EECE693: SpTp: Computers and Safety Critical Systems (CS2)

Open to GR and UG students

Charles Kim


Fall 2014  



Subject 1: Introduction

Assignment #1: Read these two articles (1 "From Slide rule to Computer" from To Engineer is Human by Henry Petroski and 2 "Myths of Correctness" from Sachertorte Algorithm by John Shore), and discuss their points with respect to computer system failures.  Submit a discussion report of 2-3 pages by Sept. 11

Subject 2: Safety Interface

Subject 3: Safety-Critical Computer System Design and Evaluation - Overview

              MIL-STD-822D and IEC61508

Assignment #2: Search and find one (1) computer-system (hardware, software, or both) caused accident which occurred after January 2011, and describe (1) the computer system (in terms of application, inputs and outputs, and operator), (2) normal (expected) functions and operations of the computer system, (3) guess and list the hazards (which possibly led to) the mishap (accident), and (4) what failures and/or fault in the component of the computer system might cause the hazards.  Submit (1) the descriptive typed-report of 2 - 3 pages by Sept.25 (R), and (2) a powerpoint file (PPT or PPTX) of the following 6 slides: p1 - Brief on the accident; p2 - Computer System; p3 - Normal functions and operations of the computer system; p4- List of hazards and description; p5-failures and faults that might lead to the hazards; and p6- Conclusions by Sept. 29 (M). Selected works will be presented on September 30 (T).

Invited Presentations of Assignment #2 - the following 4 students presented their works:

Sarah Mwandu on Cost Concordia; Naja Green on Maximum Security Prison; Nathaniel Sims on MQ-1B Predator Drone; D'Angelo Woods on an Automobile Recall.


Sarah Mwandu                                                                                      Naja Green



Nathaniel Sims                                                                                   D'Angelo Woods


Subject 4: Computer Systems

Assignment #3: Read Chapter 1 The Origins of Accidents of  Scott Sagan's book, The Limitation of Safety  (Princeton University Press, 1993), and discuss the subject with one's own critic view.   The first paragraph should comprehensively summarize the entire report. Submit (1) a paper report by Oct 16 and (2) a presentation file by Oct 20 via email.  Selected good works will be invited to present in the class of Oct 21.

Invited Presentation on Assignment #3: The following 5 students were invited for their works.

Jordan Wren, Joshua Ajayi, Jonathan Lopera, Michael Robinson, and D'Angelo Woods.


    Jordan Wren                                                            Joshua Ajayi 



        Jonathan Lopera                                                  Michael Robinson 


       D'Angelo Woods 


Subject 5: How Computer Systems Fail

MIL-HDBK-217F    IEEE Std 500-1984 P&V     FMD-91    NPRD-91    ATmega Datasheet

USPTO Class 438 - Semiconductor Device Manufacturing: Process


Subject 6: Fail-Safe System (Simplex Systems and Dual Redundant Systems)


Subject 7: Design Evaluation of Safety-Critical Computer System Design (Fault Tree Analysis and Risk Analysis)

Fault Tree Analysis Handbook [NRC NUREG-0492]      Fault Tree Handbook with Aerospace Applications


Subject 8: Fail-Operate System



Link to System Safety Class -- EECE System Safety