June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Electrical and Computer
Electromagnetic (EM) theory education is based on an understanding of numerous mathematical/geometrical operations and their relationships with the physical phenomena. Student success rates in EM education typically get impacted negatively due to a) lack of understanding in the mathematical/geometrical operations and b) establishing the link between mathematical/geometrical operations and the physical phenomena .This paper describes a new teaching technique applied at the University of South Florida (USF) for EM theory education. The technique relies on 3D visualizations that demonstrate the link between the mathematical/geometrical operations and the physical phenomena. The 3D visualization demonstrations are made bi-weekly at the USF’s Advanced Visualization Center (AVC) that hosts “the visualization wall” consisting of 16 high-resolution stereoscopic 3D monitors. Viewers of the visualization wall wear glasses with polarized lenses to observe the presented display data in 3D. This is similar to the 3D movie theater experiences, however, the scenes are not pre-recorded but rendered in real-time – allowing the instructor to make changes in the display data on demand based on student input and lecture needs. This is accomplished thanks to the development of customized/parametrized codes.
The 3D visualizations that are presented to the students are on a broad list of topics ranging from meaning of vectors and basics of vector algebra to the applications of vector calculus in EM phenomena (such as electrostatic fields around charged particles, time-varying fields, and plane waves). Specific aims of the planned full paper will be to present 1) the techniques employed in creation of 3D visualizations (e.g. Python codes, interacting the codes with the Autodesk Maya software of the visualization wall, creation of instructor graphical user interface (GUI) for real-time interaction); 2) GUI and user scene examples from the developed 3D visualizations; 3) initial survey data collected from students demonstrating their perspectives on this EM theory teaching technique; and 4) a discussion on extending instructional functionalities and visualization preparation capabilities by developing new codes that interface commercially available EM simulation tools with the software/hardware of the visualization wall. Our literature survey shows that 3D visualization assisted teaching has been proposed for various fields such as anatomy . However, there are not examples of 3D visualization assisted teaching methods for EM theory. Computer visualization teaching techniques described for EM theory in literature are actually limited to traditional 2D viewing settings (such as MATLAB codes demonstrating EM waves  and web-based applications that present concepts such as magnetic fields ). Therefore, we believe that the full paper version of this abstract and the following ASEE conference presentation are going to provide a valuable contribution for EM theory education by introducing a novel teaching strategy.
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González-Carvajal, E. J., & Mumcu, G. (2019, June), 3D Visualization-assisted Electromagnetic Theory Teaching Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--31940
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