SAN DIEGO, Aug. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of California, San Diego flagship Master of Advanced Study (MAS) program in Wireless and Embedded Systems, a technical executive education program catering to engineering professionals, has adopted National Instruments platforms to provide a unique hands-on experience for participants. The program, co-directed by Dr. Ryan Kastner and Dr. George Papen, offers a new cross-disciplinary education paradigm providing high-level training for professional engineers who plan to become technical leaders in the areas of signal processing, embedded computing and wireless communications. "The Wireless Embedded Systems Program engages students in state-of-the-art engineering that will lead to the development of next-generation wireless and embedded devices," said Dr. Kastner, program co-director and professor of computer science and engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering. "The classes are project-oriented with a focus on laboratory exercises that connect models of computation and real-world systems, which NI's platforms provide through a graphical system design approach and scalability among hardware." The directors of the MAS program chose NI Single-Board RIO embedded microcontrollers, USRP™ (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) software defined radios, and NI LabVIEW system design software for model-based design of wireless, embedded and cyber-physical systems. The unified software framework and tightly integrated hardware platform delivers industry-standard equipment into the classroom to provide real-world hands-on experiences. "NI's tools utilize tight hardware/software integration that facilitates a more comprehensive learning experience on a cohesive platform," said James Kimery, director of software defined radio and RF/Communications at National Instruments. "Our software defined radio technology leverages this integration to employ a graphical system design approach for rapid prototyping capabilities, which delivers faster time to results, or in this case, faster time to understanding concepts in wireless and embedded systems." Students cover a broad range of topics such as FPGA-based hardware design, C programming of real-time operating systems, graphical system design for embedded systems and wireless multiple input multiple output (MIMO) communications, and model-based design for cyber-physical systems using signal processing, 3D physics simulation, and Statechart programming techniques. Hardware and software donated by Xilinx Inc. and Wind River Systems, Inc. paired with the LabVIEW design environment helps participants explore embedded systems design at multiple levels of abstraction.