Shayam has written a nice letter to his HOD on usage of free software in laboratory experiments. As a teacher, I am trying to use free software in my own college. The problems mentioned in his letter is existing in all most all colleges in Kerala.
The root cause for this is in the syllabus itself , rather the way in which syllabus is set. Let us look at CUSAT syllabus for Electronics and communication. ( Sorry, I can’t find it on the Cusat website. I have placed the 2006 Btech Scheme and syllabus for Electronics and communication here.).
See the 5th semester microprocessor laboratory.
PART II – 7 Lab sessions
1. Introduction to IBM/PC and its DEBUG program commands
– Examining and modifying the contents of the memory
– Assembling 8086 instructions with the ASSEMBLER commands
– Executing 8086 instructions and programs with the Trace and GO Command.
– Debugging a program
2. Assembly language program development using IBM/PC Macro assembler
– Creating an Assembler source file
– Assembling source program with MASM
– The link program – creating a RUN module
– Typical programming examples.
The DOS debug and masm are embedded in the syllabus itself.
Similarly look at Signal Processing Laboratory. 7th Semester
EC /EI 706 SIGNAL PROCESSING LABORATORY
1. Familiarization of Signal processing tool box-MATLAB
2. Familiarization of DSP trainer kit (Sampling & reconstruction of signals)
List of experiments to be implemented
Generation of basic input signals ( both discrete & continuous)
DFT and spectral analysis computation of DFT, properties of DFT
Digital filter design- FIR & IIR Filters
Matlab is specifically mentioned even though all the above can be done in Octave or Scilab. I don’t know why it was not mentioned.
When we had a university inspection some time back , the inspection committee specifically asked for the Matlab license.
The syllabus revision committee generally consist of senior faculty mem4bers. Most of them are included in the committee on political lines on on merit. Kerala may be the only place in the world where you will find things like Turbo C , debug etc are taught to engineering graduates.