Classroom teaching

I'm on sabbatical 2007-2008 academic year, so I've not taught any classes this year.

I have been teaching ECE 18-760 VLSI CAD: Logic to Layout in the fall. 760 is the intro graduate course for ECE’s strong set of courses on the fundamental algorithms underlying today’s electronic design automation tools. I seem to be doing OK on this class, as far as outside ratings go.

I teach a variety of different courses in the spring.

General education interests

I’ve chaired a couple of committees in ECE that have pioneered some significant changes in our curriculum. The first of these was in 1990, called the “Wipe the Slate Clean Committee”, which rebuilt our ECE curriculum from scratch, with emphasis on breadth, depth, and design, but most critically, flexibility – the architecture still has a bare minimum of required courses, and asks students instead to demonstrate adequate expertise be selecting from among a set of well defined ECE topical areas. This architecture has been surprisingly influential at other schools. I’m including one overview talk and two review documents as good referencess for this effort.

  • R.A. Rutenbar et al., "A New Undergraduate Curriculum," Dept of ECE, Carnegie Mellon University, 1991. (The original report out from the now widely know ECE "Wipe The Slate Clean" committee.) pdf
  • R. Rutenbar et al, “Reengineering the Curriculum: Design and Analysis of a New Undergraduate Electrical and Computer Engineering Degree at Carnegie Mellon University,” Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 83, no. 9, Sept 1995. pdf
  • R. Rutenbar, “the Wipe the Slate Clean Approach to Systematic Change,” talk given at NSF curriculum workshop, July 1997. pdf

I also chaired a somewhat more recent committee to redesign the ECE PhD Qualifying Examination. That yielded another fairly significant redesign of our “Qual” process. I’m including the original overview talk for that effort. Our Qual has changed a bit since this original redesign (most notably, it’s back to a 3 hour exam), but the outline is still the same, and I think the general discussion of what we test, and why we test it, is still useful reading.

  • R. Rutenbar et al, “ECE’s New PhD Qualifying Exam,” August 2001. pdf