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Education, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 2 • Date May 1985

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Displaying Results 1 - 14 of 14
  • Table of contents

    Page(s): c1
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  • IEEE Education Society

    Page(s): c2
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  • Synthesis of a small microcomputer-a project for undergraduate laboratories

    Page(s): 65 - 68
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    This paper describes a project in which undergraduates construct a small microcomputer system and a supporting terminal monitor program. The project provides an introduction to the operation of microcomputer hardware, the relationship between hardware and software, and the debugging of the hardware/software system. The paper also presents a sequence of experiments which guides the student through the development process, and describes the facilities required to carry out the project. An evaluation of the project is provided. View full abstract»

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  • Microcomputers for data acquisition, control, and automation-a laboratory course for preengineering students

    Page(s): 69 - 75
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    A general engineering laboratory course featuring microcomputer interfacing for data acquisition, control, and automation is described. This course, available to all junior engineering students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was developed and run for 220 students in the Spring semester of 1984. The goals of the course were to: 1) provide experience in engineering problem solving and design; 2) teach and provide "hands-on" experience in the fundamentals of data acquisition and control using microcomputers; and 3) illustrate significant physical principles and engineering processes. The course included a short series of lectures on the fundamentals of microprocessors and the underlying theory of data acquisition (including sampling theory, signal conditioning, and analog-to-digital conversion). An extensive laboratory manual was developed to serve as the primary means of instruction. Three series of experiments were developed for this course. The microcomputer familiarization series gives the student background and experience in the use of the operating system commands, the high-level programming language, and how to use these in real-time application for data acquisition and control. The process control series is a problem-solving exercise in the instrumentation, control, and automation of the heating-mixing tank. The robotics series consists of the instrumentation, control, and application of a laboratory bench robot in a materials handling system. The implementation of this laboratory and its first offering are discussed. Problems involved with the equipment and the manual are presented. Student evaluations indicate the course was a success and faculty feedback is similarly positive. View full abstract»

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  • A 16-Bit Microcomputer for Audio Bandwidth Digital Filtering

    Page(s): 76 - 78
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    Small microcomputers using 8-bit machines have been used in teaching digital filtering and discrete-time control. These systems have two major limitations: 1) bandwidth limited to approximately 125 Hz for fourth-order algorithms, and 2) limited precision for representing the coefficients in the algorithm. This paper describes the development and application of a high-speed 16-bit machine which largely overcomes the limitations of previous systems. A special-purpose digital filtering and control computer was built using the MC68000 microprocessor operating at 12.5 MHz. This machine uses 16-bit data transfers to memory and 32-bit arithmetic. The multiply and divide instructions are microcoded in the instruction set, and therefore execute much faster than subroutines used in 8-bit machines. The system has a general-purpose monitor routine and a digital filtering algorithm in firmware, user RAM, two channels of A/D, two channels of D/A, a programmable timer, and an RS232 interface for a CRT. The firmware implements any filtering or compensation algorithm through eighth order in the form of a linear difference equation. The greater precision of the 16-bit machine allows the coefficients in the difference equation to be represented accurately without extensive rationalization procedures. The firmware is written for student use in digital filtering and control laboratories. The computer prompts the user for coefficients and the sampling interval, informing him of any input errors. It then continuously runs the selected algorithm until interrupted. This system has been found to be of much wider bandwidth than previous machines. Signals of 4. View full abstract»

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  • A Spiral-Sequenced Guided Design Course in Electronic Communication Systems

    Page(s): 79 - 84
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    An introductory communications systems course was designed and implemented as a fivefold, iterated guided design learning experience with the introduction of new technical material in each module. The overall plan approximated the Land transformation theory model by having a gradual increase in both content and problem solving process learning during the 15-week semester. The modules featured a satellite downlink system, time and frequency domain concepts and filter circuits, frequency conversion (heterodyne), and pulse code modulation theory. Two questionnaires were used to evaluate, anonymously, the students' responses to the guided design strategy. While recognizing the attributes of this method of instruction, the students expressed ambivalence for the guided design and lecture methods of learning. The course was implemented successfully. View full abstract»

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  • Design as a Central Component in Regular Lecture Courses-Incentives and Disincentives

    Page(s): 85 - 91
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    The engineering professions, through their professional societies and through ABET, have required for some years that a substantial fraction of the engineering curriculum be devoted to design. While we have no hesitation in supporting that objective, we believe that very real obstacles impede the greater use of design problems in engineering education. Unless these obstacles are recognized and dealt with in a rational way, we would predict very slow progress in getting much more design into the curriculum than now exists, whatever its benefits. This paper presents some experiments that we have conducted to see what would happen if we tried to do design in a large lecture-oriented course. Such courses form the bulk of the engineering program in our Department and in many similar programs throughout the country. The results support the thrust of ABET's new objectives but show that getting to their design goal will be an arduous task for both students and faculty. The paper looks at methods for reducing this burden, although in some measure it will simply require more resources than are now employed to teach that same student body. View full abstract»

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  • On the Presentation of Miller's Theorem

    Page(s): 92 - 93
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    Miller's theorem is an important analysis tool. Its presentation in many introductory electronic circuits texts often leads to student misunderstandings with regard to its applicability. An alternative presentation that may improve students' understanding is suggested. View full abstract»

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  • Oliver Heaviside, Fractional Operators, and the Age of the Earth

    Page(s): 94 - 104
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    Oliver Heaviside is today usually remembered by technologists as an eccentric electrical engineer who once had something to do with the ionosphere. Sometimes it is even recalled he had a curious method (called the "operational calculus") for doing his mathematics, and somehow applied it in a strange and mysterious manner to difficult problems. One of these problems was that of calculating the age of the Earth, and it got Heaviside indirectly involved in a controversy that included Lord Kelvin. The new theories of evolution and geology were explicitly tied to the debate. This paper describes the historical context of the controversy, and outlines how Heaviside used his operational methods to demonstrate Kelvin's estimate of the Earth's antiquity to be mathematically simplistic. Heaviside used his "age-of-the-Earth" analyses as the lead to the second volume of his Electromagnetic Theory, partly to demonstrate the power of his operational methods (which he then applied to electrical problems). These methods were the precursor to the now common use of the Laplace transform by electrical engineers. View full abstract»

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  • American Vacuum Society Short Courses for Scientists, Engineers, and Technologists

    Page(s): 105 - 110
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    Short courses, which are taught intensively by the American Vacuum Society (AVS) for one, two, or five days, represent the most important media for disseminating new educational material on the nature, maintenance, and utilization of the vacuum environment. The development of the AVS course offerings is traced from offering one course to 80 attendees in 1969 to an availability of 38 courses and over 2400 attendees in 1983. The topical content of the courses available is listed, and their relationship to the AVS chapter and divisional structure is reviewed. The means used to develop courses, to select the sites for presentation, and to monitor course quality are discussed. The different management plans used at various stages of growth of the short course program are identified and the economic impact of the AVS program on the Society is discussed. Of all who attend AVS courses, 85 percent of the course registrants are not members of the AVS. The background, professional tasks performed, type of employer, and the challenge of the diversity of student backgrounds for classroom teaching are discussed. The AVS experience can serve as a model for any science-related technical society to develop or expand a continuing education program in its topical area of interest. View full abstract»

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  • The Relationship between Piaget-Type Questionnaire Scores and Academic Achievements of Engineering Freshmen

    Page(s): 111 - 114
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    The role of cognitive development, as measured by Piaget-type questionnaire scores, in the prediction of freshman engineering academic achievement is discussed. It is pointed out that, since cognitive development is a relevant students' attribute in performance in the university, more attention should be paid by university teachers in selecting classroom activities and course content appropriate to the actual level of the students' intellectual development. View full abstract»

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  • Comments on "Intuitive Transform Processing"

    Page(s): 115 - 116
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  • Probability & Statistics with Reliability, Queueing and Computer Science Applications-K. S. Trivedi

    Page(s): 116
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  • Information for authors

    Page(s): 116a
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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