Teaching Embedded Systems: A Perspective from Ashesi University, Ghana

In January this year Ashesi University, Ghana was one of the first academic institutions in Africa to adopt our textbook, Embedded Systems Fundamentals with Arm Cortex-M based Microcontrollers: A Practical Approach. We spoke to Francis Gatsi, Lecturer in Computer Science and Engineering at the college, to find out more about his teaching philosophy and challenges faced in introducing Embedded Systems courses into a Liberal Arts curriculum.

The Interview

Francis Gatsi

Francis Gatsi

Arm Education Media: Please introduce yourself to our readers. 

Francis Gatsi: I am a Lecturer in the Computer Science and Engineering departments of the Ashesi University, currently teaching courses in Communication Systems, Embedded Systems and Networks & Data Communications.

Prior to moving into academia, I worked for 15 years in the telecommunications sector, and the last six of those years as a Consultant Engineer on the Ericsson Mobile Radio Access Networks (RAN) platform. I am an IEEE Wireless Communications Professional, and hold a BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, an MSc in Information and Telecommunications Technologies, and a Master of Communications (ICT) Management.

My industrial experience has helped me develop an in-depth insight into the interplay between technology and business, having worked in operator, managed services and vendor environments.

Arm Education Media: What made you decide to move from the telecommunications industry into teaching?

Francis Gatsi: It has been my desire to end my active years in academia. I felt there were a lot of things I would like to do that the industry work environment did not give me time to do. Entering academia affords me the opportunity to explore more, take my PhD, and build the capacity to contribute to emerging areas such as Internet of Things (IoT).

Arm Education Media: Can you describe Ghana’s Ashesi University College for us? What challenges and opportunities are you facing in teaching Embedded Systems there?

Francis Gatsi: Ashesi University is the only Liberal Arts institution in Ghana. Built on the three pillars of scholarship, leadership and citizenship, its mission is to educate “ethical and entrepreneurial leaders in Africa". Students are actively encouraged to cultivate their critical thinking skills, concern for others and the courage required to transform our continent.