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Developing Problem Based Introductory Electromagnetics Course With Broader Appeal To Students

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.398.1 - 13.398.23



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Paper Authors

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Dmitriy Garmatyuk Miami University

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

Developing Problem-Based Introductory Electromagnetics Course with Broader Appeal to Students


This paper features course material being designed at Miami University under the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) grant to specifically address the problem of students’ declining interest in electromagnetics (EM), while applications of EM continue to permeate many areas of electrical engineering both in the industry and academia. The new approach to teaching introductory course of EM aims to spark students’ interest to the subject via offering them several real-world problems from the select areas of signal integrity engineering, radar, antenna analysis and EM field propagation in human tissue. The problems are intuitively relevant and presentation of them is based on visualizing software (Matlab and Ansoft Designer/HFSS). The students are able to choose to either run numerous simulations to understand the problem better (most, probably, will), or consider the theoretical foundations and understand the dependencies before approaching the problem. The paper is focused on the description of sample problems and corresponding software test-benches.


This paper stems from the project funded under the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI). The project has main emphasis on increasing students’ motivation for studying electromagnetics by re-developing the course flow. The educational concept to be explored is based on breaking down the course into 4-5 lecture/lab mini-projects, each focused on a particular theme of interest to engineers and researchers nowadays. As stated in the Project proposal – “Our broad goal of this research is twofold: a) To increase inclusiveness and appeal of electromagnetics to a diverse student body; b) To open new opportunities to the students by bringing their innovation and engineering leadership skills and mastery of electromagnetics to the level commensurate with current R&D trends.” With this in mind, we started developing the conceptual design of an introductory EM course by creating and improving test-benches representative of realistic problems in EM. One criterion in choosing these problems was their appeal to students; another was relevance to the traditional subjects of the discipline of electromagnetics, as well as to the topics currently pursued in the industrial and academic communities.

Presented in the paper are first results of the development of such problems, categorized by the software (Ansoft and Matlab). Some components of these educational modules were offered to the students taking introductory electromagnetics course in spring semester of 2007. The results of student surveys and informal discussions with the students are presented in the paper as well.

Garmatyuk, D. (2008, June), Developing Problem Based Introductory Electromagnetics Course With Broader Appeal To Students Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3264

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