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Electrical and Computer Engineering Programs in Two Countries: A New Paradigm for Cooperation

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Innovative Instructional Strategies and Curricula in ECE II

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.547.1 - 22.547.8



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Paper Authors

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Orlando R. Baiocchi University of Washington, Tacoma


David A. Rogers North Dakota State University

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David A. Rogers is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo. His engineering technical interests are applied electromagnetics and fiber optics. He received the B.S.E.E. cum Laude from the University of Washington in 1961, the M.S.E.E. from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1964, and the Ph.D. (E.E.) from Washington in 1971. He earned registration as a Professional Engineer (Electrical Engineering) in the State of Washington in 1972. In 1966, he received the M.Div. cum Laude in Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL). He was an associate engineer at Ford Aeronutronic in summer of 1961. Served as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1961 - 1962. Conducted research for IIT Research Institute in 1963. Contributed to the development of the program in microwaves and optoelectronics at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil with research in fiber optics and digital microwave radio supported by Telecomunicações Brasileiras, from 1972 to 1980. This program is now the Department of Microwaves and Optics in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas. Rogers came to NDSU in 1980. He has returned to Brazil five times for visits to UNICAMP or as an invited speaker at international engineering meetings. Rogers’ professional memberships include the IEEE (Life Senior Member), ASEE (Life Member), AGU, ACES, and ASA.

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Max H. M. Costa University of Campinas (Unicamp), School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

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Received the E.E. degree from University of Brasília, Brazil, in 1974, the M.S.E.E. from University of Campinas, Brazil, in 1977, and the M.S., Statistics (1989) and the Ph.D. degree in E.E. (1983), both from Stanford University.
Worked in the Brazilian Space Research Institute (INPE) from 1982 through 1988, in General Electric Corporate R&D Center from 1988 through 1993, and in NASA´s Jet Propulsion Lab (as an NRC Senior Research Associate) from 1993 to 1994. Since 1995, he is
a faculty member at University of Campinas, where currently is the Director of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (FEEC).

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ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING PROGRAMS IN TWO COUNTRIES: A NEW PARADIGM FOR COOPERATIONIn the past, cooperation between faculty working in electrical and computer engineering (ECE)programs in the U.S. and those in the developing world has mainly involved the sharing of thestrengths of U.S. programs with programs in the partner country. Today Brazil has arrived onthe world stage with many ECE faculty and programs functioning at the same level as in typicalprograms in the U.S. So today there is a new paradigm for cooperation between programs in thetwo countries.Global standards have developed over the past half century to promote similarities in programcontent in both electrical and computer engineering. ECE has experienced rapid growth all overBrazil. In one program, the number of graduate students (several hundred) is only slightly lessthan the number of daytime undergraduates while a significant evening program in ECE exists aswell. The present quality of programs in Brazil allows partners in the two countries to benefitboth technically and pedagogically from collaborations involving both countries.Programs in each country have to deal with the cultural and financial situations peculiar to each.Political and economic stability exists in both countries. There are differences to be sure, butengineering education is stable or growing in both countries. Programs in both countries faceproblems in assimilation of foreign faculty and graduate students into the mainstream of teachingand research. Institutions in Brazil have had active programs to promote proficiency inPortuguese. Students are admitted to engineering programs in Brazil by competitiveexaminations. At the best Brazilian universities, laboratory facilities are on a par with or betterthan those in many U.S. institutions.Career paths for faculty might differ in both countries, but the goal of continuing growth incompetence is the same. In Brazilian institutions the faculty career involves acquiring themaster’s and doctoral degrees and a formal procedure for progress through full professor bycompetitive examination. The established university in Brazil typically functions with greaterself-governance than its American counterpart. Chairs, deans, and even the university presidentcan be elected by a weighted average of votes from the institution’s faculty, technical and administrativestaff, and students.The educational experience and technical expertise of Brazilian ECE faculty present manyopportunities to ECE programs in the U.S. Brazil continues to be a rich source of Ph.D. studentsfor U.S. ECE programs, and the U.S. continues to be a logical place for post-doctoral studies.However, many institutions such as the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp) and theUniversidade de São Paulo (USP) are logical places for graduate study, post-doctoral study, andcareer experiences and options for U.S. students and faculty. A recent article in the Chronicle ofHigher Education (Sept. 4, 2010) documents Brazilian efforts to enter into this arena.A new era of cooperation has arrived for ECE programs in Brazil and in the U.S. The programs,faculty, and students in both countries will be the beneficiaries of the opportunities presented.

Baiocchi, O. R., & Rogers, D. A., & Costa, M. H. M. (2011, June), Electrical and Computer Engineering Programs in Two Countries: A New Paradigm for Cooperation Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17828

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