Course Overview

Welcome to ECE 445! If you've looked at the course Calendar, you've probably already noticed that this class is quite different from most other classes in the department. The class only meets as a whole for the first few weeks of the semester. During these lectures you will meet the Course Staff, learn about specific assignments, requirements, and resources for the course, and have a chance to meet other students to share ideas and form teams. These are some of the most important weeks for the class since the decisions you make during this time will determine what you'll get out of this class and, in many ways, how much you'll enjoy it.

Outside of lecture, you are expected to be working on your own to develop ideas and form teams. You are also expected to actively participate on the Piazza discussion board to exchange ideas, receive feedback from course staff, and eventually get your project idea approved. Once your team has a project approved, you will be assigned a TA, with whom you will have weekly meetings. Think of your TA as a project manager. Keep in mind that they are not there to do the work for you. Rather, they are there to keep you on track, point you towards resources (both within and outside of the department), and evaluate the result of your efforts.

Expectations and Requirements

We have high expectations for students participating in ECE 445. You are soon to be alumni of one of the top ECE departments of the world. Our alumni hold themselves to high technical and professional standards of conduct. In general, projects are expected to be safe, ethical, and have a level of design complexity commensurate with the rigor of the ECE Illinois curriculum. Requirements for specific assignments due throughout the semester can be found by looking through the Grading Scheme for the course. Please read through this documentation well before each assignment is due. Specific due dates can be found on the course Calendar.

Below are a few words of wisdom to keep in mind throughout the semester to increase your enjoyment and success in the course:

Filtered Back – Projection Optical Demonstration

Tori Fujinami, Xingchen Hong, Jacob Ramsey

Filtered Back – Projection Optical Demonstration

Featured Project

Project Description

Computed Tomography, often referred to as CT or CAT scans, is a modern technology used for medical imaging. While many people know of this technology, not many people understand how it works. The concepts behind CT scans are theoretical and often hard to visualize. Professor Carney has indicated that a small-scale device for demonstrational purposes will help students gain a more concrete understanding of the technical components behind this device. Using light rather than x-rays, we will design and build a simplified CT device for use as an educational tool.

Design Methodology

We will build a device with three components: a light source, a screen, and a stand to hold the object. After placing an object on the stand and starting the scan, the device will record three projections by rotating either the camera and screen or object. Using the three projections in tandem with an algorithm developed with a graduate student, our device will create a 3D reconstruction of the object.


• Motors to rotate camera and screen or object

• Grid of photo sensors built into screen

• Light source

• Power source for each of these components

• Control system for timing between movement, light on, and sensor readings