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Senior Project based Educational Collaboration between Physics and Electrical Engineering

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Project-based and Cooperative Learning in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1062.1 - 23.1062.14



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Paper Authors


Richard Wayne Freeman P.E. U.S. Coast Guard Academy

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RICHARD W. FREEMAN has served as a lecturer in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Electrical Engineering Major since 2008. Prior to joining the faculty, he taught fulltime for eight years. He also worked in the Telecommunications Industry for eight years. He earned BS and PhD degrees in Computer Engineering from Iowa State University and a MBA from Southern Methodist University. He holds a Professional Engineering License in the State of Connecticut.

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Anthony H. Hawes LCDR, USCG United States Coast Guard Academy

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Royce Warner James Ph.D.


Eric Jonathan Page United States Coast Guard Academy

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Dr. Eric Page is an Assistant Professor of Physics at the United States Coast Guard Academy. He received B.S from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Rochester. Dr. Page's research areas are physics education research (epistemology and student kowledge structures) and biophotonics. Prior to his current position he was on the faculty at the University of San Diego where he led numerous interdisciplinary projects between the Sciences in the College, the Engineering Departments and the School of Leadership and Education Sciences.

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Ali M. Reza U.S. Coast Guard Academy

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Received Ph.D. from University of Wyoming in 1986 and started his academic carrier at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) right after graduation. He was with UWM until recently and since August 2011 is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Dr. Reza's main research area is in signal and image processing. He has over ninety publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings.

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1 AbstractThis paper reports on the results of an educational collaboration between the Physics and ElectricalEngineering faculty to advise a senior capstone project. The Physics faculty is constructing a researchgrade plasma laboratory as a nexus for problem posed hands-on undergraduate exploratory pedagogy, thedevelopment of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) physics theory applications to support organizationmissions, and investigations into plasma physics experiments that are vital to today’s scientific challenges.The collaborative project was designed to setup an electronic system for the lab’s command, control, anddata collection from three plasma experiments being developed in house.Two of our students in the Electrical Engineering major were selected to work on this project withsupervision and advising responsibilities shared between the Engineering and Physics faculty. Bothstudents were simultaneously enrolled in an Electrical Engineering capstone course that introduced them toproject management while simultaneously supplying them with some of the necessary tools to be applied inempirical research in the plasma lab. Unlike many traditional student driven projects, there was a strongemphasis on not only the high caliber research in the lab, but also in the student’s development in inquirybased scientific methodology as it applies to the maturity of a comprehensively engineered product.The collaboration yielded unexpected results. As a result of the faculty collaboration on the capstoneproject, Electrical Engineering was able to develop a system that will become a vital building block for itsdata acquisition needs for several data acquisition and digital signal processing experiments. There are alsofurther opportunities for Physics and Electrical Engineering to develop systems to support Physics researchand teaching, as well as develop experiments for Electrical Engineering labs in Signals and Systems,Controls and Digital Signal Processing. OutlineIntroduction USCGABackgroundLit ReviewPECE ProjectFaculty CollaborationCollaboration ResultsConclusionsFurther WorkAuthor BiosBibliographyAppendices

Freeman, R. W., & Hawes, A. H., & James, R. W., & Page, E. J., & Reza, A. M. (2013, June), Senior Project based Educational Collaboration between Physics and Electrical Engineering Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22447

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