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A Low Cost Approach To Integrating Sensor Technology In Multidisciplinary Courses

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Instrumentation and Measurement Innovation

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.45.1 - 14.45.10



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Paper Authors


Farid Farahmand

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FARID FARAHMAND is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Science at Sonoma State University, CA, where he teaches Advanced Networking and Digital Systems. He is also the director of Advanced Internet Technology in the Interests of Society Laboratory. Farid's research interests are optical networks, applications of wireless sensor network technology to medical fields, delay tolerant networks. He is also interested in educational technologies and authored many papers focusing on eLearning and Active Learning models.

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Leela Mohan Kesireddy Central Connecticut State University


Mark Lynch Central Connecticut State University

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

A Low-Cost Approach to Integrate Sensor Technology in Multidisciplinary Courses 1. Introduction

Sensor technologies have received tremendous attention from both academic and industry fields. Unfortunately, high costs of laboratory equipments and spacing have prohibited many Engineering and Technology programs to offer courses in sensors, sensor networks, and related topics. Consequently, graduates from these programs often lack thorough understanding of sensor technologies and networks and their hardware/software design issues. As a result, these students will be in disadvantageous position in the current competitive job market.

In this project we introduce an introductory multi-disciplinary-based laboratory experiment, which provides basic theoretical knowledge about various types of sensing devices. The laboratory experiment and related lectures are primarily for students enrolled in different undergraduate science (biology, physics, bio molecular, etc.), engineering, and technology courses possibly with limited background in electronics. The proposed experiment can be utilized as an add-on component to courses with laboratory activities covering physical computing, instrumentations, computer-based measurement technology, or related topics. In addition, programs such as inter-disciplinary team-based learning1 can greatly benefit from such experiment.

In this paper we also show how interested and more advanced students can develop more involved projects using advanced programming and wireless communications. We conclude the paper by showing student responses to the quantitative and free-form questions concerning the implementation of the sensor laboratory experiment.

2. Background

An immense number of new services and products have been introduced in the past two decades, many of which are monitoring and measuring physical parameters using various sensors. Consequently, sensor technology has been extended to many diverse fields, such as environment, medicine, and wildlife.

Today, a large number of industries are devoting significant investments in research and development of various sensor technologies and sensor networks. A growing number of industries are also looking into development of intelligent sensors and actuators to monitor physical parameters. As a result, more and more instruments and process control systems are utilizing sensors.

Unfortunately, as in many other universities and colleges, our curriculums in Engineering, Electronic Engineering Technologies, Computer Engineering Technologies, and science related majors do not offer any specific courses in sensor technologies. Laboratory experiments in physics and chemistry only demonstrate basic electrical and physical measurements in order to reinforce lectures in particular areas. Consequently,

Farahmand, F., & Mohan Kesireddy, L., & Lynch, M. (2009, June), A Low Cost Approach To Integrating Sensor Technology In Multidisciplinary Courses Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4723

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