6.331 Advanced Circuit Techniques

Ultimate Analog Class
(4.9 13.6 9.0)

Lecturer: J.K. Roberge
Lecturer's Rating: 6.1/7.0
Prerequisites: 6.301, 6.302; permission of instructor
Response rate: 14 out of 18
Difficulty: 6.1/7.0
Overall Rating: 6.7/7.0
Term Evaluated: Spring 2002

Lecturer's Comments:

This subject teaches the design of high performance analog circuits and systems. Students who want to do good analog design should take this elective. It gives them both circuit design specifics and how they should approach design problems. Students who wish to take this subject should have good background in feedback (6.302), plus ability to design active circuits(6.012 and 6.301). This subject teaches a lot of specifics, but these concepts go out of date fairly quickly. The important - and lasting - message is that you should be able to design something and it should work the first time. This really is a deterministic science - if it doesn't work, it's because the designer did something wrong.

Students taking this subject were mostly graduate students, but there were a couple of seniors and MEng students. They thought that the subject covered "all sorts of analog design" and provided many circuit applications. The class will teach you to build discrete component circuits and will give you a deeper understanding of feedback. Students agreed that the subject provides a very good balance between application and theory.


  • Real world design considerations
  • Challenging
  • Actually building stuff
  • Roberge (stories and experience)


  • Workload amount
  • Workload increases during the semester
  • Lab work a litle bit out of date
  • Lack of office hours

Most students said that they took this class to master analog design techniques. Some also took it because they wanted to do real engineering; others took the class because of the lecturer. Most students thought that there is very good balance between aplication and theory.

Lecturer J.K. Roberge (6.5/7.0, 14 responses) received very good reviews, but there were also a couple of suggestions for improvement. Many students were impressed with his knowledge of the subject and found him to be an excellent lecturer and an entertaining storyteller. However, there were isolated complaints about him not being well organized and not involving the class in discussion. Others suggested that he should do more to emphasize the big picture ideas and to have regular lecture slides.

Recitation instructor K. Lundberg (6.1/7.0, 14 responses) was considered an excellent teacher, well organized, very knowledgable, "crisp and clear."

TA A. Aina (3.8/7.0, 11 responses) received not so good reviews as the rest of the teaching staff. Some students thought he did a good job grading, but others said that he didn't give sufficient feedback while grading, that it took him too long to finish grading, and that he was too harsh. Students didn't find him as helpful a source as the lecturer and recitation instsructor.

Most students found the problem sets to have adequate length and content and thought they were a worthwile part of the course, although some felt that the material covered in them sets was not always useful. Several students collaborated on the problem sets, which was very helpful. Students spent an average of 9.6 hours to complete each problem set. Labs were considered very good, fun, and challenging, but there were some complaints about the age and accessibility to the lab equipment. Some students thought that they sometimes wasted time because the labs were poorly defined and were a "test of patience."

Most students did not use a textbook, though some used a textbook written by the lecturer and found it to be a good resource. There were some useful lecture notes.

Grades in 6.331 are based on problem sets (30%), labs (30%), and design problems (%40). There is no final.

Students recommend that you have a light schedule when you take this class, because "the more time you put in, the more you get out." Any kind of analog background is useful, including 6.301 and 6.302.

"Roberge rocks"

"Ow ow ow. They're great."(the labs)

Dated: June 16, 2002
Eta Kappa Nu, MIT