6.331 (H) Advanced Circuit Techniques
Becoming One With the Transistor
Lecturer: J. Roberge
Next Term: Not Offered
Lecturer's Rating: 6.0/7.0
Prerequisites: 6.301, 6.302, real-world experience,
Response rate: 8 out of 8
Overall Rating: 6.2/7.0
Term Evaluated: Spring 98
This class covers circuit design from an advanced point of view.
6.331 extensively uses examples to teach the material. Students
should enjoy the material and be prepared to keep up with the work
load. This class should be taken by those who want a career in
circuit and/or feedback system design. 6.331 is not a required EE
Students should always start a design problem assuming that it can be
done. The first design attempt should be close to the final design.
Students should not design in a hurry and then try to beat the
project to death in the laboratory.
6.331 is a design class which covers a wide range of analog electronic
circuits. Topics include analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog
converters, power converters, phase-locked loops, and oscillators.
Students taking the class (all of whom were Course VI seniors or
graduate students) enjoyed the class as it provided good examples of
real world circuits and helped develop solid problem-solving
techniques for analog design. All students felt that there was a good
balance between application and theory, though a few mentioned that
they would have preferred that more time be spent discussing RF
design. In general, students wished that more topics were discussed
in less detail.
Student take 6.331 to develop good design skills. One student said that he
took the class because it has "the best professor in analog circuit design."
Be warned, however, that the class is strong in design, so students
warn not to take another very time-consuming class concurrently.
All students found lecturer J. Roberge
very knowledgeable, clear, well-paced, and friendly. One student
suggested that his handouts should provide more explanations, and
another disliked the fact that Roberge does not solicit questions
during class, thus restricting interaction. On the whole, however,
students considered J. Roberge to be a
Recitation Instructor K. Lundberg was very clear and organized.
He taught material relevant to completing the assignments, and
answered questions well. He was a difficult instructor as he adhered
to the "sink-or-swim" style of teaching: he does not provide much help
outside of class. One student feels that K. Lundberg is
overworked as he is also the recitation instructor for 6.301 which may
account the lack of availability outside of class.
Problem sets in 6.331 were challenging but very educational. An
average problem set took 11 hours to complete, 70% of which was
challenging, 20% grunge, and 10% utter frustration. Feelings about
collaboration on problem sets were mixed. While some felt that
collaboration was absolutely essential in completing the problem sets,
others said that they were not too difficult and can be done
independently. All students agree that bibles should not be used to
complete problem sets.
Labs were considered to be excellent tools for learning the material.
Students did mention that the specifications are very difficult to
meet and that the labs are very time consuming, sometimes taking as
long as 30 hours to complete. Of the time spent doing the labs, 70%
was challenging work, 20% was mindless grunge, and 10% was utter
There is no required text for 6.331, but handouts are often taken from
one of J. Roberge's old texts. One
student commented that the notes were so good, he wondered why the
book had gone out of print. Another student commented that one of the
suggested texts by Grebene was a very useful tool.
A grade distribution was not provided, but there are no exams in
6.331. The entire grade is based upon performance on labs and problem
"Be sure to have a blank schedule when taking this class."
"I will now lead a lascivious life because I no longer
feel like hell."
Dated: June 1, 1998
Eta Kappa Nu, MIT