilverling and Hogekamp building

The Computer Science department has its own building on Campus, called Zilverling. In Zilverling one finds offices for staff and support staff, and also for practical (computer) training, for seminars and meetings, for working in project groups and for lecturing (small groups only) and tutorials. The Electrical Engineering department is in a similar situation, it has its own building on Campus, called Hogekamp. As in Zilverling, in Hogekamp one finds offices for staff and support staff, and also for practical (computer) work, for seminars and meetings, for working in project groups and for lecturing (small groups only) and tutorials.

Rooms for tutorials, lecturing generally have (wireless) network facilities. Rooms for (computer) practicals have PC’s and workstation (and network facilities of course). To keep these facilities up-to-date, the faculty depreciates computer equipment for practical work by students in 3 years.

Each chair involved in the master program has its facilities in support of research activities, mostly used by PhD students and research (trainee) assistants. Those facilities are also available for postgraduate students working on individual assignments and their final projects.



Other facilities on Campus

There are two buildings on Campus with larger lecture halls, for groups of more than 50 people. Those facilities, in the Waaier- and in the Speigel-building will seldom be used for master courses.

In case the facilities for smaller groups in the faculty buildings are insufficient, rooms in other buildings on Campus can be used. Most class rooms on Campus are under central management, which assigns the available facilities to the programs that need them.


Computer, network and software support

Support for network-, hardware- and software-issues is largely concentrated in a central service centre within the faculty. In addition to the central service, chairs within the faculty (including the chairs involved in the Embedded Systems program) have their own (small) support staff (usually just a single person).Among the services offered by the central support staff there is full maintenance (including software installation and maintenance, and all security issues) of the facilities for practical computer work in the Zilverling wing for practicals and projects. There is also a Helpdesk, which offers support to both students and staff. Finally, during opening hours, including evenings, a person is available in the practicals wing (often a senior student) to monitor activities and to offer immediate assistance in case of problems.

5.2Teaching Staff Offices

Staff offices are adequate and enable faculty members to meet their responsibilities to students and their professional needs.

5.3ICT facilities

ICT for learning and lecture support

Central among the teaching methods of most courses in information technology is practical computer work. Core of the ICT facilities for learning are the facilities that are available for this practical work. Both quality and quantity of the facilities for practical work are good, if not very good. The same holds for the support the central support service offers for maintenance and security of those facilities. Of course almost all practical work has been organised in such a way that students can make their work at home, using their private computer and network facilities. The university and the students association offer interesting license agreements for software to students.

All lecture rooms (with maybe one or two exceptions) are equipped with network facilities and allow the use of portable computer equipment and beamers in support of classroom activities.

For all courses the lecturers offer support through a website. These websites offer the detailed timetables for the courses, course material and exercises for the courses, references to literature and to related sites, and they are often combined with facilities that make e-mail contact and e-mail discussions between students and between students and lecturer easier. Many of the course supporting web facilities are available under central management, provided by the university’s TeleTOP system.


ICT for teaching support

Course rules, information about contents, objectives and entry requirements for all courses, timetables for all courses, registration facilities for participation in courses and for participation in (interim) examinations are alle available via Internet. All additional information that becomes available during semesters, like information bout changes in timetables, about additional possibilities to sit examinations, about illness and or replacement of lecturers etc. is spread by Internet

A lot of course material is still available in printed form, but production of the course material is entirely computer supported.


ICT for admission, for student registry and for student files

Students apply for admission to master courses by filling a web-form. Processing of their application is entirely web supported.

All student files are digitalised, and so are the records showing the students results for tests and interim examinations.

Students can have access to their own results via a web interface. They get proof of their test results on paper as well.


On the basis of the digital students records the support staff monitors the progress of individual students and of groups of students, as well as possible bottle-neck subjects in the course.


ICT for students

The university has a central service for ICT-support for students, which is partly run by university support staff (ITBE) and partly by a student foundation (SNT).

The university offers alls students enrolled the following

Fast (on campus even very fast) internet access;

Ample disk space and a home site;

WAP and e-mail facilities.


The faculty has its own network facilities with its own support service. Students enrolled for a course within the faculty are provided with extra facilities in addition to the university facilities. This means in particular that they have access to the laboratory environment for their computer practicals, that they have additional disk-space, and that the get access to additional printing facilities.

All students sign a user agreement to get access to the computer and network facilities


The university and the faculty are working on a programme to make all services available wireless.

A lot of wireless connectivity is already in operation, but e.g. the facilties for computer practicals are still mostly wired.


5.4Library and learning resources

Library facilities are mostly central facilities of the university.

The university network gives access to the library’s catalog, and to all freely available digital resources of the library. Important resources that are digitally available are:


Citation index;

ACM-library;

Inspec;

IEEE;

MathSciNet;

JSTORE (a database van old journals);

Publications of Elsevier/Kluwer-Wolters.


The library offers courses in the use library facilities and in literature search.


5.5Study materials

Most study materials are available in print and through course websites. Slides for lectures are generally published on the course web site. Students can order books using the book service of the students association. Software is generally available without additional costst via the departmental services for practical computer work.

5.6Academic support facilities

Both the department and the university as a whole have instituted services to support staff and students to improve their academic performance.


Among those services are the support services for teacher training and improvement of teaching methods and for the easy and effective use of library and ICT-facilities (ITBE), and the support services for student counselling, for student facilities for sports and culture, and for the improvement of learning habits (DiSC). For the admission and support of international students and for international exchange programmes there is an International Office, which gives guidelines and help for the appreciation of foreign diploma’s and degrees, for establishing levels of competence in the use of English, for applying for grants and funding, and which organises admission, visa application and the introduction to the Campus for foreign students.


At the departmental level, the academic support facilities are organized as follows:

The departments have a director of education responsible for all courses the department offers. The individual courses have their own course coordinators and their own individual programme supervisors, who act as a tutor for students choosing classes and subject for their individual programme (meeting the course rules and the admissions board’s guidelines). The department of Computer Science also has a full-time professional departmental student counsellor who is available for students to give advice and support in all matters concerning their personal situation and their personal development

For the international students additional arrangements have been made both at the university level and the departmental level. In the student registry and teaching support office of the department there is a special officer dealing with problems international students may encounter w.r.t. grants, visa, health insurance etc.


6Quality management

This eection describes the departments system for iunternal quality assurance with a particular focus on the procedures for qaulity control that are relevant for the Embedded Systems MSc degree course.

6.1Internal quality assurance


The aims of the departments in their internal quality management are

To achieve and maintain a high level of quality in all fields

To have reliabale mechanisms of quality control that ensure that quality is maintained once it is achieved, and that quality is improved where improvements are necessary

To let the mechanisms of quality control be an inspiration for the staff and not a burden


In order to make the mechanisms for quality control as reliable as possible, the departments

identify objects for Demming or PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act-)cycles,

carefully maintain the cycles for these objects and

ensure that the entire organization participates in going through those cycles.


Objects that have been identified for PDCA cycles in teaching are:

1.Goals and objectives of the degree courses

2.The programmes of the degree courses

3.The individual classes in the programmes of the degree courses

4.Match between teaching staff and teaching duties (qualitative and quantitative)

5.Adequacy of supporting facilities


Management of quality and internal quality assurance comes down to

Identifying the objects for which a PDCA cycle should be maintained (like the 5 for education above)

Taking responsibility for the planning in each of the cycles identified, and to coordinate the check and act in each cycle

Ensuring the participation of all stakeholders during each cycle

Monitoring the timetables for all cycles

Setting priorities among cycles to guarantee that relevant progress is made over all fields.


Quality assurance for education is (by law) the main responsibility of the director of education, who is assisted by his support staff and course and quality committees.

6.2System of quality control

We discuss the organization of the 5 PDCA-cycles of 6.1. The aspects that have been identified with each cycle are aspects originating from the guidelines of the Netherlands Flemish Accreditation Organisation

6.2.1Goals and objectives of the degree course

Goals and objectives of the degree course

Aspect 1: Domain specific requirements

Aspect 2: Academic level

Aspect 3: Academic orientation


Activity

Product

Actors

Length of cycle

Plan/Do

(is the same here)

To state objectives of the program and competencies graduates of the program should have

A list of objectives and competencies

Course management with advisors from inside and outside the department

(At most) 6 years

Check

Comparison with international standards and guidelines

Consultation of relevant industry and other employers

Consultation of alumni

Data from the various sources that have been consulted

Support staff

Alumni

Potential employers and industry professionals

(At most) 6 years

Act

Analysis of data collected during check

Repair discrepancies between objectives and results of the check by adjusting objectives, or accept discrepancies and motivate why this policy is followd.

Consdolidating new aobjectives by incorporating them in the rules for the program

Analysis of data from check

Proposals for dealing with the results of the analysis

New syllabus with course rules

Course management

Follows plan/do and check


6.2.2Programme of the degree course

Programme of the degree course

Aspect 4: The general requirements of academic education

Aspect 5: The relationship between contents and objectives

Aspect 6: Internal coherence

Aspect 7: Study load and feasibilty for students

Aspect 8: Intake and entry requirements

Aspect 9: Duration of the course

Aspect 10: Coordination between contents and teaching methods

Aspect 11: Examination and marking


Activity

Product

Actors

Length of cycle

1.Plan

* Curriculum design (goals, subjects, cohesion, teaching methods, examination criteria, assessment etc.)

* setting targets where possible

* making rules.

* making improvement plans

* Teaching plans (for the entire course, for each year, for each semester, for each subject and every class)

* course rules

* Projects for improvement

* Course management,

* Support staff

* Lecturers,

* Course committee

Duration of the course


Improvement plans follow check


2.Do

*Teaching subjects

*To record the actual execution

*Registering students results

* Log-book execution

* Students results

*lecturers

Support staff

1 year

3.Check

Alumni monitor

Input from employers (Aspect 4, 5, 6, 11)

External judgment of graduation theses (Aspect 4, 11)

Course evaluation among lecturers

Information

* course management,

* support staff

* graduates and students doing graduation work

* lecturers

* external experts

1 year


4.Act

Analysis of data


*Analysis

*Improvement plans

*Course management

1 year


6.2.3Subjects and classes for students of the degree course

Classes for students of the degree course

Aspect 4: The general requirements of academic education

Aspect 5: The relationship between contents and objectives

Aspect 6: Internal coherence

Aspect 7: Study load and feasibility for students

Aspect 8: Intake and entry requirements

Aspect 9: Duration of courses

Aspect 10: Coordination between teaching methods and contents

Aspect 11: Examination and marking


Activity

Product

Actors

Length of cycle

1.Plan

Making a teaching plan (goals, material, timetable, assessment, threshold values for acceptable assessment results)

Teaching plan, Course descriptions

Teaching materials, Tests

Lecturer

1 year

2.Do

Giving the class

Registering students results

Log-book execution

Students results

Lecturer

1 year

3.Check

Student evaluation

Judgment by colleagues

Information

* students

* support staff-

* colleagues

1 year

4.Act

Analysis of data

Reports on subject and class evaluations

Improvement plans

Course management

1 year



6.2.4Match between teaching staff and teaching duties

Match between teaching staff and teaching duties

Aspect 12: Academic requirements

Aspect 13: Quantity of staff

Aspect 14: Quality of staff


Activity

Product

Actors

Length of cycle

1.Plan

* Announcing courses for lecturers

* Balancing the teaching load among lecturers, assigning the proper teaching duties to each lecturer.

Annual report on teaching duties and staff workload

Course management

Chairs

1 year








2.Do

* Sending lecturers to courses


Certificates en diplomas in personnel files

Course management

Faculty management

1 year

3.Check

*Staff assessment interviews

* Recording actual teaching load for lecturers



Faculty management

1 year



r

4.Act

Analysis.

Improvement plans

Faculty and course management

1 year


6.2.5Adequacy of support facilities

Adequacy of support facilities

Aspect 15: Material supplies

Aspect 16: Student counselling and tutoring


Activity

Product

Actors

Length of cycle

1.Plan

*Making long-term plans for the availability and use of rooms and equipment, and for access to other facilities for teaching and learning

* Planning of student counselling and tutoring tasks

Long term plans and activity planning

Course management

Facilities management

Coundsellor and tutors

3 years


2.Do

* Executing plans

* Providing tutoring and counselling

Equipment and other facilities

Counselling an tutoring activities

Facilities management, counsellor and tutors

3 year

3.Check

Interviewing students (Aspects 15 and 16)

Interviewing counsellor and tutors (Aspect 16)

Interviewing lecturers (Aspect 15)

information

Support staff

3 year

4.Act

Analysis of data and making plans for improvement

Improvement plans

Course management

Facilities management

Counsellor and tutors

3 year

6.2.6Results

The department measures the results of the degree courses. Both the effectivity and efficiency of the courses and the classes are monitored, as well as the competence level of the graduates. The results of monitoring are input in the various cycles discussed before. From the various cycles threshold values are derived. Not reaching those thresholds is an important signal in checks in the various cycles.

6.2.7Monitoring quality control

The department monitors its own system of quality control for the degree courses, as outlined above. In monitoring the quality control for degree courses there is an important role for the course committee (consisting of staff members and students). They perform regular checks that products of the various phases in the cycles are available, and that the products meet the required standards. Of course this committee also has an active advisory role especially in the plan and check phases of the various cycles.


6.3Stakeholder involvement

The following paragraphs outline the involvement of employees, students, alumni, potential employers and industry professionals in quality management.


6.3.1Employee involvement

Employees are involved in quality management in various ways.

In class and subject evaluations they discuss teaching results and possibilities for improvement with students, support staff and (sometimes) colleagues

In their yearly assessment they can discuss their role in teaching, their own satisfaction with this role, their plans for the near future, their ambitions and their qualifications with the faculty and course management

In various (annual) meetings they discuss various issues regarding programmes and courses, like internal coherence, goals and objectives, teaching methods used, entry requirements, study load and feasibility. These are discussions with colleagues, support staff and course management

Through their representation in the course committee, they can give advice on decisions regarding courses and subjects, and contribute to long- and short-term plans for the curriculum

6.3.2Student involvement

Students play a role in quality management as follows

They organise student panels for class and subject evaluation, they communicate the results of those panels with the support staff and the course committee

They anwer questionnaires on classes (regularly), and questionnaires on other issues (like coherence, study load etc).

They are organised in the students associations Inter-Actief and Scintilla, which have their students committees on course issues, their complaints desk (e-mail and web) and their officer for course issues.

They participate through their representatives in the course committee and can give advice on courses and subjects, and contribute to long- and short-term plans for the curriculum

6.3.3Alumni involvement

Involvement of alumni is organised via the alumni associations. On request they participate in discussions regarding course issues.

6.3.4Professional involvement

Involvement of industry professionals and potential employers is mainly through traineeships and final projects. Observations on quality of the course and quality of the students are part of the discussions on availability of trainee positions and the contents of final projects, and on the assessment of trainees and graduating students.


Involvement of other universities is organised through existing and/or emerging national and European networks, like ESI, IPA, and (obviously) the collaboration of the 3 technical universities in the Netherlands.

7Conditions for continuity

The continuity of institutional commitment and financial resources is guaranteed through the strategic choice for Embedded Systems as a focus area for research at the levels of faculty and research institute. The UT strives to align areas of research focus with areas of education focus. The establishment of the Embedded Systems Master’s program is in line with this strategy.

Moreover there is a sufficient number of full-time faculty members with primary commitment to the program to warrant continuity and stability.


7.1Guaranteed completion

In line with customary procedures in The Netherlands, there will be no provision of guaranteed graduation for individual students as such. However, current policies guarantee that all students starting the program will have ample opportunities for completion. Courses and exams are offered with sufficient frequency for students to complete the program in a timely manner.

7.2Financial Analysis

Cost-effectiveness is crucial for the long-term stability of the proposed program. This will be accomplished by sharing resources with other Master of Science programs as offered by the faculty. Additionally, it is likely that various courses offered for Embedded Systems Master’s students are of interest to other students as well. A first estimate of the exploitation costs of the curriculum shows that the program will break-even within 3 years.


The table below depicts an overview of the cost and revenue expectations for the first six years of the program.

 

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6


Credits earned compensation

91.125

200.475

279.450

340.200

370.575

382.725


Total revenues

91.125

200.475

279.450

340.200

370.575

382.725


 

 

 

 

 

 



Variable costs

66.094

149.768

215.031

269.630

302.516

311.591


Management & coordination costs

22.031

31.769

42.071

46.543

49.593

51.081


Course development costs

12.000

18.500

9.500

7.000

7.000

7.000


PR activities

10.000

10.000

8.000

7.000

7.000

7.000


Total costs

110.125

210.037

274.602

330.173

376.027

376.672


 

 

 

 

 

 



Net Profit/Loss

19.000-

9.562-

4.848

10.027

6.698

6.053


 

 

 

 

 

 




The assumptions on which these calculations are based can be found below.

The scenario chosen is not a very optimistic one. The estimates for the intake of students each year is modest, reservations for management, coordination and course development are liberal, and we assume the annual revenue growth index to be 1 (i.e. no growth)

Numbers of students enrolled





Academic year

2005/2006

2006/2007

2007/2008

2008/2009

2009/2010

2010/2011

Year totals

year 1

15






15

year 2

13

20





33

year 3

1

18

27




46

year 4

0

2

24

30



56

year 5

0

0

2

27

32


61

year 6:




3

28

32

63


Total number of credits earned




year 1

675





year 2

1485





year 3

2070





year 4

2520





year 5

2745





year 6

2835






Total number of degrees earned by the end of year:



year 2

year 3

year 4

year 5

year 6

intake year 1

12

1




intake year 2


16

2



intake year 3



22

2


intake year 4




24

3

intake year 5





25


12

17

24

26

28



Assumptions underlying the cost and revenue calculations:





New enrollments in year 1:



15

students



New enrollments in year 2:



20

students



New enrollments in year 3:



27

students



New enrollments in year 4:



30

students



New enrollments in year 5 and later



32

students



Annual costs growth index is:




1,03




In year 1 costs per hour is:




58,75

euros



Total annual instruction time per student is:



75

hours



Success rate after 3 years is:


90%




Percentage of intake finishing in due time is:



80%




In year 1 revenue per credit point is:




135

euros



Annual revenues growth index is:




1




Nominal number of credits per year per student:



60

credits



Effective number of credits per year per student:



45

credits







8List of Appendices

Appendix A: Dutch ICT Forum Vision Report “Innovation through ICT” edition 2003 (Summary)

Appendix B: Sectorplan Wetenschap en Technologie

Appendix C: Voortgangsrapportage Wetenschapsbeleid 2002’, by OC&W

Appendix D: Course Descriptions

Appendix E: Overzicht leerstoelen EE

Appendix F: Nota Ruimte – Ruimte voor Ontwikkeling, Ministeries van VROM, LNV, VenW en EZ, 23 april 2004

Appendix G: Actieplan Concurreren met ICT-Competenties – Regie en rendement in de ICT-kennisketen, mei 2004



9References

[1]Itea Technology Roadmap for Software Intensive Systems 2nd edition May 2004

[2]Artemis Advanced research and Technology for Embedded Intelligence and Systems 2004 (see also www.cordis.lu/artemis)

[3]STW/Progress Embedded Systems Roadmap 2002 (see also www.stw.nl/progress/ESroadmap)

[4]Dutch ICT Forum Vision Report “Innovation through ICT” edition 2003

[5]Ambient intelligence – from vision to reality, ISTAG Draft report see www.cordis.lu/ist/istag-reports.htm

[6]NOAG-i Nationale Onderzoeksagenda Informatica 2001-2005

[7]EU-FP6 IST-Workprogramme 2003-2004

[8]Draft 1.31 working document on “Shared ‘Dublin’ descriptors on Batchelor’s Master’s and Doctoral awards” March 2004


ADAPT

[1]Eindrapport van de Visitatiecommissie Informatica, VSNU, september 2002: http://www.win.tue.nl/cwb/rapp.html.


[2]Faculteit Wiskunde en Informatica, Een strategie voor de Capaciteitsgroep Informatica, 20 juni 2000: http://www.win.tue.nl/lotgevallen/index.html.


[3]http://www.abet.org.


[4]Zelfstudie opleiding Technische Informatica 2001: Can be obtained by sending a mail to ti.win@tue.nl.


[5]Eindrapport Commissie Accreditatie Hoger Onderwijs 'Prikkelen, "Presteren en Profileren" (commissie Franssen), publicatie van het ministerie OcenW, 2001: http://www.minocw.nl/download/pdf/accreditatieHO.pdf







10