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New Electronic Courseware Modules For Selected Upper Level Electrical Engineering Courses

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.425.1 - 3.425.5

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Paper Authors

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Mariusz Jankowski

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

New electronic courseware modules for selected upper-level electrical engineering courses. Mariusz Jankowski University of Southern Maine


A recent award from the National Science Foundation (DUE-III program) was used to establish a computer-integrated classroom to support instruction in selected undergraduate electrical engineering courses. The new classroom is being used to address three pedagogically fundamental problems:

(1) insufficient mastery of engineering mathematics by many students, (2) student passivity within the traditional lecture format, (3) insufficient use of computation and visualization in the learning process,

New electronic courseware is being developed, using state-of-the-art software for mathematical computing, to facilitate and foster an active learning environment. Through increased use of computation and scientific visualization, we expect to see improvements in students’ level of interest, increased classroom participation and finally, improved learning outcomes.


Many students in engineering and the sciences have difficulty learning fundamental concepts in their field of study because of their limited command of mathematics. A student’s lack of adequate mathematical skills is one of the primary barriers to effective learning. To compound the problem, many courses in a typical electrical engineering curriculum remain taught by means of a more or less traditional lecture. For many students, the combination of difficulties with the level of mathematics and passivity within the traditional lecture style has an overwhelmingly negative impact on their ability to learn and understand the subject matter. In recent years, scientific visualization has emerged as an important tool in helping us understand many complex physical phenomena. However, the problem of translating standard mathematical notation into the traditional high-level computer languages has made it difficult to use programming and computers in the undergraduate classroom.

To overcome these problems, state-of-the-art software for mathematical computing is being integrated into the teaching process to facilitate and foster an active learning environment. The plan is to replace many of the typical “chalkboard” lectures with closely supervised interactive, “hands-on” sessions in a computer equipped classroom. The essential feature in this new approach is the systematic use of a powerful mathematical computing environment that simultaneously forces and empowers the student to be an active participant in the lecture. Ultimately, the goal is to enhance

Jankowski, M. (1998, June), New Electronic Courseware Modules For Selected Upper Level Electrical Engineering Courses Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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