Asian Journal of Information Technology

Year: 2006
Volume: 5
Issue: 5
Page No. 518 - 521

Real-time Systems Course in Undergraduate Computer Science/Software Engineering Programs

Authors : Imran Anwar Ujan and Lubna Mustafa

Abstract: Interactions with industry hiring new software engineers from undergraduate computer science and engineering programs show, case after case, that universities do not pay enough attention to practical aspects of software development. Another well-known deficiency of the undergraduate programs is in the area of time-critical, reactive programming. The present study describes a senior course in a computer science undergraduate program designed to address some of the above problems. The real-time course provides the students not only with the basic concepts of real-time programming, but also provides a vehicle for the development of small class projects which address methods, tools and the critical aspects of a modern software development life cycle. The experience with teaching the course may serve as a model for similar offerings in other computer science, computer engineering and software engineering college programs. The paper describes lessons learned and future plans. The critical observation we submit in this paper is that the development of a real-time system is an exercise in software engineering. It is widely known that real-time software developers are very often self-taught. They represent discipline varying from electrical engineering to nuclear physics. They are frequently brilliant computer hackers, real experts in low level programming and operating system details and wizards of non-standard device interfacing. Too often, however, they do not follow the methodology and established paradigm of the software engineering discipline. Historically, the real-time, embedded systems were small enough for a single developer to work on the entire application. This is not the case in the modern industrial world, where various subsystems of a large time-critical system need to be coupled and synchronized.The paper describes the status of real-time component in the undergraduate computer science/engineering curriculum and comments on the software engineering aspects of the course offering.

How to cite this article:

Imran Anwar Ujan and Lubna Mustafa , 2006. Real-time Systems Course in Undergraduate Computer Science/Software Engineering Programs. Asian Journal of Information Technology, 5: 518-521.

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