New Fifth Floor Teaching Lab Facilities

  1. Frank Quick, (6-1, SB, MEng '70) with Eric Grimson, at the entrance to the newly renovated EECS Fifth Floor Lab, made possible through a generous donation from Dr. Quick. Fall, 2010.
    Frank Quick, (6-1, SB, MEng '70) with Eric Grimson, at the entrance to the newly renovated EECS Fifth Floor Lab, made possible through a generous donation from Dr. Quick. Fall, 2010.

A year ago, work began on a complete renovation of the EECS teaching lab facility on the fifth floor of Building 38. This extensive update was made possible through the generous donation of Dr. Frank Quick, who earned his SB and MEng. in electrical engineering in the MIT EECS Department in 1969-70 and is currently senior vice president of engineering at QUALCOMM.

Project manager and EECS Senior Lecturer Chris Terman summarized the project, which was completed last fall, 2010, for use during the 2010-11 academic year.

“The goal was to accommodate changes in hands-on experiences of new undergrad curriculum by building a mixed-use undergraduate teaching lab that combines the facilities of a workstation cluster and a traditional bench lab. Many courses now offer either a scheduled lab or afternoon/evening drop-in lab hours where students can work on their weekly assignments. Many students use the space as the home base for their various study groups.

The room was redesigned to be a large open-plan space with 100 workstations and group-work tables. Offices along the southern facade were removed to provide an abundance of natural light with a wonderful view of the Dome. New floors, ceilings and lighting make for a welcoming work environment that’s open until midnight Sundays through Thursdays.

The basic building block throughout is a 4-foot-wide computer workstation that includes a shelf for electronic test equipment. The students can use their own laptops or use the provided all-in-one computer running MIT’s current Athena software (a hybrid of Debian/Ubuntu Linux plus many software packages used by our courses). Approximately 35 of the workstations include a basic suite of test equipment supporting introductory circuits courses.”

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