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An Introductory Virtual Laboratory For Electrical Engineering

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

ECE Online Courses, Labs, and Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.147.1 - 10.147.11



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Paper Authors

author page

Erwin D'Souza

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Mehmet Ozturk

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

An Introductory Virtual Laboratory for Electrical Engineering

Erwin D’Souza1 and Mehmet C. Öztürk2

North Carolina State University 1 Department of Computer Science 2 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Raleigh, NC 27695

Introduction Educational Java applets are gaining popularity as the number of applets available on the World Wide Web continues to grow. An important advantage of applets is that they can be run on Java enabled internet browsers without the need for storing the actual program in the user’s computer. Hence, in educational institutions, an applet stored on a web server can be shared by all the students in a class allowing them to run the applet on their home computers in their own time. When large numbers of students are involved, it is also convenient for an instructor because the software has to be installed in a single computer on the network providing easy maintenance and upgrades. An excellent site for finding educational applets is the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), which is a software depository sponsored by National Science Foundation. Some schools are also hosting their own sites such as the widely popular Signals, Systems and Control Demonstrations for electrical and computer engineering (ECE) students by John Hopkins University1. A number of publications are available on the innovative uses of educational software in electrical and computer engineering education2,3,4. In general, educational programs are written as self-study tools to help the students. Some of these programs are also suitable for interactive homework assignments. They are especially powerful in introductory classes in which students are introduced to new abstract concepts requiring countless examples to digest the material. Finally, simulation programs can help the instructors in developing effective demonstrations thanks to the widespread availability of projectors in modern class-rooms. This paper presents an introductory virtual laboratory, which consists of a series of new Java applets suitable for sophomore and junior level ECE classes. The software was designed with the primary objective of creating a tool to enhance the delivery of fundamental concepts in a new sophomore level course and its hardware laboratory at North Carolina State University (NCSU). A detailed description of the course and the laboratory can be found in a previous paper presented at this conference5. The new course sharply differs from traditional sophomore level ECE courses on electrical circuits. Its philosophy can be summarized as follows: introduce different ECE specializations and use this medium to teach fundamental concepts with motivating examples. The course assumes no prior background in electrical and computer engineering concepts, but it requires successful completion of the first year classes common to all engineering students, which includes introductory physics and calculus. In the laboratory, students learn how to use the standard bench-top test instruments consisting of the power supply,

D'Souza, E., & Ozturk, M. (2005, June), An Introductory Virtual Laboratory For Electrical Engineering Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14388

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