6.091 | January IAP 2008 | Undergraduate

Hands-On Introduction to Electrical Engineering Lab Skills


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 5 sessions for 4 weeks, 1.5 hours / session

Labs: 5 sessions for 4 weeks, 4 hours / session

Course Meetings

6.091 is a three-week-long course meeting in January during MIT’s Independent Activities Period.

The course consists of five 90-minute lectures with demos and chalkboard discussions. Each lecture is followed by a lab. There are three lab sections with 15 students per section. Each section is staffed by the lecturer and two lab assistants. The student lab staff ratio (5:1) allows for close interaction and one-on-one discussions. Each of the five lab exercises generally requires 2 to 4 hours depending upon the technical background of the student.


This course introduces students to both passive and active electronic components (op-amps, 555 timers, TTL digital circuits). Basic analog and digital circuits and theory of operation are covered. The labs allow the students to master the use of electronic instruments and construct and/or solder several circuits. The labs also reinforce the concepts discussed in class with a hands-on approach and allow the students to gain significant experience with electrical instruments such as function generators, digital multimeters, oscilloscopes, logic analyzers and power supplies. In the last lab, the students build an electronic circuit that they can keep. The course is geared to freshmen and others who want an introduction to electronics circuits.


Lecture and Lab 1

Electronic components (resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes)

Use of multimeters and oscilloscopes

Construction and debugging of simple electronic circuits

Soldering exercise

Lecture and Lab 2 LEDs, bipolar junction transistors, MOSFETs, optical isolators, op amps
Lecture and Lab 3 More integrated circuits: 555 timers, voltage regulators, Zener diodes
Lecture and Lab 4 Digital ICs: inverters, counters, flip flops, shift registers, digital to analog converters
Lecture and Lab 5 Motors, AD/DA converters, digital design lab, wrap-up


Grading is pass/fail. Passing requires the completion of all five labs.

Course Info

As Taught In
January IAP 2008
Learning Resource Types
notes Lecture Notes