June 16, 2002
June 16, 2002
June 19, 2002
7.791.1 - 7.791.6
Main Menu Session
Laboratory Innovations for a Wireless Communications Course Via Collaborations with Local Industry
Kathleen A. Kramer University of San Diego
Abstract Laboratory developments for a course in wireless communications are discussed. A senior-level elective course in wireless and digital communications presented special challenges in the development of its laboratory component. In addition to more typical approaches, one tactic used to deal with these challenges was the use of the facilities and expertise of local companies actively involved in research and development in the topics being studied. By developing partnerships with interested members of local industry and providing those professionals with a preferred structure for handling the student on-site visits, students were able to experience using relevant equipment and software with arranged demonstrations and exercises held on-site at the company.
Situation The study of wireless and other advanced communications systems topics at the undergraduate level has developed at some universities, in response to the increased interest resulting from the impressive research and development in such technology over the past several years. The University of San Diego (USD) is located within a region that has emerged as one of the technical centers for the wireless communications industry, so student demand for such a course was high, even within a program that has only undergraduate students. The San Diego region benefits from the signifcant presence of many telecommunications companies doing interesting work.
The Electrical Engineering Program at the University of San Diego is a 9-semester undergraduate program requiring 151 semester units. Situated within a primarily liberal arts university, the program culminates in a dual BS/BA degree for its graduates. The program features broad-based requirements and small class sizes. The extensive requirements and limited size of the program put severe limits on engineering elective offerings. In an effort to meet student demand and to provide students with knowledge relevant to local industry, a special topics course, Wireless and Digital Communications was offered in Fall 1999, only the second of such special elective offering for the program. In Fall 2001, the course was taught again, in response to student interest. The course was structured as a one-semester senior elective including three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory each week.
The primary prerequisite for the course was a senior-level required course in communications systems. The prerequisite course has itself several prerequisites including upper-division mathematics courses, a course in signal and systems analysis, and two courses in electronics.
Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education
Kramer, K. (2002, June), Laboratory Innovations For A Wireless Communications Course Via Collaborations With Local Industry Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. https://peer.asee.org/10525
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