Undergraduate research: Adaptation and evaluation of software-defined radio-based laboratories

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Conference Proceeding

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Funded by a collaborative NSF TUES type II project, a novel suite of affordable and evolvable Software Defined Radio (SDR) based laboratories was implemented and institutionalized at three institutions (Wright State University, Miami University and Central State University) to demonstrate its capability and adaptability. As a participating institution, Central State University worked closely with the other two institutions and successfully adapted the laboratory modules. Further, we developed and updated our own laboratory modules to improve undergraduate students' understanding and learning. The latest modules include Starting out with SDR, GNU Radio Companion, SDR with Python Programming, USRP Implementation (e.g. FM receiver) and Advanced USRP Implementation (e.g. Digital modulation constellation). The modules have been integrated into two undergraduate level courses for three years. The students' learning outcomes were internally evaluated by the PI at the institution and a reviewer from the leading institution, Wright State University; and externally evaluated by a reviewer who was neither from the participating institutions nor directly involved with the project. The achieved goals and discovered issues were reported and discussed. Overall, the results demonstrated a positive example of integrating modern technology and research into minority undergraduate education, thereby enhancing the minority undergraduate Computer Science curricula.

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