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Project Based Introductory Electromagnetics Course Focused On Increasing Students’ Interest And Motivation

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.995.1 - 15.995.9



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Paper Authors

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Dmitriy Garmatyuk Miami University

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

Project-Based Introductory Electromagnetics Course Focused on Increasing Students’ Interest and Motivation


This paper discusses course material being designed under the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) grant # 0632842 “Developing Leadership and Innovation in Engineering Students Through Undergraduate Courses in Applied Electromagnetics Built Upon Novel Educational Concept” to specifically address the problem of students’ declining interest in electromagnetics (EM), while applications of EM continue to permeate many areas of electrical engineering both in the industry and academia. The new approach to teaching introductory course of EM aims to spark students’ interest to the subject via offering them several real-world problems. The project has its major emphasis on increasing students’ motivation for studying electromagnetics by re-developing the course flow. The educational concept being explored is based on breaking down the course into 4-5 lecture/lab mini-projects, each focused on a particular theme of interest to engineers and researchers nowadays. As part of this project, a senior capstone research on Wireless Electricity Transfer was implemented during 2007-08 by a computer engineering student. The paper will present the results of this and several other projects designed and developed under the NSF CCLI grant and discuss the students’ changing attitudes to electromagnetics.


“Electromagnetics is hard.” This is probably one of the most common first thoughts that come to mind whenever electromagnetics (EM) is invoked. The real meaning of this phrase is often even more discouraging: EM is widely believed to be overly theoretical, unintuitive and a little irrelevant in today’s engineering world. And this is, typically, an opinion of a person who is somewhat familiar with EM, e.g. a graduate engineering student who took electromagnetics during their junior or senior year (and never looked back ever since). For undergraduate students who take their first course in EM the picture usually looks even more dismal. Allow me to quote some of the students who took Applied Electromagnetics class with me last semester – these are their responses to the question “What is your perception of EM?” posed during the first class meeting: − “…I was apathetic towards EM. I knew it was very math and physics intensive and I thought that it would be very boring.” − “…I actually was very interested in EM…and found it to be the only part of physics that was not so predictable…I couldn’t think of many applications off the top of my head.” − “…I was very intimidated by the subject. When I glanced through the book [and] read the first few pages…I think I was more confused afterwards.” − “…I thought we would be working with electromagnets and motors. For example, the electromagnetic locks, which can be seen as the black boxes that say Locknetics above some of the doors.”

Garmatyuk, D. (2010, June), Project Based Introductory Electromagnetics Course Focused On Increasing Students’ Interest And Motivation Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16765

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