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Education, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 1 • Date Feb 1994

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Displaying Results 1 - 22 of 22
  • Simulation of the effects of companding on quantization noise in digital communication systems

    Page(s): 47 - 50
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    An original simulation program to explore the effects of μ-law companding in digital communication systems is presented. The program allows the user to explore companding for arbitrary input signals. Reconstructed analog signals and quantization noise for both companded and uncompanded systems are graphically displayed. Quantization signal-to-noise ratio is calculated and compares favorably with theory. The program was written using the mathematical simulation package MathCAD View full abstract»

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  • C program for finding the roots of real-coefficient polynomials

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    A C language program, based on Laguerre's method for finding the roots of real-coefficient polynomials, is developed. This is a modified version of ZROOTS and LAGUER. This program works very well and can be a good tool in engineering classes as well as in developing one's own program View full abstract»

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  • Complementary reciprocity theorems for two-port networks and transmission lines

    Page(s): 42 - 45
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (272 KB)  

    Two complementary reciprocity theorems have been formulated in this work; one for two-port passive networks and another for transmission lines. The theorems involve two networks or two identical sections of lines with different load impedances that must satisfy a complementary impedance condition relating to the characteristic impedances of the network or the characteristic impedance of a line View full abstract»

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  • Development of an undergraduate structured laboratory to support classical and new base technology experiments in communications

    Page(s): 97 - 100
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    This paper describes an effective method of teaching a communications laboratory course that supports classical as well as new base technology experiments to undergraduate electrical engineering students. Primarily, experiments dealing with the design of the basic building blocks of analog and digital communications systems are targeted, which provides an opportunity for the student to become familiar with various signal processing techniques applied in modern communications systems, to learn how to operate the communication laboratory test equipment, and to obtain exposure to some hardware/software design and implementation of these subsystems. The second level of experimentation involves a small system in which discrete or integrated devices are used to build small systems. Level three involves experimentation with a complete communications system, such as a fiber optics communications system or a simulated satellite link. Four sample experiments are described in some detail View full abstract»

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  • Network theorems for transistor circuits

    Page(s): 36 - 41
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    A method for simplifying transistor amplifier circuits by means of diagram transformations is presented. It is based on several network theorems that are not well known. These are: the source splitting theorem, which facilitates subsequent circuit simplification; the controlled-source substitution theorem, which eliminates controlled sources in a one-port; and the controlled-source reduction theorem, which eliminates controlled sources in a two-port. All of these theorems come in dual pairs. The technique permits the analysis of the circuits covered in introductory courses with minimum mathematics and without the need for prior insight View full abstract»

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  • An inexpensive PC-based laboratory configuration for teaching electronic instrumentation

    Page(s): 91 - 96
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (516 KB)  

    The need for enhanced undergraduate laboratory teaching aids has been identified by the staff of the instrumentation laboratory at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of the West Indies. Although there are currently a number of interesting and powerful educational products on the market, they are typically produced in the developed countries and are sometimes inappropriate for applications in developing countries. They are also often very expensive. This paper describes a laboratory configuration and a set of tools designed and implemented at the University of the West Indies for undergraduate instruction in electronic instrumentation. The laboratory configuration encompasses a number of personal computer (PC) stations and model engineering systems. The model systems mimic realistic engineering processes under interrogation and control from the remote PC stations. A set of inexpensive hardware tools for data acquisition and control of the model systems, as well as for general laboratory test and measurement, are described. Useful software tools are also mentioned View full abstract»

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  • A survey of educational and training needs for transition of a product from development to manufacturing

    Page(s): 13 - 22
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    Serious technical problems are traditionally found when transitioning a design from development to production. A major study was conducted of over 1000 professionals from 22 high-technology companies to assess the educational and training needs of technical professionals engaged in the transition process. Of the survey, most respondents (86%) believe that a technically based and multidisciplined engineering approach is fundamental to ensure the successful transition of a design to production. Unfortunately, the survey indicates that university education and corporate training have been deficient for adequately explaining the basic engineering fundamentals behind the transition process. Over 88% of the respondents stated that “almost none to very little” course work in their university education was devoted to the underlying technical concepts and methodologies needed in the transition process. In addition, 93% stated that today's universities are not graduating students with the knowledge of these fundamental concepts. Similar findings regarding formal corporate training were also found. Most of the respondents (78%) indicated that “almost none to very little” training in the transition process was conducted in their companies, and 84% indicated that additional or improved corporate training is needed to increase their knowledge and understanding of this critical function. The majority of the companies surveyed have not conducted or implemented formal training programs for the transition process. In summary, the respondents believed that universities and corporations have often been indifferent to the educational and training requirements of transitioning a product from design to production View full abstract»

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  • Geometric links among classical controls tools

    Page(s): 77 - 83
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    This paper develops a geometric perspective that ties together a number of graphically based techniques from classical control theory. In particular, in the frequency domain, a connection between the Nyquist diagram and the Bode plots is unfolded via a sequence of three-dimensional representations. A parallel development in the “gain-domain” begins with the Evans root locus plot and leads to a set of gain plots that portray eigenvalue behavior as an explicit function of forward gain. The gain plots extend the standard root locus plot by depicting explicitly the influence of gain (or any system parameter) on the closed-loop system eigenvalues. This is similar to the way the Bode plots embellish the information of the Nyquist diagram by exposing frequency explicitly. The gain plots enable direct determination of gain values for which the closed-loop system is stable or unstable. By exposing the correspondence of gain values to specific eigenvalues, the plots serve as a pole-placement tool for identifying closed-loop designs meeting performance specifications. Furthermore, the gain plots reveal by inspection information about the closed-loop root sensitivity. The authors have found the gain plots as well as the underlying geometric development in both the frequency and gain domains invaluable in undergraduate and graduate controls education View full abstract»

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  • Instructional objectives and bench examinations in circuits laboratories

    Page(s): 111 - 113
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    For a three-course sequence of required circuits laboratories, the author has written detailed instructional objectives. These behaviorally observable goals focus student learning on the educational objectives selected by the course supervisor. They summarize the concepts, relationships, and measurement skills presented in the course. During a bench final examination, the student randomly selects one or more of these instructional objectives and demonstrates mastery to the teaching assistant. This encourages the student to master all instructional objectives in order to succeed in the course View full abstract»

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  • Senior control systems laboratory at Purdue University

    Page(s): 71 - 76
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    This paper describes the philosophy and content of an innovative senior controls laboratory in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. This laboratory has been not only a highly successful component of the curriculum from an educational standpoint, but also quite popular in terms of student evaluations. The laboratory was designed to address many of the problems plaguing typical laboratory courses, such as large instructor learning curve and preparation time, excessive equipment down-time and operating costs, overly complex instructions for student exercises, and student cheating on project assignments. By addressing these and other factors that can lead to student apathy, the authors have been able to maintain a high educational yield View full abstract»

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  • A microcomputer-controlled thyristor bridge rectifier experiment for undergraduate electric machinery laboratory

    Page(s): 101 - 106
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (440 KB)  

    This paper describes the design and implementation of a 5 kW microcomputer-controlled thyristor bridge rectifier (TBR) that has been introduced in the undergraduate electric machinery laboratory at Montana State University. The unit is used in an independent experiment on the operation of the TBR and its control by a microcomputer, as well as for controlling the applied voltage to the armature of a DC motor for controlling its speed. Since the operation of the motor speed controller is based on control of the TBR, it was noticed that the addition of the TBR experiment will help students better understand its operation as well as the operation of the DC motor speed controller experiment. Experimental results are presented on the operation of the rectifier, and evaluation of the experiment is reported View full abstract»

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  • An instructional robotics and machine vision laboratory

    Page(s): 87 - 90
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (412 KB)  

    The US Naval Academy has assembled a laboratory consisting of 16 identical stations in support of several robotics and machine vision courses. Each station has an 80386-based microcomputer, a five degree-of-freedom robot arm, a video-rate vision system, and a speech synthesis system. The robot arms are capable of teach-pendant operation or control via the attached computer. Programs written in the robot control language can be downloaded into, stored in, and run from robot RAM. For greater flexibility, move instructions can be generated by the controlling computer (in any desired computer language) and transmitted to the arm for execution via an RS-232 link. Each joint of the robot (plus the gripper) has a dedicated microprocessor for closed-loop servo operation utilizing incremental drive-motor shaft encoders and micro-switches for “home” locations. The vision system includes an RS170-compatible video camera, a PC-compatible frame grabber board, and a video monitor. This configuration permits the utilization of 2D and 3D vision feedback in the robot control process. The laboratory is used in support of undergraduate courses that cover such topics as robot kinematics and task planning, elementary machine vision, and artificial neural networks View full abstract»

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  • An in-circuit emulator for TMS320C25

    Page(s): 51 - 56
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    An in-circuit emulator (ICE) is a piece of indispensable equipment in developing a microprocessor-based system. Digital signal processor (DSP) chips like the TMS320 family are VLSI processors with superior 16-bit microcomputer internal architecture, and are designed to support a wide range of computation-intensive and high-speed applications. Development tools, such as full-speed emulators and software simulators for DSP chips, are either too expensive or too complicated to be used in laboratory classes for teaching purposes. This paper describes the design and implementation of a low-cost in-circuit emulator for the TMS320C25 that has all the necessary facilities for debugging hardware and software. A window-based user interface has been incorporated to allow maximum user friendliness. The emulator is now widely used by engineering students in the Chinese University of Hong Kong for experimental work and project development employing TMS320C25 DSP chips in digital filtering, speech analysis, image compression, and other applications View full abstract»

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  • Introducing discrete-event control concepts and state-transition methodology into control system curricula

    Page(s): 65 - 70
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    A significant academic concern is discussed in terms of introducing the study of methods of discrete-event control in hierarchical systems. This is an area with a blend of computer and control system concepts that is often avoided (or perhaps lost between areas) in undergraduate engineering programs. Applications to factory automation may involve very extensive and critical design considerations, and this area is often an important concern to practicing engineers. The techniques are applicable to a broad range of system design, including systems that provide both discrete and continuous actions such as robots and machine tools. Discrete-action concepts using state-transition techniques are readily assimilated into an undergraduate control systems program, and basic concepts are discussed in terms of introducing this type of program into both the classroom and laboratory. Several variations of state-transition techniques are described, and the various techniques are compared with examples utilizing state-transition diagrams, Petri nets, and state program tables. With the application of digital techniques expanding control concepts in various directions, this is an interdisciplinary area that should be considered to be a fundamentally important part of control system studies View full abstract»

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  • An electrical engineering design course sequence using a top-down design methodology

    Page(s): 30 - 35
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    A sequence of two courses (second term of third (junior) year and both terms of fourth (senior) year) has been developed to introduce students to a structured approach to design. The first course includes lecture-style presentation of the top-down, step-wise refinement, design methodology. Realistic documentation and client/consultant communication is fostered as well as the design, fabrication, and testing of a prototype. In the senior-year course, students divide into teams of three members to undertake a single design problem, with individual faculty members acting as “clients”. A more complete sequence of the top-down design process is undertaken in these senior-year projects. Documentation is required at each stage of the design sequence to ensure compliance with the client/team “contract”. Introduction of a formal design process, including time management, has resulted in an increased “success” rate in the final designs and in more complex problems being proposed by the “clients” than had previously been experienced View full abstract»

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  • Theory, simulation, experimentation: an integrated approach to teaching digital control systems

    Page(s): 57 - 62
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    This paper discusses the approach adopted by the authors for teaching an undergraduate course (lecture and laboratory) in digital controls. Theoretical material is developed in the lecture concerning the application of direct digital control (DDC) to an analog bench-scale system consisting of a DC motor and tachometer. A simulation of the closed-loop control system with embedded digital controller is developed and run by the students using the TUTSIM dynamic simulation language. Finally, students perform a laboratory experiment in which they write a program to control the actual system using a personal computer and inexpensive interface card. The combination of hands-on experience and computer simulation with the more traditional, theoretical lecture material provides a well-rounded learning experience that better prepares the students to implement digital control systems in the real world View full abstract»

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  • Error analysis when solving Laplace's equation numerically by iteration

    Page(s): 84 - 86
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (264 KB)  

    Numerical solution methods of Laplace's equation ΔV=0 when boundary values of potential V are specified abound, and many computer programs employing relaxation techniques, finite-element techniques, etc. have been discussed in the literature. The finite-mesh relaxation method of numerical iteration is discussed in many physics and electrical engineering texts, but little attention is given to the error analysis, which, moreover, is incorrect more often than not in these texts. The authors show that the error in the iterated solution can be found by a relatively simple analysis, and discuss its implications. The authors illustrate the problem by using a very simple PC program that solves the two-dimensional Laplace's equation with Dirichlet conditions on a rectangular boundary View full abstract»

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  • Software tools for computer-aided lecturing

    Page(s): 23 - 29
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (640 KB)  

    This paper describes the concepts used to design a computer-aided lecturing software package and presents its functionalities. It does not present another authoring system used to create didactic materials, but rather a set of tools to increase the efficiency of the professor. This software package, called EOP (Editor-Outliner-Projector), allows professors to effectively structure concepts found in lectures and draw their associated transparencies. In classrooms equipped with a personal computer and a projection system, EOP allows professors to present topics, explain difficulties, emphasize details, and illustrate contents of lessons. This software package has been in use for five years in different course topics View full abstract»

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  • Direct expressions for Ogata's lead-lag design method using root locus

    Page(s): 63 - 64
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    Direct expressions for the design of a lead-lag continuous compensator using the root locus method and the procedure described in the 1970 and 1990 books by Ogata are presented. These results are useful in the Ogata design method because they avoid the geometrical determination of poles and zeros, making it easier to create a computer-based design View full abstract»

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  • In-class demonstration using amateur radio satellites for the teaching of communications engineering at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

    Page(s): 107 - 110
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (336 KB)  

    One of the most readily available demonstrations for teaching communications engineering is the amateur radio satellites orbiting the Earth. There are several advantages to using amateur satellites for classroom demonstration. The positions of the satellites are predictable, and, unlike terrestrial communications, the links are generally line of sight and more reliable. In general, the effects of the ionosphere are very minimal on electromagnetic waves with frequencies above 30 MHz. The instructor is at a liberty to use very simple station setup and go through the rudiments of radio communications. This paper describes a case study in which such satellites were used to enhance the students' understanding and grasp of the subject at the undergraduate level. The students have been very responsive to this hands-on approach in learning. The author has observed a change in the students' attitude and eagerness towards the course. Although the demonstrations are simple and easy to carry out, the impact on learning can be significant View full abstract»

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  • Attracting young minority women to engineering and science: necessary characteristics for exemplary programs

    Page(s): 8 - 12
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    A national educational imperative has been issued to reverse the trend of declining numbers of students choosing to study engineering and science. Minority women are particularly underrepresented in engineering and science, but in order to reach this pool of talent, the special concerns that affect young minority women must be recognized and programs that deal with these concerns must be developed. One such program offered at The George Washington University (GW) and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) from 1989 through 1993, utilizes computer technology and cooperative learning in a university setting to interest young minority women in engineering and science careers. As a result of the success of the GW/NSF program, a two-day working conference of experts was convened to determine the characteristics of exemplary programs that focus on this population. Outcomes from the conference included a criteria checklist, a program planning and self-evaluation guide, and suggestions for a national clearinghouse of information about exemplary programs designed to attract young minority women to engineering and science View full abstract»

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  • Adventures in Engineering: a unique program to attract under-represented groups to engineering

    Page(s): 3 - 7
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    As part of the National Science Foundation's Young Scholars program, a unique program to attract outstanding high-school students from groups traditionally under-represented in engineering was held at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. During a two week summer residence at the university, students participated in an intensive program involving labs and lectures in three major disciplines of engineering; discussed scientific method, engineering ethics, and aspects of many engineering disciplines; and designed and tested entries for an “egg-drop” competition. Follow-up activities continued throughout the school year. As a result of the program, 100% of the participants stated that they will at least consider careers in science or engineering, and 71% cite participation in the Adventures in Engineering program as a factor in this interest 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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Editor-in-Chief
Jeffrey E. Froyd
Texas A&M University