CSC 1650
Digital Electronics
A required course in the CS major in the Fitchburg State BS program
Spring 2015 -- 4 credit hours

Lectures9:30AM-10:45AMWed, Fri: Jan 14-May 8Edgerly 203
Lab11:00PM-2:30PMFri Jan 16-May 1 Edgerly 203

Contact Information

Instructor:Stephen Taylor
Office: Edgerly 312A and sometimes Edgerly 101
Office hours: W: 12:00-1:30, R: 11:00-1:30 (and by appointment)
Web page:
Office phone: 978-665-3704
Home phone: 508-867-9288

Course Description: (From the catalog) This course provides a study of the fundamental circuit building blocks that are used in the development of digital computers. The theory and practical application of both asynchronous and synchronous electronic logic circuits are covered. Topics included are: binary representations, data transfer methods, error detection and correction, logic gates, logic families, programmable logic devices, Boolean algebraic simplification, Karnaugh maps, combinational logic circuits, adders, comparators, encoders, decoders, multiplexers, demultiplexers, sequential logic circuits, latches, flip-flops, counters, shift registers and memory. Extensive laboratory work supplements the topics studied.

Course goals

Course Goals: The purpose of this course is to develop students' understanding of digital logic and techniques for analyzing and designing circuit implementations of combinational and sequential logic. Upon completion of the course, a student should be able to do the following:

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, a student will have:

Attendance policy

There are two class meetings and a lab each week. I expect you to attend them all. Please talk to me if this creates a schedule conflict for you.

This is partly a lab course. You can't do the labs if you aren't in the lab. My grading reflects my expectation of seeing you regularly:

Quizzes and exams are ordinarily due in the period in which they are given, and may not be turned in later, although they may be excused if you have a convincing story, such as your grandmother getting married in Provincetown.

Labs are due on the day on which they are assigned, but not necessarily in class.

Most labs have several steps in them which say: Demonstrate to instructor. After that demonstration, I'll make a note in your lab notebook, which you are in charge of keeping track of. Your lab notebook will also contain your own handwritten results, and usually an after-the-fact distillation of those notes. I will collect notebooks at the end of the term, and I will grade them for legibility and coherence.

Anything turned in by midnight is on time, and unless I am actually in my office at midnight, anything I find in the Blackboard dropbox on the following morning is assumed to have been turned in on time.

Papers and programming assignments are similarly due by midnight. Late papers and programs may be accepted after their due date, but I am likely to mark them down for lateness.

Course resources

The textbook for this course is

Thomas L. Floyd, Digital Fundamentals Pearson/Prentice Hall

The book is fairly expensive new from the bookstore. If you are willing to wait a few days to order it online, you can obtain more cheaply used. I usually buy used books from, but Ebay and Amazon both carry used books.

There are many editions available. I planned my syllabus using the tenth edition, and there isn't a whole lot of difference between the later editions. The bookstore will probably carry only the eleventh edition. You won't be surprised to learn that the newer edition is usually more expensive used.

From time to time I will put programs from lectures on the web.

I usually record grades in blackboard.

Reading and Lab Project Schedule:

Final Exam

There is a final exam, and three mid-term exams, all of which are in very similar formats, although of course they cover different material.



Tentative grade rubric:

  1. There will be several pop quizzes, making up in total 10% of the final grade.
  2. There will be a final exam and three midterms, which will make up 60% of the final grade
  3. I will assign a grade to your lab notebooks, which will constitute 20% of the final grade. The lab grade will be based partly on my notes in your notebooks, which will reflect my observations of your work, partly on how well the notebook reflects the purpose of the lab, and partly on the general neatness of the notebook. So handle them carefully...
  4. The remaining 10% of the grade will be based on homework assignments, class participation and other utterly subjective measures.

Late work

Deadlines are made to be bent, but exceptions create extra work for me. Assignments are due at the beginning of class. I may give credit or partial credit for late work, but you should talk to me as soon as you know it will be late. I will always give at least partial credit for partial work turned in on time, so turning in something incomplete but on time is a sensible strategy.

I do not consider homework which is emailed to me to be turned in on time, no matter when you sent it. Instead use the Blackboard dropbox.

There are no makeup or early exams, but I may excuse an exam for a good story, presented in advance, like your grandmother getting married that day in Provincetown.

Each student is responsible for completing all course requirements and for keeping up with all activities of the course (whether a student is present or not).

Academic Honesty

I expect you to be so interested in your projects and labs that you discuss them with everyone, including your mom, your little brother, and other members of the class (who will at least know what they're being sympathetic about.) So I won't be too surprised if several people come up with the same idea, or even the same programming trick. But I want you to do each homework yourself, and I don't want you to share typing, even if you both worked on the problem together, and you can't really tell anymore who came up with what. (Except of course for group projects, for which the group will be designated in advance.) To keep from confusing me, your homework should mention everyone you talked to and every web site you looked at. You can only skip mentioning your little brother, if you think he wasn't any help at all...

I consider it plagiarism to share typing or fail to give credit to other peoples' ideas.

Fitchburg State has an Academic Dishonesty policy, which can be found in the college catalog. Penalties for academic dishonesty, including submitting work which is not your own, and assisting other students on examinations, can be severe.


If you require course adaptations or accommodation because of a disability or acute medical condition or if you require assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation of the classroom, please see the instructor as soon as possible. Students with disabilities are encouraged to register with the Office of Disability Services on the 3rd floor of the Hammond Building.