(Last Update: 2019 June 17 13:33 PDT )
The course is the continuation of BME 51A, which is the sole prerequisite.
The theme for both courses is "connecting real-world signals to computers using analog electronics", with the emphasis in BME 51B being on higher frequency and higher power amplifiers, and more complicated modeling of transducers.
Currently, the best description of the course is in the textbook
written for the course, but students interested in how the course
evolved may be interested in the posts on Prof. Karplus's
Because there have been major rewrites of the textbook this year with some changes to the labs, I will seek frequent feedback from the students in the course about improvements that can be made in the labs, the lectures, and the textbook.
The pronouns "he, him, his" are best when referring to me in the third-person. It is acceptable to address me as "Kevin", "Professor", "Professor Karplus", but not as "Dr. Karplus" (I have a Ph.D., not an M.D., and prefer not to use "Doctor" as a title).
Although I will attempt to learn student names and pronouns, I have much lower than average ability at remembering names and faces. It will be surprising if I manage to learn and retain more than one name a week. Please do not be offended if I get your name or preferred pronoun wrong---my disability with names and faces is to blame, not any intention to insult.
Students will be able to
The course is an engineering design course—I tried to make the labs require design, not just cookbook procedures. The complexity of the design tasks should ramp up through the two quarters.
BME 51B is now a 5-unit course, which means that 15 hours a week of work are expected. Here is a rough breakdown of the hours:
|4.6||pre-lab and lab writing|
We do not have class discussion sections, but we do have required labs (2 meetings a week). Questions are welcome during lecture and lab times, as well as office hours. If you want to communicate with the group tutors, your fellow classmates, or the instructor, you can use the Piazza forum https://piazza.com/ucsc/spring2019/bme51b/home.
The Piazza forum will also be used for communications from the instructor or group tutors to the class—particularly for changes to due dates, assignments, or other urgent materials. Set up Piazza to e-mail you when there are updates, and check Piazza daily.
Most of the tools and parts are carried over from BME 51A, but a few new ones (about $18 worth) are covered by the course lab fee for this quarter and will be issued on the first day of lab. Dropping the course does not result in a refund of lab fees if you have already gotten the tools and parts.
The list of parts can be found at https://gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com/parts-and-tools-list-for-bme-51b-spring-2019/
To offset the high parts cost, we'll be using only free on-line material for the textbook.
The book is a fairly large file (26.9 MBytes), so I recommend keeping a copy on your laptop, rather than trying to download it from the LeanPub site each time you need it.
In previous years, many students found the Wikipedia articles too difficult for them, though they are often a better reference than All About Circuits, allowing you to go deeper into the material.
Students are expected to bring a laptop with two USB-A ports to labs (one laptop suffices for each pair of lab partners, but it is often best for each student to have their own). Computers will not be provided in the labs. All software is the same as in BME 51A and will run on Windows, Mac OS, or Linux: Waveforms 3 (for Analog Discovery 2 oscilloscope, function generator, and power supply), PteroDAQ, Python (with scipy), and gnuplot.
The Analog Discovery 2 hardware will be available in the lab, but students can also buy their own for use at home from http://store.digilentinc.com/analog-discovery-2-100msps-usb-oscilloscope-logic-analyzer-and-variable-power-supply/. If you choose to buy one, be sure to get the academic pricing (a 36% savings). You'll need a power supply as well---I recommend the Meanwell SGA12u05-P1J (5V 2.4A) supply, which fits well in the box with the USB oscilloscope. BELS has a few AD2's to rent, but with mechatronics being taught this quarter, they will probably have rented all they have before the quarter even starts.
Data-acquisition software was developed specifically for this course and is available from http://bitbucket.org/abe_k/PteroDAQ/downloads under the "Tags" tab. Select the "default" branch under the "branches" tab and download in zip, gz, or bzip2 archive format. Documentation is downloaded with the source, but only the installation is reasonably documented right now. See https://bitbucket.org/abe_k/pterodaq/wiki/Home for more information, including installation instructions.
To run the PteroDAQ data-acquisition system, you will need Python2.7 or Python3 (3.4 or newer). Note: Mac OS X often comes with an ancient version of Python, so you are likely to need to update your Python. I recommend the Anaconda Python distribution (see https://anaconda.org/anaconda/python and https://docs.anaconda.com/anaconda/install/), which loads a lot of Python modules that are useful, like NumPy, SciPy, and MatPlotLib. In particular, the filtering software in the SciPy package will be useful for digital filtering of heartbeat signals.
We'll be doing plotting and model-fitting examples with gnuplot. You can choose to use other tools if you are more familiar with them and have sufficient mastery of them to fit complicated functions that involve complex-number arithmetic and to produce good-looking graphs, but no help will be available for systems other than gnuplot. (Excel is not acceptable plotting software.) Gnuplot can be downloaded from the http://www.gnuplot.info/ website, but installation on Macs is sometimes tricky---there are instructions in the textbook.
All pre-lab and lab reports will need to be prepared with LaTeX. You can either install your own stand-alone copy of LaTeX (see https://www.latex-project.org/get/) or use https://www.overleaf.com, which allows collaboration between authors. A template for lab reports (which can be used with stand-alone LaTeX or overleaf.com) is available at https://www.overleaf.com/project/596b60947639ba5d59e0874f
Additional scripts written specifically for the course:
The labs are contained in the textbook, rather than as separate lab handouts. The entire book is is required reading for BME 51A+B—the chapters provide essential understanding for the design work in the labs, and homework will be preparation for the labs.
It is essential to read the lab chapters and do the design work before coming to lab—this is a design class, not lab-demo class, so most of the writing and thinking has to happen before the lab time. Students in past years who did not have completed designs before lab generally wasted a lot of lab time doing pencil-and-paper work and had trouble getting their designs built and tested.
Each lab will be done with a different partner (and occasional singletons). There should be no repeat pairings across both quarters. Each lab report will be done in two drafts: one due before the lab (the "pre-lab"), one due after the lab. The first draft should be a joint effort of the two partners—the second usually will be also, but partners can decide to submit separate reports (generally a recognition of a failed partnership).
If you want to submit separate pre-lab or lab reports, you must inform Kevin Karplus by e-mail at least 8 hours before the deadline, so that the group can be split. Otherwise only the last submitted report for the group will be graded.
Lab rules: No open food or drink in the lab! This includes coffee and tea cups with snap-on lids. Leave your food and drinks in Jack's Lounge, just outside the lab doors.
Clothing in the lab is unrestricted, except on days when we do soldering. On those days, you should wear long pants and cotton clothing, to avoid burns from spattered solder. Safety goggles (provided in lab) are also required while soldering.
|Tues 2 Apr 2019||Lab 7: Electret microphones|
|Thurs 4 Apr 2019||Lab 7: Electret microphones|
|Tues 9 Apr 2019||Lab 8: Loudspeakers|
|Thurs 11 Apr 2019||Lab 8: Loudspeakers|
|Tues 16 Apr 2019||Lab 9: Microphone preamp|
|Thurs 18 Apr 2019||Lab 9: Microphone preamp|
|Tues 23 Apr 2019||Lab 9: Microphone preamp|
|Thurs 25 Apr 2019||Lab 9: Microphone preamp|
|Tues 30 Apr 2019||Lab 9: Microphone preamp|
|Thurs 2 May 2019||Lab 10: FETs|
|Tues 7 May 2019||Lab 10: FETs|
|Thurs 9 May 2019||Lab 11: Class-D power amp|
|Tues 14 May 2019||Lab 11: Class-D power amp|
|Thurs 16 May 2019||Lab 11: Class-D power amp|
|Tues 21 May 2019||Lab 12: electrodes|
|Thurs 23 May 2019||Lab 12: electrodes|
|Tues 28 May 2019||Lab 12: electrodes|
|Thurs 30 May 2019||Lab 13: EKG|
|Tues 4 Jun 2019||Lab 13: EKG|
|Thurs 6 Jun 2019||Lab 13: EKG|
Anyone caught cheating in the class will be reported to their college provost (see UCSC policy on academic integrity for undergrads and for grad students), will fail the assignment, and may fail the class. Cheating includes any attempt to claim someone else's work as your own. Plagiarism in any form (including close paraphrasing) will be considered cheating. Use of any source without proper citation will be considered cheating. If you are not certain about citation standards, please ask, as I hate having to fail students because they were improperly taught how to cite sources.
Read Section 7.13 (Citation) of the textbook twice, to be sure you understand the rules.
Collaboration without explicit written acknowledgment when the assignment is turned in will be considered cheating. Collaboration on lab assignments is expected, even required—but that doesn't remove the requirement to acknowledge the collaboration.
Officially approved DRC notification:
Students will be graded primarily on the five design reports, due biweekly, but there will also be points for quizzes, homeworks, and the pre-lab drafts.
Don't trust the Canvas summary of your grade—use only the total number of points collected. Because the Canvas grade book has no clean mechanism for any grading scheme except accumulation of total points, I have recast the grading mechanism to be just point accumulation.
|work||total points available|
|final design reports||400|
|pre-lab drafts of design reports||101|
|10 in-class quizzes||60–80 (78)|
The grading scale for each of the five design reports will be
The pre-lab reports will be graded on a similar scale as the lab reports, but scaled to a different total. They will vary in weight, depending on how long and difficult they are. The weights given on Canvas are tentative and may be changed.
The homework will be weighted approximately 1 point per question—the points given on Canvas are tentative and may be changed.
Quizzes, homework, and pre-lab drafts will not be accepted late and cannot be redone for credit.
There will be some short in-class quizzes, to check that students have done the reading. These should be similar to the homework (which is easier than the pre-lab drafts).
In addition there may be one or two more substantial quizzes, each with weight equal to one of the design reports. The need for larger quizzes will be determined mainly by how diligent students are about doing the pre-lab design work.
Because of the size of the class and the grading bandwidth, assignments cannot be redone to get a higher grade.
The grading standard for the design reports is expressed as points, but is not really "point-based"—I'm not looking for specific items and taking off points if they are wrong or missing. Instead the grading is holistic, taking into account all aspects of the writing. A good report that covers all the main ideas of an assignment earns a B. If it is very well written, it gets a B+. Extras beyond the essentials can raise the report to an A-, or (if exceptionally good) an A, but the essentials must be correct and clear before extras add anything to a report.
Poor writing can lower a complete report to a B- or lower. Parts that are missing, inconsistent, or wrong will lower the grade further. Inconsistently reported component values or serious errors in the schematic may be enough by themselves to reduce the grade below passing.
The interpretation of the total points will be adjusted somewhat based on the exact number of points available and how difficult the quizzes and homeworks turn out to be (many of the questions are new this year). There are approximately 600 total points available. Here is an approximate guide to the major breakpoints in scoring (to be replaced when final thresholds are set):
|letter grade threshold||total points|
|A-/B+||approx 521 (87.5%)|
|B-/C+||approx 375 (62.5%)|
|C/C-||approx 263 (43.75%)|
I set the thresholds based on 579 points (treating the homework as purely bonus points), then lowered thresholds by a point or so to put the thresholds in the bigger gaps between adjacent totals.
|letter grade threshold||total points|
Homework schedule is still somewhat tentative, due to the rewrite of the book and changes in the lab schedule. Homework, pre-lab reports, and lab reports will all be turned in as PDF files through Canvas. The deadline will be 11:59 p.m. on the due date (unless otherwise noted).
|Due||Read before class or lab||Turn in before midnight|
|Mon Apr 1||Chapter 26 (microphones), Lab 7||HW 1: 26.1–26.7. Pre-Lab 7.1–7.3|
|Wed Apr 3||Chapter 28 (inductors), 29 (loudspeakers)||Pre-Lab 7.1–7.5|
|Fri Apr 5||Lab 8 (loudspeaker modeling)||HW 2: 28.1, 29.1–29.6|
|Mon Apr 8||Pre-Lab 8|
|Wed Apr 10||Lab 9 (audio amp)|
|Fri Apr 12||Chapter 32 (Field-effect transistors)||Pre-Lab 9|
|Mon Apr 15||Chapter 33 (comparators)||Lab 7+8 report (microphones and loudspeakers)|
|Wed Apr 17||Lab 10 (Measuring FETs)|
|Fri Apr 19||Sections 35.1–35.6||HW 3: 32.1–32.3|
|Mon Apr 22||Sections 35.7–35.10|
|Wed Apr 24||Lab 11 (power amp)|
|Fri Apr 26||HW 4: 35.1–35.6|
|Mon Apr 29||Chapter 38 (Electrodes)|
|Wed May 1||Pre-Lab 11 (Class-D amplifier)|
|Fri May 3||Lab 9 report (preamp)|
|Mon May 6|
|Wed May 8||Lab 12 (electrodes)|
|Fri May 10||HW 5: 38.1–38.3|
|Mon May 13||Chapter 40 (instrumentation amps)|
|Wed May 15|
|Fri May 17||Pre-Lab 12 (electrodes)|
|Mon May 20||Chapter 41 (EKGs)||Lab 10+11 report (FETs and Class D)|
|Wed May 22||Lab 13 (EKG)||HW 6: 40.1–40.3|
|Fri May 24||Pre-Lab 13 (EKG)|
|Mon May 27||NO CLASS, Memorial Day|
|Wed May 29|
|Fri May 31|
|Sat Jun 1||Lab 12 report (electrodes)|
|Mon June 3|
|Wed Jun 5|
|Fri June 7|
|Tuesday June 11||Final exam time: 7:30–10:30 p.m. probably not used.||7:30 p.m. Lab 13 report (EKG), final deadline for all work.|
|BME51 home page|
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