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Adding Biomedical Context To A Traditional Engineering Course In A Biomedical Engineering Curriculum

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

BME Courses & Curricular Content

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

13.150.1 - 13.150.10

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Paper Authors


Hatice Ozturk North Carolina State University

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Hatice Orun Ozturk is a Teaching Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. She is also coordinator of assessment in both departments.

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Lianne Cartee North Carolina State University

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Lianne A. Cartee is a Teaching Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University. She is also the director of undergraduate programs.

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

Adding Biomedical Context to a Traditional Engineering Course in a Biomedical Engineering Curriculum


The interdisciplinary nature of Biomedical Engineering programs requires that biomedical engineering students learn many traditional engineering subjects. The inclusion of biomedical context is then necessary for a complete learning experience. For simplicity, many traditional engineering courses are directly incorporated into biomedical engineering curricula with little or no modification, but the curriculum as a whole must address biomedical applications of these traditional engineering topics. Linear Systems is one example of a traditional engineering course with roots in Electrical Engineering that is a required course in many biomedical engineering programs. We designed a BME curriculum that includes a Linear Systems course as a co- requisite with a Physiology for Biomedical Engineers course. Students analyze data collected in the laboratory portion of the physiology course as part of Linear Systems course assignments. We aligned the topics to explicitly incorporate two physiology experiments that facilitate a joint learning experience. In the first experiment, students collect EEG data in the physiology laboratory and analyze the frequency content of that data in Linear Systems. In the second experiment, they study speech production in the physiology laboratory and perform a speech segmentation exercise in Linear Systems. In this paper, the experiments, assignments and assessment of the joint exercises are described, and an efficient way of bringing relevancy to a course imported from another discipline is demonstrated.


The Biomedical Engineering Program at XXXX University has three emphasis areas: Bioinstrumentation, Biomechanics and Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. Before BME students start taking elective courses in their specializations, they take courses from the Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments as they complete their basic science courses and core biomedical engineering courses. The courses offered by the Biomedical Engineering department, in contrast to the traditional engineering courses, are interdisciplinary and focus on the interface of engineering and biology. It is not surprising to find that, in general, students find the courses offered by the BME department much more relevant to their disciplines. In this paper, the specifics of how a Linear Systems course taught by the BME Department, but directly imported from an Electrical and Computer Engineering department increases in relevancy, as measured by Proceedings of the 2008 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2008, American Society for Engineering Education

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