Department of 
Computer Science

New Hardware Lab Dedicated
Posted: 22 October 1997

On 21 October 1997, the Department of Computer Science at UNC- Chapel Hill dedicated its newest lab, the Hardware Systems Teaching Laboratory, in a ceremony and reception in Sitterson Hall, attended by more than 100 Department personnel and special guests. Stephen F. Weiss, professor and chairman, welcomed the attendees. UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Michael Hooker praised the Department for its achievements and encouraged the development of an undergraduate curriculum in computer science. Risa Palm, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, also praised the Department's accomplishments and its award-winning faculty. Associate Professor Gary Bishop, who is leading the effort to develop hardware courses, discussed past research and future plans, and described the lab's facilities and capabilities. Bishop, Weiss, and Dean Palm cut the ribbon to declare the lab open. The "ribbon" was actually a piece of ribbon cable with a bow tied around it! Visitors had the opportunity to tour the lab, and to examine chips, boards, and other hardware that our Department has produced during the past 15 years.

Although only just dedicated, the Hardware Systems Teaching Lab has been in use since the start of the fall 1997 semester. Bishop and Vernon Chi, Microelectronic Systems Lab (MSL) director, and other members of the MSL are teaching the first hardware course, "Elements of Hardware Systems," during fall 1997. The introductory course is designed to acquaint students with little or no previous hardware background with the issues and practice of information processing hardware systems, with the goal of enabling them to be effective members of design teams. Bishop and his MSL colleagues will be developing additional hardware courses in the future.

The lab offers specialized utilities, including grounding, static control, compressed air, vacuum, and isolated power, and is equipped with the necessary instruments and tools for hands-on experimentation with components, circuits, transducers, and integration of entire systems. It contains both workbench and conference space, and is intended to accommodate both individual and team experiments, as well as systems design projects. Chi reports that they intend to continue to equip the lab with the latest analytical and fabrication technologies in order for students to have the best reasonable access to current technology.

Chancellor and graduate students at reception  
(Photo by Ted Richardson) Chancellor Michael Hooker gets a close-up look at the work of students Tom Hudson (left) and Kori Needham in the new Hardware Systems Teaching Lab. (Photo by Ted Richardson).

For additional information, contact:
Claire L. Stone
Publications & Publicity Manager
(919) 962-1790

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Department of Computer Science
Campus Box 3175, Sitterson Hall
College of Arts & Sciences
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3175 USA
Phone: (919) 962-1700
Fax: (919) 962-1799

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Posted: 22 October 1997