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The use of a general education course to introduce nonengineering students and faculty to concepts of engineering

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2 Author(s)
Bobis, J.P. ; Northern Illinois Univ., IL, USA ; Newell, Darrell E.

In particular, the Electrical Engineering Department at Northern Illinois University (NIU), where a substantial majority of the students are undergraduates, elected to promote their programs and to teach the nonengineering students the various facets of electrical engineering with a general education course. Some of the technical topics included were discussions of computers, remote communication, VCRs, microwave ovens, automatic control systems, household wiring distribution, as well as current items of interest such as the Hubble telescope imperfections. In addition, each student selected or was given a problem to conceptually use his/her new found tools to solve. Vehicle location using local radio stations as beacons, parking lot license plate readers, computers to determine parking bills, and home basement gas detectors were typical problems the students elected to conceptually solve. This course, with typical enrollments of over 100 students, has alerted the administration and many of the 25000 students/1200 faculty at NIU to the new Electrical Engineering program on campus. This has resulted in the program being more dynamically supported by the university community

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1991. Twenty-First Annual Conference. 'Engineering Education in a New World Order.' Proceedings.

Date of Conference:

21-24 Sep 1991

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