CBB 399: Arduino for Neurobiologists: Building Simple Scientific Instruments Using Arduino Microcontrollers

Arduino for Neurobiologists: Building Simple Scientific Instruments Using Arduino Microcontrollers

The Arduino is a powerful and inexpensive digital microcontrollers that can be used to develop custom lab instruments. Many tasks that used to require a PC or expensive hardware can be put together with an Arduino and tens of dollars worth of parts. Developing microcontroller-based tools allows researchers to automate and scale up aspects of their research that were previously unfeasible.
This nanocourse will cover the basics of programming an Arduino microcontroller and interfacing with sensors and actuators in order to build simple lab instruments. During the lectures, we will explain how a microcontroller works and cover basic topics in electronics and programming. In the homework assignments and hands-on portion of the class, students will learn how to design, build, and debug small projects of their own.
After completing this nanocourse, students should feel comfortable using the Arduino and other electronic parts to build new instruments for their research.
***Enrollment:
Because of the hands-on nature of the class, enrollment is limited to 15 grad students and postdocs. No auditing.

***Please Note: Registration is required for all sessions of this nanocourse***

Preference will be given to members of the Department of Neurobiology.
Prerequisites:
Some basic programming experience (e.g., for-loops, if-statements) is required
** Please bring a laptop to all classes or make prior arrangements with the instructors. **

Course Instructors: Ofer Mazor, Pavel Gorelik, Brett Graham and Joseph Negri
Curriculum Fellow: Taralyn Tan
Course Director: John Assad

Schedule:
First Session: Intro to the Arduino
Date: Fri. April 21 Time: 3-5 pm Location: Goldenson 422
Second Session: Basic electronics, sensors and actuators
Date: Mon. April 24 Time: 3-5 pm Location: Goldenson 422
Third Session: Programming the Arduino and advanced topics
Date: Fri. April 28 Time: 3-5 pm Location: Goldenson 422
Fourth Session: Testing and debugging
Date: Mon. May 1 Time: 3-5 pm Location: Goldenson 422

Class Assignments:
An exercise will be assigned in each class, with the second hour of each class allocated to students working on the assignment for that day. The first day’s assignment is a problem set, and the exercises for the remaining three classes involve building an experimental apparatus.

AUDITORS (Post-Docs, Faculty, or Staff) DO NOT NEED TO SIGN UP TO ATTEND THE 1st SESSION. PLEASE DO NOT ENROLL.