CB 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.

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

Enrollment:
Because of the hands-on nature of the class, enrollment is limited to 15 grad students and postdocs. No auditing.

Preference will be given to members of the Department of Neurobiology.

Prerequisites:
Some basic programming experience (e.g., for-loops, if-statements) is required.

Fall 2017 class schedule:
Mon. Oct. 23 (3–5pm): Intro to the Arduino
Fri. Oct. 27 (3–5pm): Basic electronics, sensors and actuators
Mon. Oct. 30 (3–5pm): Programming the Arduino and advanced topics
Fri. Nov. 3 (3–5pm): Testing and debugging

All classes meet in Goldenson 422

** Please bring a laptop to all classes or make prior arrangements with the instructors. **