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Situation Problems in Electrical Engineering

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During the past few years, I have developed a couple dozen problems in Electrical Engineering which are somewhat unusual. The problems are written around a situation similar to case studies as employed in Business Schools. I try with some introductory comments to project the student into a "real life" situation and then lead him through a series of step-at-a-time solutions. One of the purposes of the situation problems is to heighten the student's interest and thereby increase his motivation. Additionally, the student learns to follow through a lengthy line of reasoning and related engineering design. Since the problems frequently require the full use of broad prior knowledge, the student learns to integrate together a number of subjects. In this respect, the problems help to augment his laboratory experience. The situation problems typically require a considerable amount of time both by the student in solving and by the instructor in grading. Occasionally, the problems are done in groups or as class exercises. The problem answers follow sequentially and initial errors are propagated. This is justified as being a "real life" experience and therefore valuable to the student in teaching him to work accurately The over-all student reaction has, I feel, been quite favorable. In discussing the solutions, the instructor has an opportunity to interpolate numerous comments, as appropriate, concerning analysis, approximations, and engineering design philosophy. The following situation problem on "Transistorized Low-Frequency Class C Amplifier" was recently prepared.

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:E-7 ,  Issue: 2 & 3 )