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Forty Years Of Teaching Circuits I: A Tribute To Dr. Hayt

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Electrical & Computer Engineering Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.620.1 - 9.620.9



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Paper Authors

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R. William Graff

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

Session 1532

Forty Years of Teaching Circuits I: A Tribute to Dr. Hayt

R. William Graff

LeTourneau University


The author has had the experience of teaching Circuits I for forty years, using Dr. William H. Hayt’s book, Engineering Circuit Analysis, in all six of its editions. Certain teaching principles have been developed to give consistency to the grading and teaching of the material, so that some trends in student performance can be traced over that time. Some of these trends are reflected in the paper, as well as comments concerning ways to communicate the material most effectively. Historical data concerning the author’s experience is also included. The author’s ADD and poor study habits as an undergraduate give him a good platform from which to encourage students to study, and thus to avoid the pitfalls that he, himself encountered. He is thus able to teach effective study methods from personal experience.

Introduction: Dr. William H. Hayt

Although I have never officially taken a course from Dr. Hayt, I sat in a class as an instructor under his tutelage and watched him teach the lectures on closed-circuit television in the fall of 1962. I therefore had the privilege of being mentored in my original teaching of circuits by Dr. William H. Hayt, himself. My personal contacts with him were few, but memorable. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him when he was not smiling; he seemed to always be thinking of a joke. Often, the joke was on me, as when my finger got stuck in the teacup handle at the party in his home. His subtle humor erupted in his textbooks in such a way that students have told me they were reading them simply to find more of his quips. I cannot prove it, but I suspect that he invented the daraf, the yrneh, and the jiffy1 (a defining unit of time). Almost every semester since 1962, I have taught a course from either his circuits book, his fields book, or both. He has had a profound influence on my life.

My story

After receiving my BSEE from Purdue University in 1960, having had a poor start in the undergraduate curriculum, I continued studying toward a Master’s degree there, barely passing due to the fact that my understanding of the basic principles, upon which the higher-level courses were based, was full of gaps. Thus, I had what might be termed a “Swiss Cheese Base”. At the Master’s degree oral exam Dr. Hayt was present, and after having pushed me through a circuits Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering

Graff, R. W. (2004, June), Forty Years Of Teaching Circuits I: A Tribute To Dr. Hayt Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12851

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