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Use Of Engineering Standards In Teaching Statistical Design Of Experiments In Biomedical Engineering

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Teaching Strategies in BME

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1229.1 - 8.1229.6



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Paper Authors

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Monica Schmidt

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

Session 2109

Use of Engineering Standards in Teaching Statistical Design of Experiments in Biomedical Engineering

Monica A. Schmidt Biomedical Engineering Program, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Introduction Engineering standards are used to teach applications of statistical principles and design of experiments in a new Biomedical Engineering (BME) course. This course, Design of Experiments (BME 346), was developed in response to input from industrial constituents for the new undergraduate BME degree program (begun during the 2000-01 academic year). Constituents wanted BME graduates to receive training in statistics for design of engineering experiments and interpretation of data. A key element of this course is an experimental design project based on applying statistical methods to an existing engineering standard. This project provides students with a real-world example of how to apply statistical principles to practical engineering problems and experiments. Student assignments for this project demonstrate 8 out of 11 outcomes required by ABET 2000 criteria.

Design of Experiments Course The Design of Experiments course teaches basic statistics skills and introduces the principles of experimental design. This is a required course in the junior year of the BME curriculum and is the only statistics course that BME undergraduate students generally take. It is a prerequisite to the BME laboratory course required during the senior year, so that students are prepared to do statistical analysis of data from lab experiments. The BME laboratory course is then a corequisite for the senior design course sequence, which requires some experimentation. Some BME graduates later take additional statistics courses in their M.S. degree program.

Most BME undergraduate students have little or no prior training in statistics, so this course introduces the subject in depth. Topics include probability, graphing of raw data, discrete and random variables, probability distributions (Binomial, Geometric, Poisson, Normal, Student’s t, Chi-Square, and F), joint probability distributions, statistical inference and hypothesis tests for one or two samples, and design of single-factor experiments (i.e. analysis of variance, ANOVA). When time allows, linear regression is also covered. These topics provide students with a foundation in statistics and data analysis that prepares them for the experimental design project and for future experimental work in the BME laboratory course and in their future careers.

The purpose of the experimental design project is to teach practical application of the statistical skills (taught through lectures, homework, and exams) to design of experiments and to interpretation of data for reaching valid conclusions. The experimental design project forces students to address an open-ended problem, learn related background information, define a statistical hypothesis statement, design an experiment to test this hypothesis, simulate a typical dataset, draw a conclusion from their dataset, and defend this conclusion. Students also develop skills in teamwork, technical presentations and writing, graphing, and use of statistical software

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Schmidt, M. (2003, June), Use Of Engineering Standards In Teaching Statistical Design Of Experiments In Biomedical Engineering Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11388

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