June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.529.1 - 12.529.11
Development of an Undergraduate Intelligent Systems Laboratory and Class Introduction:
Ohio Northern University (ONU), a small, private, undergraduate university has received NSF funding to adapt and implement an Intelligent Systems Course currently in-place at the University of Notre Dame. The original course enrolls both undergraduate and graduate students. However, at this school, the course was implemented last year as a senior-level elective, enrolling students from both Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Adaptation of the course focused on changes to accommodate the fact that students were only undergraduates from a variety of majors, and to accommodate a quarter-based academic calendar rather than semesters.
Students attended a weekly laboratory session which involved using hardware and/or software to implement, and discover the limitations of, the various algorithms discussed in class. One such laboratory required students to work with students at the other institution in order to complete the project. Students were assigned to teams including students from both universities. Each team was required to create an algorithm which would control the temperature of a system at the remote site. To further add to the complexity of this task, the hardware was different at each site.
The course topics included non-linear systems, chaotic systems, expert systems, fuzzy logic, neural networks, and genetic algorithms. All laboratory exercises were computer- based, group exercises. Students had to implement intelligent algorithms to control a variety of systems, including a fluid-mixing temperature control system, and a 3-DOF helicopter system from Quanser.
The course was taught with a focus on active learning techniques and student involvement, rather than the more traditional lecture-only method. Student and instructor reactions to this are included in the paper.
Detailed descriptions of the course, laboratory, and the remote laboratory exercise will be included. Also included will be pre- and post- surveys of students’ confidence in their ability to control systems, as well as direct assessment of student capabilities.
Engineers are increasingly required to have the ability to work with complex, integrated systems, which often include mechanical, thermal, and electrical components, as well as microprocessor control. As is the case in many undergraduate engineering programs, students at ONU previously had very limited exposure to such systems. The development of the new Intelligent Systems course and laboratory was focused on such systems. The course was intended to be open to both Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering students. Because the cost of developing such a laboratory could be prohibitive, it was decided to propose to the National Science Foundation Course,
Yoder, J., & Sen, M. (2007, June), Development Of An Undergraduate Intelligent Systems Laboratory And Class Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2372
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