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Education, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 2 • Date May 2001

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 38
  • Emphasizing formal analysis in a software engineering curriculum

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    The integration of formal method application throughout a six course software engineering curriculum is outlined. Formal analysis skills were included in order to increase the complex program solving skills of the student. The five instruction-oriented courses presented highlight how formal analysis was introduced in and applied to the corresponding subject material. The materials presented, along with an accounting of the experiment, provide a basis for other academicians to teach formal analysis at their own institutions. View full abstract»

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  • Learning microcontrollers with a CAI oriented multi-micro simulation environment

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    This paper presents the application of a CAI-oriented simulation environment of the 8051, namely UVI51, to the laboratory work in an introductory course on microcontrollers. The main features of UV151 derive from its orientation to education: (i) very realistic simulation of both CPU and embedded peripherals; (ii) easy-to-use interface; (iii) graphical windows that show the state and configuration of the embedded peripherals; (iv) ability to simulate the concurrent operation of several microcontrollers; and (v) ability to simulate the interaction of the microcontrollers with external peripherals. A brief description of the environment and some exercises to be implemented by the students are presented. The results of the educational experience, in terms of both opinions and scores of the students, are also discussed. View full abstract»

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  • Teaching electromagnetic fields and FEM for undergraduate students

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    An approach to the finite element method applied to the solution of electromagnetic fields problems is presented. This methodology is suitable for teaching electrical engineering students at undergraduate level, because the problem formulation is based solely on the direct integration of Maxwell's equations and the approach is only valid for first-order elements, thereby avoiding the use of an excessively complex mathematical treatment. View full abstract»

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  • NASWAVE-a program for display of standing waves on network analyzers

    Page(s): 151 - 157
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (136 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Vector network analyzers have evolved as the measurement system of choice for microwave industry use. However, network analyzers are not usually covered in undergraduate laboratories, primarily because of cost and reluctance of instructors to move away from slotted line techniques, and the associated visual representation of standing waves. To bridge the gap between these technologies, a computer program has been developed for controlling a network analyzer to display standing waves as visualized on slotted lines for impedance measurements. The program, NASWAVE, provides this visualization of standing waves for instructional purposes so that students actually see the waveforms similar to the response obtained with slotted line measurements, The equations used for computation and display of the standing waves are presented. The software operation and use is discussed and examples are also presented View full abstract»

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  • Complementary root locus revisited

    Page(s): 137 - 143
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (120 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, a new finding related to the well-known root locus method that is covered in the introductory control systems books is presented, It is shown that some of the complementary root locus rules and properties are not valid for systems with loop transfer functions that are not strictly proper. New definitions for root locus branches have been presented which divide them into branches passing through infinity and branches ending at or starting from infinity. New formulations for calculating the number of branches passing through the infinity point of intersection of the asymptotes on the real axis, and angles of these asymptotes with the real axis have been introduced. It has been shown this type of system with the order of n will have at least one and at most n branches which will pass through infinity. The realization and stability of these systems have been investigated, and their gain plots have been presented. The new finding can be used by educators to complement their lecture materials of the root locus method. By using problems similar to examples presented in the paper, analytical understanding of the students in a classical control systems course can be tested View full abstract»

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  • Root loci design using Dickson's technique

    Page(s): 176 - 184
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (200 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Traditional techniques for determining the root loci were developed by Evans. Given the characteristic equation {1+G(s)H(s)=0}, Evans root locus method requires the magnitude of G(s)H(s) to be equal to minus one and is well established for determining the pole locations as the system gains are changed. In this paper, nontraditional techniques for developing the root loci of control systems are introduced. Illustrations are developed by using a method for plotting the root loci that involves setting the real and the imaginary portions of the characteristic equation equal to zero. Setting the real and imaginary parts of the characteristic equation equal to zero arises from work in the theory of equations by Dickson. Application of this technique allows adjustment of the gain, to establish the system requirements, and introduces collateral equations subject to unique geometric interpretation View full abstract»

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  • An update on the SimulNet educational platform. Towards standards-driven E-learning

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    E-learning is one of the killer applications in the new information society. Many educational systems have been developed, targeted to specific learning environments. One specific area of concern is practical training. This paper presents the latest update on the WWW-based teaching laboratory SimulNet. Particularly, we describe the functionality of the SimulNet whiteboard and authoring tools. Among others, the whiteboard features allow any kind of data sharing on the Web, on-line synchronous communication among learners and instructors and the possibility of following virtual presentations with an embedded Web-based slide projector. The SimulNet authoring environment includes a multimedia editor tool and both static and dynamic content structure generator. Also, current efforts in the learning technology standardization process were taken into account. We set the basis to become SimulNet compliant with the leading standard recommendations View full abstract»

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  • Vector control methods for induction machines: an overview

    Page(s): 170 - 175
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (108 KB)  

    In the last three decades, different vector control methods (field-oriented control (FOC), field acceleration method (FAM), universal field orientation (UFO), direct self control (DSC) and Takahashi method among others) have been proposed. It is difficult for students and nonspecialists to understand the drawbacks and advantages of each one. With this in mind, the objective of this paper is to propose a clear classification and comparison of them View full abstract»

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  • Signal-flow graphs: direct method of reduction and MATLAB implementation

    Page(s): 185 - 190
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (100 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Block diagrams and signal-flow graphs are used to represent and to obtain the transfer function of interconnected systems. The reduction of signal-flow graphs is considered simpler than the reduction of block diagrams for systems with complex interrelationships. Signal-flow graphs reduction can be made without graphic manipulations of diagrams, and it is attractive for a computational implementation. In this paper, the authors propose a computational method for direct reduction of signal-flow graphs. This method uses results presented in this paper about the calculation of literal determinants without symbolic mathematics tools. The Cramer's rule is applied for the solution of a set of linear equations. A program in MATLAB language for reduction of signal-flow graphs with the proposed method is presented View full abstract»

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  • Enhancing state-space control teaching with a computer-based assignment

    Page(s): 129 - 136
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (124 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper describes an assignment study that is undertaken at Heriot-Watt University by students who have elected to study the digital/state-space control module as part of their Masters program in Digital Systems Engineering. The assignment is based around the inverted pendulum system and uses the computer package MATLAB/SIMLINK. The assignment allows exploration of topics that are difficult through conventional tutorial examples and is structured in a manner that enhances the traditional classroom teaching approach. The topics covered are pole-placement design and both deterministic and stochastic state estimation. The given design performance specifications result in nonunique state-feedback and observer gain matrices. This has the dual advantages of reflecting a common practical control situation and also helps eliminate the potential for plagiarism among the students View full abstract»

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  • SAPWIN-a symbolic simulator as a support in electrical engineering education

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    Gaining an insight into circuit properties in electrical engineering classes can be achieved by using computer based tools. A computer program which combines symbolic and numerical simulation capabilities is of great help, because such a program provides students with automatic analysis tools. This paper presents the program SAPWIN, which has been developed to perform an automatic symbolic and numerical analysis of linear circuits. The paper presents program features, their development lines and fundamental aspects. Also, the educational purposes which are contained in the use of the program itself are presented View full abstract»

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  • Symbolic computation with Maple V for undergraduate electromagnetics

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    Although symbolic analysis has been successfully used as an educational tool for mathematics, circuits, signals and systems courses, its value in electrical engineering education is still a controversial issue. The paper presents the use of symbolic computation in electromagnetics, where the complexity of the involved mathematics often prevents the students from understanding the underlying physical aspects. The educational strategy the authors propose is complementary to the numerical approach. It is based on actual symbolic calculation of electromagnetic field, not just on field visualization. An example of a Maple V worksheet dedicated to the computation of magnetic field with the Biot-Savart-Laplace method (BSL) is presented. The worksheet contains a theoretical introduction, 8 solved problems (equations, text and plots) and 12 proposed projects. After going through several solved problems, the students are asked to make changes in the worksheet and to discuss the results. They are finally required to conceive their own worksheets for solving new proposed problems, using the BSL worksheet as a model. Their experience shows that the symbolic computation has an outstanding educational potential not only in mathematics, circuits and systems, but also in electromagnetics View full abstract»

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  • Remote laboratory for a brushless DC motor

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    The objective of this study is to investigate remote-learning methods in the context of mechatronics education, and in particular, for the study of brushless DC motors, which are extensively employed in robots, information devices, home appliances and other areas. While hypermedia-based courseware and computer-assisted instruction are widely used in conventional desk-type learning, very few examples exist of remote learning that involve experiments. The authors therefore developed a prototype client-server system for remotely conducting experiments on brushless DC motors, including Web-based courseware and other software. The server computer is connected to the motor laboratory, and the visual image and sounds of the experiment are transmitted to the client computer in real time. The remotely located user can operate the motors and conduct experiments through the client computer. Through demonstrations to a class, the authors conclude that the remote lab combined with a simulation of the motor's dynamic behavior can be a quite effective teaching aid for the study of precision motors View full abstract»

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  • Java applets for microelectronics education

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    This work describes a library of online courseware utilizing Java applets developed for microelectronics education. The objective is to provide an online learning environment that supplements resident instruction. Java applets are utilized to interactively demonstrate principles, provide design tools, and allow students to test their knowledge via online quizzes. The course material and Java applets are included on the CD-ROM View full abstract»

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  • Simulators over the network

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    In this paper we present SimulNet, our contribution to the improvement of high-quality learning at home using new technologies. SimulNet provides students with a teleteaching environment where the “learning-by-doing” paradigm is possible. Unlike other distance teaching systems whose aim is to achieve a virtual classroom, SimulNet provides a virtual laboratory to put theoretical knowledge into practice. Because SimulNet is a 100% pure Java system, our labware can be run on any computer and operating system. Our approach is based on the simulation of the actual laboratory tools that are delivered through the Internet (Java applets) or by CD-ROM technology (Java applications). Although SimulNet can be used in a remote access way, Java allows us to provide always the highest level of interactivity, which is an essential feature in any distance education system. In addition, SimulNet also provides a set of communication and tutoring tools for learners and instructors, providing a full cooperative learning atmosphere. We believe distance education should not mean to study alone and, therefore, we made an extra effort to provide an environment where students and teachers feel as is they were in a virtual lecture room View full abstract»

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  • A simple device and a project for the nonlinear control systems laboratory

    Page(s): 144 - 150
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (176 KB)  

    This paper describes a new inverted pendulum system that is useful to illustrate important aspects of nonlinear control systems theory. The stabilization of the pendulum is to be achieved by the on-off action of two electromagnets; therefore, an adequate switching policy has to be applied. The pendulum can be controlled by a computer, using simple electronic interface circuits. This paper considers first an example from literature that suggests some design principles about the new system. Second, there is a detailed description of the pendulum. Finally, the use of the system in a student's project is presented. The experimental device is easy to build, inexpensive, and has good pedagogical impact View full abstract»

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  • Modular microprocessor kit for undergraduate laboratory on industrial automation

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    Teaching microprocessors to mechanical engineering students has become part of the new curriculum of the Escola Politecnica of the University of Sao Paulo, since 1988. The theoretical discipline, where microprocessor small systems design is taught, is complemented with laboratory activities where the student faces a one-semester project for solving a problem with a modular microprocessor kit on the subject of industrial automation. The concept of modularity introduced in this microprocessor kit allows the student to propose his or her own project and configure a system that allows the students to have contact with three basic issues concerning industrial automation: actuation, sensing and I/O commands. The kit is composed of several modules, that can be interconnected between themselves and a linear position system with two actuators versions, one with DC motor and encoder and other with stepping motor. Each module consists of a PC board of 100×130 mm of dimensions and, except for the motor's drivers, they can be connected to each other by flat cable or by the piggy-back method which creates a stack of boards. This paper describes the modular microprocessor kit and its application to an undergraduate laboratory to solve industrial automation problems View full abstract»

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  • Learning on demand-a hybrid synchronous/asynchronous approach

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    A variety of online courses and even degree programs have begun to appear as standard offerings from a broad spectrum of educational and training institutions. Often, these courses consist purely of web-based access to traditional textual and graphical course materials, while others have tried to provide real-time audio or video access to traditional classes using modern communications technologies. This paper describes another approach-the Lectures on Demand in Asynchronous Learning Networks (ALN) methodology-in using information technology to enhance the learning experience for conventional on-campus students, as well as for those students whose circumstances require that they be asynchronous in time or space with respect to fellow students and instructional staff. In this approach, students are able to 'attend' classes in real time via the Internet, as well as to access asynchronously digitally stored video material with hyperlinks to other online resources, such as mailing lists or chat sessions, at any time. In addition to the simple delivery of class materials, current and emerging Internet-based communication technologies permit beneficial interaction in real-time and asynchronously among students and between students and instructor, which is a key for effective learning. The paper discusses the pedagogical and technical issues involved in this approach, and describes a variety of mechanisms to provide enhanced live and archived classes View full abstract»

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  • Internet-based learning by doing

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    This paper presents the current trends in Internet-based training by experimental work. The authors show how to apply the “learning by doing” paradigm in Internet-based distance learning, both for academic educational environments and life-long training systems, taking into account available computer and network resources. Firstly, the different phases in the learning process are introduced. The aim of this introduction is to show to the readers the importance of the learning by doing paradigm, which is not implemented in many Internet-based educational environments. Then, they identify the most important trends in this field which can be classified into two main groups. The first one consists of accessing the real equipment through an Internet interface. The second is based on simulation, very often, Java-based simulation. Both approaches are discussed, including brief descriptions of currently available systems that implement them. Finally, these approaches are compared from different points of view. They point out the most significant variables to bear in mind and, as the readers may find a tradeoff between some of them, they also provide a graphical guide to help them in their choice View full abstract»

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  • An autonomous race car design competition

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    This paper describes an innovative collaboration between industry and academia in creating a meaningful design experience for undergraduate electrical engineering students. The design project involves designing, building and testing an autonomous model racecar. The course culminates in a competition. A primary goal of the competition is to provide undergraduates with a meaningful design experience with an emphasis on electronic circuits. This contest has a different flavor from the well-established IEEE Micromouse competition in the sense that it places the emphasis on the design and construction of an electronic sensing and control system without the microprogramming necessary to solve a maze (although a microprocessor can certainly be used). It is hoped that by placing the emphasis on the circuitry, the course will encourage more undergraduates to go into the field of electronic circuit design. The learning experience offered by the competition is shaped by, among other things, the format and rules of the competition, the students preparation in terms of circuit and control system theory and practice, and by the format of the design project course. This paper describes the competition in detail and discuss factors affecting the educational experience View full abstract»

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  • An evaluation model for Web-based instruction

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    Recently Web-based instruction (WBI) has been adopted for many educational systems in order to support distance education. WBI has become popular in that it overcomes time and space limitation in traditional educational systems. But due to lack of face-to-face communication, it is crucial that WBI provide interactivity and motivation for students. This paper introduces a formal model that evaluates interactivity and motivation for courses based on WBI. The model is comprehensive and objective so that it can be used to evaluate any course. Based on the model, the paper selects some WBI courses and compares them for their interactivity and motivation. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of further research issues View full abstract»

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  • Developing educational software for mechatronics simulation

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    The need for a mechatronics simulation software is pointed out with special reference to engineering education, after which the authors present a convenient approach. Their basic algorithm computes the electromechanical behavior of electric motors combined with mechanical components like inertial/frictional/torsional loads, including such transmission elements as gears or lead screw/nuts. The simplicity and utility of their mathematical treatment are discussed in terms of its educational merits. The major theory is developed using a brush-type permanent DC motor, but brushless DC and stepping motors are discussed as well. They present three sample software packages. One is a simple program which demonstrates the computational principles for the electric current in an LRC circuit or the velocity of a suspended mass. The other two simulate the dynamic behavior of a slide table powered by a DC motor via gears and a lead screw. One is written in Microsoft Visual Basic code reflecting the physical meaning of mechanical components and the other is a Visual C++ version using the class library concept. The merits and demerits of these two approaches are discussed from the vantage point of undergraduate education and the retraining of technical instructors and working engineers View full abstract»

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  • A computer tool for helping engineering students in their learning of electrical energy basics

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    This paper describes a computer tool designed to help engineering students with their work in learning basic concepts of electrical energy. The computer tool was built as a specialized package of the software Mathematica, comprising about thirty user-defined functions covering all the application area of electrical energy systems. The package was designed to back up courses using the problem-based learning paradigm. Two typical examples of usage are presented in details View full abstract»

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  • An educational genetic algorithms learning tool

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    During the last thirty years, there has been a rapidly growing interest in a field called genetic algorithms (GAs). The field is at a stage of tremendous growth as evidenced by the increasing number of conferences, workshops and papers concerning it, as well as the emergence of a central journal for the field. With their great robustness, genetic algorithms have proven to be a promising technique for many optimization, design, control, and machine learning applications. Students who take a GAs course study and implement a wide range of difference techniques of GAs. And practical implementation experience plays a very important role in learning computer relative courses. Herein, an educational genetic algorithm learning tool (EGALT) has been developed to help students facilitate GAs course. With the readily available tool students can reduce the mechanical programming aspect of learning and concentrate on principles alone. A friendly graphic user interface was established to help students operate and control not only the structural identification but also the parametric identification of GAs. It outlines how to implemented genetic algorithms, how to set parameters of different kinds of problems, and recommends a set of genetic algorithms, which were suggested in previous studies View full abstract»

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  • Using MathCad in understanding the induction motor characteristics

    Page(s): 165 - 169
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (324 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Computer-aided multimedia education is increasingly popular within the classroom and laboratory. The applications of market-ready mathematical and database programming software for teaching engineering course outline is well appreciated. This article shows how MathCad can be used to introduce electrical machine characteristics simulated at different possible control modes. The undergraduate students require minimum knowledge of a programming language. The examples presented in the article show how MathCad software can be used to simplify some of the characteristics of the three-phase and one-phase induction machine. The result of introducing math software as a teaching tool at the third- and fourth-year level have been accepted and are now used as part of the practical sessions for the electrical machine and other credited courses at Birzeit University, West Bank and Gaza in the Palestine View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

Educational research, methods, materials, programs, and technology in electrical engineering, computer engineering, and fields within the scope of interest of IEEE.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Jeffrey E. Froyd
Texas A&M University