One of the goals of senior design courses in undergraduate engineering programs is to involve students in a meaningful project so that they gain real-life experience in practicing their knowledge and independent thinking to enhance their learning.
Most of the instructors keep track of student attendance by printing student lists from the registrar’s database and passing it around during class periods. Instructors have to manually check student names and match it with each student’s daily class attendance. The process of managing student attendance using this paper-based method consumes precious time. An automated attendance system that automatically record student attendance is very beneficial to both instructors and students.
The main objective of this project was to involve an undergraduate engineering student in design of an automatic identification system that is capable of scanning and processing data stored on student ID cards to record attendance of students. The designed system had to consist of an automatic ID card reader, a database that stores the data retrieved from the IDs, a wired communication system between the reader and the database server, and a wireless communication system between the automatic reader and the database server. The design approach was divided into four categories of hardware communication, application interfaces for various designs, server connection design, and database design.
The design process and details of the project along with educational outcomes of the student activities are described in this paper. The project was designed and implemented by an undergraduate engineering student as a senior design project. The student used principles of radio frequency identification technique to read identification of each person from their ID cards. The information retrieved by the reader is transferred with the aid of Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) to a Structured Query Language (SQL) database on the server and then is processed for generating an attendance list.
Ali Eydgahi started his career in higher education as a faculty member at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1985. Since then, he has been with the State University of New York, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Eastern Michigan University. During 2006-2010, he was Chair of the Department of Engineering and Aviation Sciences, Founder and Director of the Center for 3-D Visualization and Virtual Reality Applications, and Technical Director of the NASA funded MIST Space Vehicle Mission Planning Laboratory at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. In 2010, he joined Eastern Michigan University as an Associate Dean in the College of Technology and currently is a Professor in the School of Engineering Technology. He has an extensive experience in curriculum and laboratory design and development. Dr. Eydgahi has served as a member of the Board of Directors for Tau Alpha Pi, as a member of Advisory and Editorial boards for many International Journals in Engineering and Technology, as a member of review panel for NASA and Department of Education, as a regional and chapter chairman of IEEE, SME, and ASEE, and as a session chair and as a member of scientific and international committees for many international conferences.
Dr. Payam Matin is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering and Aviation Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), Princess Anne, Maryland. Dr. Matin has received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan in May 2005. He has taught a number of courses in the areas of mechanical engineering and aerospace at UMES. He has served as departmental ABET committee chair through a successful accreditation visit in Fall 2012. Dr. Matin’s research has been mostly in the areas of Computational Mechanics and Experimental Mechanics with applications in Solid Mechanics, Plasticity and Sheet Metal Forming. Dr. Matin has published more than 25 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers. Dr. Matin is the recipient of NSF MRI award as a Co-PI. Dr. Matin worked in Automotive industry for Chrysler Corporation from 2005 to 2007. He Joined UMES in August 2007. He is affiliated with ASME and ASEE professional societies
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