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Experiments in Adopting Computer-Aided Learning in Electrical Engineering

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Conference

2018 ASEE Zone IV Conference

Location

Boulder, Colorado

Publication Date

March 25, 2018

Start Date

March 25, 2018

End Date

March 27, 2018

Page Count

6

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29613

Download Count

23

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Paper Authors

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Majid Poshtan Cal Poly Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0156-4663

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Dr. Majid Poshtan obtained his PhD in EECE from Tulane University, New Orleans, USA in 2000. Dr. Poshtan has over 20 years of wide-ranging experience in EE academic and industry. He is an expert in electric power systems, transmission planning, short circuits studies and protection, condition monitoring of generators, induction motors, transformers and power cables, substation design, power system computer simulators, and Real Time simulator. Dr. Poshtan is currently a faculty member in California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA, USA.

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Bridget Benson California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Bridget Benson received a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obipso in 2005, a Master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara in 2007 and a PhD degree in the Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California San Diego in 2010. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obipso. Her research interests span engineering education, embedded systems, and ecological monitoring.

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Fred W DePiero California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Dr. Fred DePiero received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University in 1985 and 1987. He then worked as a Development Associate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory until 1993. While there he was involved in a variety of real-time image processing projects and several laser-based ranging systems. Fred began working on his Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee while still at ORNL, and completed it in May 1996. Fred joined the faculty at CalPoly in September of 1996. He has developed CATE, the Circuit Analysis Tool for Education. Fred continues to pursue extensions and improvements to this system while using it in his courses.

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Abstract

Two Experiments in Adopting Computer-Aided Learning in Electrical Engineering

This paper is about the experiments of the author in adopting two different computer programs in two different electrical engineering courses. The goal of such effort was to make the content of the textbooks easier and provide numerical examples for complex problems. The first case was adopting the software that comes with a CD with the textbook in “Electric Power System Analysis” course. The case was a universal numerical simulator that is widely used in electrical engineering for the course and term projects and was adopted in “Electromagnetic Energy Conversion” course. The results in both courses showed success in teaching difficult content and learning large-scale practical examples. Case 1: The method of teaching electric power systems is based on extensive use of the computer to apply the electric circuits theories in large-scale electric systems. A typical actual electric power system may include about twenty thousand buses (nodes) and forty thousand lines (branches). Most problems and examples in the power system textbooks illustrate networks with much smaller size, say a dozen electric nodes and branches. Even with such smaller size, it is impossible to demonstrate a complete case on the classroom’s whiteboard. A typical IEEE case study is shown in Figure 1. Fig.1: IEEE 118-Bus Electric Power Test System Case Study A widespread practice to work on this type of network examples and problems of electric power systems is to assign group projects and let the students use computers outside the classroom. This approach lacks teacher-student interaction and results to incomplete assignments for most of the students. This shortcoming method has encouraged many instructors to spend most of the class time with their students in computer labs. The author of this paper adopted the studio teaching approach in this case. The teaching was pedagogical in its principles and became popular among the students. The results and its analysis will be explained in the full version of this digest. Case 2: The second case is about the experiment of the author in using a computer in teaching “Electromagnetic Energy Conversion” course. This course has a different nature from “Electric Power System Analysis” course explained in Case 1. The course content deals greatly with physics of three-dimension electromagnetic field. The course has a three-hour lab component as its corequisite. The challenge in this course is about learning the dynamics of electric machines in their unstable operation region. Not only it is difficult to study the theory of transient stage of the motors from starting point to their stable operating point, but also it is impossible to observe this phenomenon in the lab. The only existing method to observe the unstable behavior of the machine is by adopting a computer simulation with the results obtained from the lab. The result is shown in Figure 2. Fig.2: Combined Experimental and Simulation Result of a 350-Watts Induction Motor The author used a combined demonstration of the course lab equipment and a computer simulation to test complete operation of induction motors from starting point to its stable operating point. The author received positive feedback from the students that will be explained in the full version of this digest. References 1. IEEE Transaction on Education. (Special Issue on Computation and Computers in Electrical Engineering Education), vol. 36, Feb. 1993

Poshtan, M., & Benson, B., & DePiero, F. W. (2018, March), Experiments in Adopting Computer-Aided Learning in Electrical Engineering Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Zone IV Conference, Boulder, Colorado. https://peer.asee.org/29613

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