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Redesign Of The Core Curriculum At Duke University

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

ECE Curriculum Innovations

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

11.1074.1 - 11.1074.17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/816

Download Count

84

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Paper Authors

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Joseph Holmes AcuityEdge, Inc.

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Mr. Holmes has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Materials Engineering from North Carolina State University, an M.S. in Materials Engineering from North Carolina State University, and an M.B.A. from Duke University. He is the CEO of AcuityEdge, Inc., a consulting firm, and is also an adjunct faculty member in the Masters of Engineering Management Program at Duke University.

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Hisham Massoud Duke University

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HISHAM Z. MASSOUD, Ph.D. is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. His research interests are in the physics, modeling, and simulation of ultrathin-oxide MOSFETs. His engineering education interests are in the area of devices and integrated circuits. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University.

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Steven Cummer Duke University

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STEVEN A. CUMMER, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. His research interests lie in electromagnetic remote sensing of complex media and in engineered electromagnetic materials. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Stanford University.

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John Board Duke University

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JOHN A. BOARD, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. His research interests include: High performance scientific computing and simulation, novel computer architectures, cluster computing and parallel processing; ubiquitous computing. He received his D.Phil in 1986 from Oxford University.

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Kip Coonley Duke University

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KIP D. COONLEY, M.S., is the Undergraduate Laboratory Manager in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. His interests include undergraduate engineering education, power electronics, plasma physics, and thin-films. He received his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Dartmouth College.

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April Brown Duke University

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APRIL S. BROWN, Ph.D., is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. Her research is focused on the synthesis and design of nanostructures to microelectronic devices. She received her Ph.D. in 1985 from Cornell University.

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Michael Gustafson

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MICHAEL R. GUSTAFSON II, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. His research interests include linear and non-linear control systems as well as curriculum development. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University.

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Leslie Collins Duke University

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LESLIE M. COLLINS, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. Her research interests lie in physics-based statistical signal processing with applications in remote sensing and auditory prostheses. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering: Systems from the University of Michigan.

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Lisa Huettel Duke University

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LISA G. HUETTEL, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of the Practice and Director of Undergraduate Laboratories in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. She is interested in engineering education and the application of statistical signal processing to remote sensing. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Duke University.

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Gary Ybarra Duke University

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GARY A. YBARRA, Ph.D., is a Professor of the Practice in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. His research interests include K-12 engineering outreach, engineering education, microwave imaging and electrical impedance tomography. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University.

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

Redesign of the Core Curriculum at Duke University

Introduction

The entire undergraduate curriculum of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department in the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University is undergoing substantive revisions. Our goals are to revise the overall structure of the curriculum while incorporating a theme of Integrated Sensing and Information Processing (ISIP), to provide continuity by emphasizing the interrelatedness of ECE topic areas, and to incorporate innovative pedagogical techniques and hands-on experience throughout the curriculum while maintaining our curricular flexibility. The ISIP theme is compatible with research strengths of our faculty, and the broader themes of biology, economics, and computer science that our students often pursue with their electives. Our focus in the first year of the curriculum reform has been on restructuring and redefining the core curriculum, responding to assessment results, implementing several new assessment tools, and planning and executing two pedagogical workshops. In this paper, we describe the process by which we have modified the core curriculum and the results of the redesign. [This work was supported by NSF grant EEC- 0431812].

Initial assessment activities associated with our legacy curriculum indicated several areas that needed to be strengthened. First, students rarely felt they understood the coherent, overarching framework that integrates basic principles. Second, there was an unbalanced coverage of fundamental areas of ECE. Finally, the laboratory and design elements of the curriculum were not optimally utilized.

We developed a framework for the core which includes 6 classes, the second of which (denoted ECE 27 and titled Fundamentals of ECE) is a first-year design experience which introduces students to all aspects of the ECE curriculum. The first course remains the Computational Methods in Engineering which was recently redesigned and has achieved outstanding assessment results. The remaining four courses are Introduction to Microelectronic Devices and Circuits, Signals and Systems, Logic and Computer Architecture, and Electromagnetics. This structure substantially reduces the legacy material focused on circuits and devices, and as described in the paper uses a different pedagogical structure in each of the four core courses. In order to achieve our goals, and to carefully ensure consideration of tradeoffs associated with the redesign, we developed a series of roles to effect the organization necessary for the reform process. The key roles that have been developed and assigned are (1) course leader, (2) theme team, (3) approval team, (4) advisory team, and (5) project manager. In the paper, the roles and responsibilities of each of these groups in the process is also described.

To proceed with the redesign of the core, the course leaders were responsible for developing the course content, syllabus, homeworks, tests, and lab manuals in concert with their course team. Course leaders met separately with their course teams, and then periodically the course leaders, along with the management team, met to assess progress and work out various issues. The Signals and Systems and Electromagnetics courses have been modified the least in terms of the material covered, but have been dramatically strengthened through the introduction of a hands- on laboratory that is tightly integrated with the course and consistent with the curricular theme. Additional material has also been added since some of the material historically taught in the class

Holmes, J., & Massoud, H., & Cummer, S., & Board, J., & Coonley, K., & Brown, A., & Gustafson, M., & Collins, L., & Huettel, L., & Ybarra, G. (2006, June), Redesign Of The Core Curriculum At Duke University Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/816

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