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A Comparative Analysis Of Simulation Software For A Circuit Analysis Course

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.14.1 - 5.14.10



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Paper Authors

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Ronald H. Rockland

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3547

A Comparative Analysis of Simulation Software for a Circuit Analysis Course

Dr. Ronald H. Rockland New Jersey Institute of Technology


Numerous textbooks in circuit analysis use simulation software to offer an alternative method of understanding the class material. These software packages enable a student to develop various problems, understand what the solutions are, and to assist in visualizing the resulting outputs.

The textbook in one of the third year ECET (Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology) courses at New Jersey Institute of Technology use Matlab as one of the simulation tools. The examples using Matlab are in areas such as solving simultaneous loop equations, plotting output voltages for a simple RC circuit, Laplace transforms, inverse Laplace transforms, impulse responses and Bode plots.

Over the last year, the author has incorporated Mathcad into this course, and used that application to create the simulation examples that were originally in Matlab. The actual application that the students used was a free version of Mathcad, called Mathcad Explorer.

There were several advantages for the student in using Mathcad, and this paper will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each package in creating and modifying these types of examples. There were other areas in the text that needed examples from one of these simulation applications and some of the additional examples will be discussed. Also, student experiences using Mathcad will be reviewed.


A variety of software tools have been used to enhance the learning process for technical courses. These mathematical computational tools allow the students to both compute and visualize solutions to many difficult problems. Two of the more commonly used mathematical computational tools are Matlab® (The Mathworks, Inc.) and Mathcad® (Mathsoft, Inc.). Both applications are used extensively in both research and teaching.

In the ECET (Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology) program at New Jersey Institute of Technology, there is a course entitled “Circuit Analysis - Transform Methods”. Topics such as graphical differentiation and integration, Laplace Transforms, Bode plots and Fourier analysis are covered in this course. In addition, topics such as complex numbers and time analysis of circuits are reviewed. The current edition of the textbook for this course1, which is utilized by EET programs in numerous colleges, contains examples using both Matlab and Electronics Workbench.

Rockland, R. H. (2000, June), A Comparative Analysis Of Simulation Software For A Circuit Analysis Course Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8215

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