Benefits of DSP Extra-curricular Activities: A Look at the Texas Instruments DSP and Analog Challenge
This paper describes the benefits associated with student and faculty participation in DSP design-related activities that fall outside of the usual university course requirements. It will also describe industry's role in sponsoring these extra-curricular activities. The paper details the lessons learned and skill sets honed of both the students and faculty who participated in the 2000 Texas Instruments Digital Signal Processor (DSP) and Analog Challengeâ ¢. The TI Challenge was a worldwide skills-based competition for university students, where they were challenged to create and submit an original design that employed a TI digital signal processor and included any applicable original software program. Student teams were free to apply their ingenuity to create entirely new applications or improve upon already existing applications, as they competed for prize awards up to US$100,000. In addition to the opportunity for a monetary award, students gained invaluable hands-on experiences by working with state-of-the-art equipment. They were exposed to the reality of uncompromising time schedules and to the challenges of effectively matching project responsibilities to team member capabilities. Faculty and staff benefited because they were then able to offer students the advantage of a comprehensive experience that allowed them to put into practice the theory learned in the classroom, and industry benefited by expanding the pool of applicants experienced with the entire design process. In short, the TI Challenge provided a framework for exposing students to a real world design experience with the additional opportunity for award, recognition, and publication.