A team of Arizona State University computer science and computer systems engineering students won a first-place award at the Intel Cup, the premiere international student competition in embedded system design.

The ASU team was among 14 of the 170 teams competing to earn a top award at the event in Shanghai, China.

An embedded system is a combination of computer hardware and software designed for particular functions in electronic devices and vehicles such as phones, cameras, automobiles, airplanes, household appliances and toys.

The team’s project was an educational program designed to introduce students to fundamental concepts of computational thinking. It combines a web-based programming environment and a physical robotics platform to teach students the fundamentals of programming in an engaging and less expensive way.

Graduate student Garret Walliman is the team’s coach. He designed the project and mentored students who developed it as their senior-year engineering capstone design project.

Recent computer systems engineering graduate Rizwan Ahmad represented the team in Shanghai.

Other team members are recent computer systems engineering graduates Stephen Pluta and Matthew Recchia, and undergraduate computer systems engineering students Corey Jallen and Randy Queen.  They worked on the system hardware and embedded software design.

Students who participated through their capstone design work in developing the upper-level software, including the graphical user interface and simulator, include recent computer science graduates Tracy Heath and Ian Plumley, and undergraduate computer science students Garth Bjerk and David Humphries.

The team’s faculty advisors senior lecturer Yinong Chen and professor Yann-Hang Lee in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Garret Walliman

Garret Walliman, right, a graduate student in computer science education, and Corey Jallen, an undergraduate student in computer systems engineering, discuss the robot and software that ASU students have designed for the upcoming Intel Cup competition in Shanghai in July. Photographer Jessica Hochreiter/ASU.

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