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Computing in Circuits and Systems

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Curricular Issues in Computing and Information Technology Programs II

Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

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Paper Authors


Cheryl Xu Florida A&M University/Florida State University

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Dr. Chengying Xu received the Ph.D. in 2006 in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, U.S.A., and the M.S. in 2001 in mechanical manufacturing and automation from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China. She currently is an associate professor at the Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida. Her research interests include high temperature sensor design, intelligent systems and control theory, manufacturing of advanced materials. Dr. Xu has co-authored a textbook: Intelligent Systems: Modeling, Optimization and Control (CRC Press, 2008, 433 pages) and four book chapters. She has authored and coauthored more than 30 journal papers and 30 refereed conference proceedings. She has served as an organizing committee member and session co-chair for a number of national and international conferences. She also worked as an organizer for the Symposium Sensor Technology for the International Congress on Ceramics in Japan. She served as the Guest Editor for Transactions of the ASME, Journal of Micro- and Nano- Manufacturing, and has been an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Nanomanufacturing since 2008, and has been on the Board of Editor of Journal of Aviation and Aerospace Industry Manufacturing since 2010 and International Journal of Computational Materials Science and Surface Engineering since 2007.

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Seyed Mousavinezhad Idaho State University

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is the principal investigator of the National Science Foundation’s research grant, National Wireless Research Collaboration Symposium 2014; he has published a book (with Dr. Hu of University of North Dakota) on mobile computing in 2013. Professor Mousavinezhad is an active member of IEEE and ASEE having chaired sessions in national and regional conferences. He has been an ABET Program Evaluator for Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering as well as Engineering Education. He is Founding General Chair of the IEEE International Electro Information Technology Conferences. Hossein served as 2002/2003 ASEE ECE Division Chair. He was IEEE Education Society Membership Development Chair and now serves as MGA Vice President (2013/2014) and Van Valkenburg Early Career Teaching Award Chair. Dr. Mousavinezhad received Michigan State University ECE Department’s Distinguished Alumni Award, May 2009. He is recipient of ASEE ECE Division’s 2007 Meritorious Service Award, ASEE/NCS Distinguished Service Award, April 6, 2002, for significant and sustained leadership. In 1994 he received ASEE Zone II Outstanding Campus Representative Award. He is also a Senior Member of IEEE, has been a reviewer for IEEE Transactions including the Transactions on Education. His teaching and research interests include digital signal processing (DSP) and Bioelectromagnetics. He has been a reviewer for engineering textbooks including Essentials of Digital Signal Processing, Cambridge University Press, 2014, "DSP First", published by Prentice Hall, 1998 and Signal Processing First, Prentice Hall, 2003. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the international research journal Integrated Computer-Aided Engineering.

Professor Mousavinezhad was EE/EECS Department Chair, 2007-2013 and teaches classes in circuits & systems, digital signal processing and communication systems. Before joining Idaho State University in 2007, Dr. Mousavinezhad served as Electrical/Computer Engineering Department Chair and Professor at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has been an invited keynote speaker for national and international conferences. He has been a Program Evaluator for ABET Electrical/Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering programs in the US and for international programs.

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Many engineering and computing programs offer an introductory course on electric circuits analysis. Typically this is a three (3) credit hours lectures course, in some schools accompanied by a 1 credit laboratory section. In author’s school the first circuit course is offered without a laboratory section. It is therefore helpful for student learning to incorporate into the course practical examples where students can use computer software packages like MATLAB, MATHCAD or PSpice to solve circuit problems. Several textbooks are available that include examples introducing students to use of these computing and information technology tools.

Authors have taught introductory circuits classes as well as signals & systems, sensors, digital signal processing courses where the use of these tools have helped students, especially when dealing with abstract concepts such as circuit analysis techniques, first-order, second-order circuits, filters, frequency response, impedance matching, transfer function, transforms, and signal to noise ratio. With widespread use of these computing tools it becomes important for engineering educators to consider using these powerful packages at the right place, right time. Circuits are usually taken by engineering majors or some computer science students as their first engineering class after calculus. In authors’ schools software packages are available in computer laboratories so students can access them to help them with problem solutions, graphing and analyzing more complex circuits/systems where they may be solving systems of equations with several circuit unknowns and variables.

Some students have introductory familiarity with these computing tools, for example they have seen MATLAB examples before, also the text has brief tutorial and examples of using software tool (mostly MATLAB). In class we briefly introduce also the MATHCAD where it is easier, for example, to enter mathematical expressions, functions and obtain graphs and easily manipulate/format them on the worksheet. MATHCAD is a symbolic programming language where mathematical expressions are entered as they are written naturally on paper. It is a valuable problem-solving tool for students of mathematics, science, engineering and computing. Of course other software systems are also available as computer-aided analysis/design tools, they include MAMPLE, MATHEMATICA (in our universities all students, faculty and staff can access the system), as well as WFilter. WFilter is used in design of analog and digital filters and also includes specifications of the PSpice circuit elements to implement these filter in real-time; it is more useful in upper-division design classes and in elective courses. In an introductory course it is good to use one or maybe two such software systems. In this paper emphasis will be on using MATHCAD and MATLAB examples for student learning of difficult engineering concepts and abstractions.

Xu, C., & Mousavinezhad, S. (2017, June), Computing in Circuits and Systems Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28065

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