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Development Of Courses In Consumer Electronics

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.162.1 - 1.162.5



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Paper Authors

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Kelin Kuhn

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Blake Hannaford

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

Session 3232

Development of Courses in Consumer Electronics

Kelin Kuhn, Blake Hannaford University of Washington

The Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington has established an undergraduate educational project for Consumer Electronics1. The goal of the educational project is to introduce students to electronic design by the disassembly, analysis, and redesign of consumer electronics products.

As part of achieving this goal, a regular electrical engineering course in Consumer Electronics (EE 498) and a Consumer Electronics version of the college honors course (ENGR 498) have been introduced into the curriculum. The Consumer Electronics version of the honors course was first taught Winter 1994 (Kuhn), and the regular Consumer Electronics course was first taught Autumn 1994 (Hannaford). Mixed courses (EE 498 and ENGR 498) were taught Spring 1995 (Kuhn) and Autumn 1995 (Hannaford). Another section of EE 498 is scheduled for Spring 1996.

The course has evolved and stabilized into a successful format. This format is characterized by classroom lectures early in the quarter, a series of organized laboratories (with a scheduled 3-hour laboratory section), and a three week final design project with a written component implemented on World Wide Web.

One outstanding success of the course has been the implementation of the student final reports on World Wide Web. This results in a dramatic baseline shift from quarter to quarter -- as students read past student work and learn from the successes and failures of their peers. The World Wide Web site for the entire project is located at:

This paper will focus on the laboratories which we have developed for the courses. Both a "CD-audio only" version and a "multiple consumer products" version of the class have been taught and found to be successful. Both versions of the class have five laboratory sessions and three of the five laboratories are identical. The various laboratories are summarized in Table I.

1. Manufacturing - Disposable Camera product dissection

In this laboratory students dissect and study a flash disposable camera. Emphasis is placed on discovering how much functionality can be obtained with extremely cheap and very cleverly designed parts. The laboratory also serves as an outstanding ice-breaker for students uncomfortable with mechanical dissection.

1The project is partially funded by the National Science Foundation ILI/LLD award, "Design of a Consumer Electronics Course," DUE- 9451387 - now beginning its second year.

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Kuhn, K., & Hannaford, B. (1996, June), Development Of Courses In Consumer Electronics Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--5989

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