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Sophomore-Level Curriculum Innovation in Electrical and Computer 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

ECE Curriculum Improvement

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1078.1 - 23.1078.10



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Paper Authors


Cordelia M Brown Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Cordelia M. Brown is an Assistant Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Engineering Education at Purdue University. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, her M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, and her B.S. in Electrical Engineering
at Tuskegee University. Her research interests include assessment of instructional methods, laboratory design, collaborative learning, and retention and recruitment issues in engineering education.

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Dimitrios Peroulis Purdue University

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Dimitrios Peroulis received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 2003. He has been with Purdue University since August 2003 where he is currently leading a group of graduate students on a variety of research projects in the areas of RF MEMS, sensing and power harvesting applications as well as RFID sensors for the health monitoring of sensitive equipment. He has been a PI or a co-PI in numerous projects funded by government agencies and industry in these areas. He has been a key contributor in two DARPA projects at Purdue focusing on 1) very high quality (Q>1,000) RF tunable filters in mobile form factors (DARPA Analog Spectral Processing Program, Phases I, II and III) and on 2) developing comprehensive characterization methods and models for understanding the viscoelasticity/creep phenomena in high-power RF MEMS devices (DARPA M/NEMS S&T Fundamentals Program, Phases I and II). Furthermore, he is leading the experimental program on the Center for the Prediction of Reliability, Integrity and Survivability of Microsystems (PRISM) funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration. In addition, he led the development of the MEMS technology in a U.S. Navy project (Marines) funded under the Technology Insertion Program for Savings (TIPS) program focused on harsh-environment wireless micro-sensors for the health monitoring of aircraft engines. He has over 170 refereed journal and conference publications in the areas of microwave integrated circuits, sensors and antennas. He received the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2008. His students have received numerous student paper awards and other student research-based scholarships. He is a Purdue University Faculty Scholar and has also received ten teaching awards including the 2010 HKN C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Teaching Award and the 2010 Charles B. Murphy award, which is Purdue University's highest undergraduate teaching honor.

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Greg Lammers Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Sophomore-Level Curriculum Innovation in Electrical and Computer EngineeringAbstractHistorically, the early years within an electrical and computer engineering (ECE) curriculum have largelyfocused on electrical circuits. A new sophomore level ECE course and laboratory which providesstudents with a breadth of foundational ECE concepts, frequent opportunities to engage with theinstructor and peers in a problem solving learning environment, and both formative and summativeassessment approaches was introduced at a large Midwestern university. This paper focuses onunderstanding the impacts of introducing such a course into the curriculum. The course covers threepillars: electromagnetic fields and waves, circuit theory and linear systems, and semiconductors andmicro/nano-technology. A goal of this approach is to expose students to foundational concepts in criticalECE areas including wireless communications, micro/nano-technology, computer chips, biotechnology,robotics, power, signal processing, and photonics earlier in the ECE curriculum. The curriculuminnovation captures the primary focus of assisting students in understanding and realizing the broaderscope of ECE. The laboratory component of the course emphasizes the creation of a context thatintegrates the societal and environmental impact of the concepts.This quasi-experimental design involves two groups: participants in the sophomore curriculuminnovation course and students that have not taken the sophomore curriculum innovation course. Therehave been four cohorts of students that have matriculated through this innovative ECE sophomore levelcourse. The study seeks to measure the level of conceptual understanding of key concepts throughconcept inventories in each of the pillar areas by both groups. The learning experiences of students arealso captured in focus groups and interviews.

Brown, C. M., & Peroulis, D., & Lammers, G. (2013, June), Sophomore-Level Curriculum Innovation in Electrical and Computer Engineering Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22463

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