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Experimental Validation Of Computer Simulations Increases The Synergy Between Simulation And Physical Reality

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.489.1 - 6.489.9



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Paper Authors

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Richard Smith

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Marv Abrams

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

Session 2526

Experimental Validation of Computer Simulations Increases the Synergy Between Simulation and Physical Reality

R. Frank Smith and Marvin C. Abrams California State Polytechnic University, Pomona CA


This paper discusses the development of course materials at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA. that will demonstrate a pedagogical approach that allows the synergism of computer simulations and laboratory experimentation. The model being developed will include shared resources with other schools through computer access of physical laboratory facilities between academic institutions. The goals of this project are directly responsive to significant areas of educational and national concerns. The primary goal is in response to the dynamic and diverse expansion of new high technology subjects that make it very difficult for many academic institutions to keep pace. The rapidly evolving nature of technology makes it impossible for most schools to keep current with correspondingly expensive laboratory equipment and to offer newly evolving courses. Conversely, the development of sophisticated and versatile software with constant upgrades provides an attractive alternative in computer simulations. Educators and students can become dominantly indoctrinated and highly skilled at executing this software approach to the extent of blurring the appropriate relationship between simulated and physically real results, thus compromising the educational experience of physical procedures and the validation of real data with simulated data. Shared expertise/facilities are needed to be responsive to educational programs that typically require new expensive physical laboratories and faculty with appropriate expertise.


Development of an Illumination Engineering Minor at California State Polytechnic University has been on going since 1993 with the awarding of an $805,000 grant from the Department of Energy (PVEA funds) to expedite the development of a lighting education program in California. This grant resulted in the development of a six course curricula for community colleges and an Illumination Engineering minor for the College of Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona. In addition, curricula for a Design-Architecture lighting minor was also developed. Approval of this minor is still in progress. To revitalize its Photo-optical, Lighting, and Electrical Systems Laboratory the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department received a National Science Foundation Instrumentation Laboratory award. This grant of $87,319 along with University and Corporate matching funds and donations of more than $117,000 were used to improve the existing facilities. A partial view of this laboratory is shown in Figure 1.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Smith, R., & Abrams, M. (2001, June), Experimental Validation Of Computer Simulations Increases The Synergy Between Simulation And Physical Reality Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9261

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