Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering George Mason University Volgenau School of Engineering

General Information

Explores designing with single-chip microcomputers and microcomputer interfacing. Topics include role of microcomputers compared with microprocessors and other computers, microcomputer architecture and organization, real-time control issues, assembly language programming for control, design of control software, input/output methods, design tools, and available single-chip microcomputers. Students select project and design, and construct system including single-chip microcomputer and ancillary hardware to implement control system.

Lectures Monday, Wednesday 12:00 pm -1:15 pm in Blue Ridge Hall 129Jens-Peter Kaps
Labs Wednesday 4:30 pm -7:10 pm in ENGR 3208Abhimanyu Chopra
Thursday 4:30 pm -7:10 pm in ENGR 3208Bhoopal Reddy Gunna


  • Class Calendar: (pdf) updated 2/23
  • Syllabus: (pdf)


Dr. Jens-Peter Kaps
Office: Engineering Building, Room 3222
Email: jkaps'at'

Office Hours

  • Tuesday 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
  • Wednesday 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Additional office hours are by appointment only (see the Contact page for how to setup an appointment).

Teaching Assistant

NameE-Mail Office Office Hours
Abhimanyu Chopraachopra6'at'gmu.eduENGR-3208Mo 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Fr 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Bhoopal Reddy Gunnabgunna'at'gmu.eduENGR-3208Tu 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Th 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


  • ECE 445 Computer Organization (grade C or better)
  • ECE 332 Digital Electronics and Logic Design Lab (grade C or better)
  • and one of
    • CS 367 Computer Systems and Programming (grade C or better)
    • CS 222 Computer Programming for Engineers (grade C or better)


Integrated Development Environment

  • Code Composer Studio (Windows and Linux), choose the free "Code Size Limited (MSP430)" license.
  • IAR Workbench (Windows), choose free "Kickstart" license.
  • Energia (Windows, Linux, and Mac), open-source.


M. Jiménez, R. Palomera, and I. Couvertier, Introduction to Embedded Systems, Using Microcontrollers and the MSP430, Springer-Verlag New York, 2014, ISBN 978-1-4614-3142-8 (Available also online through the GMU library).

J. H. Davies, MSP430 Microcontroller Basics, Burlington, MA: Newnes, 2008, ISBN 978-0-7506-8276-3 (Available also online through the GMU library).

Recommended Reading

B. W. Kernighan, and D. M. Ritchie, The C Programming Language, 2nd Ed., Englewood Cliffs, NJ:Prentice-Hall, 1998, ISBN: 978-0-13-110362-7 (paperback).