Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Electrical and Computer
This paper focuses on the importance of math knowledge for learning Control Systems Design course, and outlines the necessary concepts that must be grasped by students prior to enrollment in this course. The Control Systems Design is a senior-level course and its learning outcomes include developing mathematical models of control components and systems, simplifying block diagrams, calculating transfer functions and state space models of linear, time-invariant systems, formulating and/or utilizing specifications needed to design system controllers, and more. A study in the author’s Controls class of 39 students showed that 49 problems (out of 195 total problems for all students in the exam) were solved incorrectly due to students’ knowledge deficiency in math aspects. This indicates that 25% of the students’ knowledge was not rigorous towards solving the problems correctly. Review of the above learning outcomes and the assessed statistics elaborates the significance of mathematical background as a building block of the required skills for learning the concepts of Control Systems Design course. To address the solution, this paper sheds light into necessary math and algebra that students need before taking Control Systems Design so that they can fully focus on learning the controls concepts during the course. This paper will go through the course outline, discuss each topic and its prerequisite math knowledge and worked examples with references to the relevant math courses. Finally, authors will provide suggestions for improving STEM students’ knowledge and confidence in becoming adept in the Control Systems Design course and similar courses in their engineering curriculum.
Alavi, Z., & Kialashaki, A. (2018, June), Towards Removing Barriers Against learning Control Systems Design: A Comprehensive Review of the Math Required for Reaching Milestones in Control Systems Design Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/31151
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