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Bridging The Freshman Engineering Gap By Building Mobile Robots

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.265.1 - 7.265.9



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Paper Authors

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Massood Atashbar

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

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Session number 1526

Bridging the Freshman Engineering Gap by Building Mobile Robots1

M.Z. Atashbar, D.A. Miller, F. Severance, R. Tanner, and M. Suchowski

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Introduction: Many freshman-engineering students have little or no idea of exactly what an engineer does. In addition, these students often lack even the most basic technical skills that will be required throughout their careers. These skills are often are taken for granted by instructors, e.g., use of hand tools and identifying basic components. These problems are compounded by the traditional approach to engineering education, which delays the introduction of “real” engineering work until at least two years into the curriculum. Students quickly lose focus amongst the large number of seemingly unrelated prerequisites. The end results are low retention rates and too many unmotivated and underachieving students, as demonstrated in electrical and computer engineering (ECE) programs across the country.

One means to address these problems is the use of an introductory freshman-engineering course that immediately exposes students to the essentials of their chosen profession. Indeed, most members of National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored engineering Education Coalition have adopted this type of course as the beginnings of integrating design across engineering curriculums [1]. This has resulted in a wealth of information on how to effectively develop and

1 This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation, under grant number NSF DUE 0088158.

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Atashbar, M. (2002, June), Bridging The Freshman Engineering Gap By Building Mobile Robots Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11174

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