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Analog Insydes — A New Tool For Teaching Introductory Circuits

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

New Trends in ECE Education I

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.237.1 - 12.237.10



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Paper Authors


Jean-Claude Thomassian Georgia Southern University

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Dr. Jean-Claude Thomassian received his BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo in 1992 and 1993, respectively, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from The University of Toledo in 1995 and 2002. His main professional interests are in mixed mode IC design and electrical engineering education; his recent research activity concentrates on symbolic analysis of circuits and MOS models.

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

Analog Insydes—A New Tool for Teaching Introductory Circuits


In this paper, Analog Insydes is used to deepen the student understanding of introductory circuits and to serve as a design tool for circuit analysis. Modern four-year electrical and computer engineering baccalaureate engineering programs are crowded. As a consequence, too little time is made available to teach introductory electric circuits in the traditional manner. The best way to improve the outcome of what can be accomplished in the shortest possible technique, given the time constraint, is to base it strictly on the newly developed symbolic circuit simulators such as Analog Insydes. Three examples of applications are presented to show the proposed method at work, a simple DC parallel resistor circuit, a current controlled current source, and an RC low- pass filter. A concluding section offering the pedagogical potential of the package is assessed. Also some remarks regarding the challenges of integrating it into an undergraduate program of instruction are offered.


Analog Insydes 2.1 (AI) package is now on the market1. It is distributed by Wolfram Research, Inc. as a toolbox of Mathematica2. Essentially, it is a symbolic circuit analysis package, with several unique features: It is designed to be used interactively with any of the SPICE3 family; it too has a limited device model library, and it is able to import and read SPICE files. It is basically constrained to solving linear circuits using the Laplace Transform; these may be either linear circuits or linearized small-signal electronic circuits. Analog Insydes uses some recent advances in approximation techniques; the addition of these methods and practical features distinguishes it from general purpose computer algebra systems (CAS).

The more or less conventional methods of teaching introductory electric circuits are not satisfactory; this paper proposes an alternative we believe to have the potential to achieve superior results4,5.

Computer Circuit Analysis

The familiar use of numerical circuit simulators such as PSpice5 calls for no particular elaboration. The new development of symbolic circuit simulators on the other hand is much less well known1. The purpose of this paper is to bring attention to them and their potential for use in teaching introductory courses. It may be useful to remind our readers of the difference between a simulator and a general purpose equation solver: the simulator employs built-in routines for setting up the necessary set of application-specific equations to be solved, beginning from an easier to visualize problem description—in our case, the circuit schematic; then it uses the general purpose solver in the simulation. It is precisely the elimination of this tedious and error prone step plus the shortcut of using pre-existing model libraries that makes simulators so economical to use. It is precisely this vastly improved use of time that we advocate bringing to the teaching and learning of introductory circuits. Pedagogically speaking, pure numerical circuit

Thomassian, J. (2007, June), Analog Insydes — A New Tool For Teaching Introductory Circuits Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2755

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