Computer Architecture Summary

Jul 1, 2024

In the Computer Architecture course in the Computer Science (CS) Department at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), we teach the students the foundational structures of modern digital computers and cover the theory needed for realizing digital circuits and constructing computer hardware.

Ali Al-Humairi, Senior Lecturer, CS Department, said: This year, in cooperation with RWTH Aachen University, funded by DAAD, Germany, we introduced a Virtual Reality (VR) Lab in the Computer Architecture course. This new immersive experience allowed our students to learn the complexities of PC repair, marking a significant milestone in their educational journey. In cooperation with RWTH Aachen and funded by DAAD, we are designing and developing a new VR-based course to provide our students with even more decadent learning experiences.

In addition to the VR lab in the Computer Architecture course, RWTH Aachen University, funded by DAAD, designed and developed the virtual tour for the History of Science Center (HSC) at GUtech to online visit the HSC and experience all artifacts in Virtual Reality. We look forward to sustaining our partnership with RWTH Aachen and DAAD as we explore innovative teaching methods.

Jarif Bin Nafiz, CS Student: Doing the VR project for the Computer Architecture course was really a great opportunity. I was able to dive in deeper into this revolutionary piece of technology, that I had barely used before, learning from the basic aspects of how to wear the headset to getting immersed into the actual VR experience. Using MyScore gave me a new perspective in using VR, especially going into the GUtech lab virtually to build the PC and the way in which we built it.It was also very interesting being able to experience aspects of the History of Science center in the Virtual World.

Adhari Al Abri, CS Student: Working with VR allowed me to explore the vast and different areas of virtual technologies. We worked on several parts, such as using the VR components themselves, dealing with the recording software, and much more. We also took part in many exhibitions to explain the general usage of VR and assist guests in using VR technologies. Overall, the experience was a fantastic one and eye-opening in many areas.

Prof. Dr. Armin Eberlein, Deputy Rector for Academic Affairs, said:

“GUtech takes great pride in its commitment to providing a diverse range of teaching methods that enhance student learning. While traditional lectures remain an integral part of the learning experience, we deliberately incorporate practical components and excursions, both locally and internationally, to equip our students with skills that set them apart from graduates of other universities.

In recent years, we have increasingly integrated virtual components into our teaching methods, further enhancing the educational experience of our students. For instance, we use new technologies, such as VR glasses, to enable students to interact with systems, components, and even colleagues within virtual environments. These initiatives have been made possible through the MyScore software, developed by the research team of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heribert Nacken from our affiliate institution, RWTH Aachen University in Germany. MyScore employs avatars that interact with one another, allowing students to collaboratively build virtual systems, fostering a dynamic and interactive learning experience.

Furthermore, our geoscience students have access to large sandboxes, which enable them to create virtual models used for predicting flooding scenarios and identifying potential fault lines that may trigger earthquakes. Prof. Dr. Florian Wellmann, also from RWTH Aachen University, has played a pivotal role in the establishment of these systems.

By employing such a diverse range of teaching methods, GUtech has created an engaging and enjoyable learning environment, making the educational process both fun and memorable for our students. We firmly believe that this unique approach to education equips our graduates with the necessary skills to excel in their chosen fields and workplace.”

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