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Context Based Educational Java Applets Using Consumer Products

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.169.1 - 5.169.11



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Paper Authors

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Z. Yuan

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T. Tang

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Pratibha Gopalam

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N. Liu

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Chu R. Wie

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Alexander N. Cartwright

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


Context Based Educational Java Applets Using Consumer Products

Alexander N. Cartwright, Pratibha Gopalam, N. Liu, Z. Yuan, T. Tang and Chu R.Wie

Department of Electrical Engineering Center for Active Learning of Microelectronics and Photonics State University of New York at Buffalo Buffalo, New York 14260 E-mail:,


The popularity of the Java language for educational materials development continues to increase. Unfortunately, most of these developed tools are isolated Java applets that explain a single “textbook” educational concept. These disjoint Java applets, while sometimes providing excellent educational materials, lack the system level, top-down approach that is prevalent in engineering. In this paper, we present our work on developing Java applets, and web-based courseware materials, for microelectronics and photonics (lasers and optics) that incorporates this system-level top-down approach. Specifically, we will discuss the use of consumer products, such as barcode scanners and CD-ROM’s, as effective microelectronic and photonic systems learning modules.

The implementation of this top-down consumer product approach requires that the developer understand the applications of these theoretical and educational materials. In this way, the developed web-based courseware provides excellent engineering educational value by providing instructors and students with a context for the specific topic. That is, the consumer product approach effectively provides a link from the study of microelectronics and photonics to real world applications.

A user of the courseware enters at a high level view of an everyday real-world consumer product, selects components of that product to investigate, and can interact with the Java applets that describe the details of the operation of the selected component. Moreover, the developed web-based courseware allows the user to choose the level of educational materials that he or she wishes to study. In this way, these educational materials become accessible to users with educational backgrounds varying from high-school students, with limited science experiences, to the researchers in the fields of microelectronics and photonics. In this paper, the overall “big picture” implementation issues as well as the design of the applets embedded within this top- down consumer product approach are presented.

Yuan, Z., & Tang, T., & Gopalam, P., & Liu, N., & Wie, C. R., & Cartwright, A. N. (2000, June), Context Based Educational Java Applets Using Consumer Products Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8238

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