Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Computer Science

First Advisor

Jason Johnson

Second Advisor

Colin MacCreery


The WMU Computer Organization and Assembly Language class has encountered some difficulties in the past several years regarding the procurement of required hardware and software for the curriculum. This has led to a number of challenges for students, including:

  • Difficulty in obtaining the necessary hardware and software
  • Inability to complete assignments and projects due to hardware or software failures
  • Frustration and anxiety caused by the challenges of the course

To address these challenges, a new choice of embedded firmware was researched and developed. This firmware allows for more reliable flashing of the MSP430 Microcontroller and remains reliable on modern operating systems. Furthermore, custom changes to the firmware were made to decrease the compiled binary size, allowing it to fit onto smaller, and therefore cheaper, versions of the microcontroller.

In addition to the new firmware, additional hardware configurations were researched. This opened the door to the creation of a new piece of MSP430-based hardware using the newly developed firmware. This new hardware decreased reliance on sparse hardware and allowed for a smoother and more reliable experience during the course.

The results of this research and development have been very positive. Students have reported that the new firmware and hardware have made the course much more enjoyable and manageable. They have also expressed appreciation for the increased reliability of the course materials.

This research has the potential to make a significant impact on the WMU Computer Organization and Assembly Language class. By providing students with more reliable hardware and software, the course can be made more accessible and enjoyable. This can lead to improved student learning outcomes and a more positive overall experience.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access