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Work In Progress: Knowledge Integration to Understand Why

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED)

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--29166

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29166

Download Count

234

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Paper Authors

biography

Tom Chen Colorado State University

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Tom Chen received his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh. After spending 4 years with Philips Semiconductors in Europe, he joined the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Colorado State University. Prof. Chen published more than 180 journal and conference papers in the areas of analog and digital VLSI design and CAD for VLSI design. Prof. Chen served as the General Chair of 2015 IEEE Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems, and as the Guest Editor of IEEE Trans. on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits
and Systems Special Issue on Design Quality and Design Closure: Present Issues and Future Trend", 2005. He also served as the Guest Editor of the Microelectronics Journal on Quality Electronic Design, 2005. His research interests include VLSI circuit and system design, CAD methodology for VLSI design, and bioelectronics.

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Branislav M. Notaros Colorado State University

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Branislav M. Notaros is Professor and University Distinguished Teaching Scholar in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University, where he also is Director of Electromagnetics Laboratory. His research publications in computational and applied electromagnetics include more than 180 journal and conference papers. He is the author of textbooks Electromagnetics (2010) and MATLAB-Based Electromagnetics (2013), both with Pearson Prentice Hall, as well as Conceptual Electromagnetics (2016) with CRC Press (in print). He was the recipient of the 1999 IEE Marconi Premium, 2005 IEEE Microwave Prize, IEEE Fellow Award (2016), 2005 UMass Dartmouth Scholar of the Year Award, 2012 Colorado State University System Board of Governors Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2012 IEEE Region 5 Outstanding Engineering Educator Award, 2014 Carnegie Foundation and CASE USPOY Colorado Professor of the Year Award, 2015 ASEE ECE Distinguished Educator Award, 2015 IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award, and many other research and teaching/education awards. (for more info, see: www.engr.colostate.edu/~notaros)

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Ali Pezeshki Colorado State University

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Ali Pezeshki received the BSc and MSc degrees in electrical engineering from University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran, in 1999 and 2001, respectively. He earned his PhD degree in electrical engineering at Colorado State University in 2004. In 2005, he was a postdoctoral research associate with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Colorado State University. From January 2006 to August 2008, he was a postdoctoral research associate with The Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University. In August 2008, he joined the faculty of Colorado State University, where he is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Department of Mathematics. His research interests are in statistical signal processing, coding theory, applied harmonic analysis, and bioimaging.

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Sourajeet Roy Colorado State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-9860-3242

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Sourajeet Roy received the B.Tech. degree from Sikkim Manipal University, Gangtok, India, in 2006, and the M.E.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Western University, London, ON, Canada, in 2009 and 2013, respectively, all in electrical engineering.

Dr. Roy currently serves as an Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA. His current research interests include modeling and simulation of high speed circuits, signal and power integrity analysis of electronic packages, and uncertainty quantification of microwave/ RF circuits.

Dr. Roy is a recipient of the Vice-Chancellors Gold Medal at the undergraduate level in 2006, the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology in 2012, and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship in 2012. He currently serves as the reviewer for IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, IEEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMPONENTS, PACKAGING AND MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY and IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS I: REGULAR PAPERS. He also currently serves as the guest associate editor for IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMPONENTS, PACKAGING AND MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY. His student has won the Best Poster Paper Award at the 23rd IEEE Conference on Electrical Performance of Electronic Packaging and Systems (EPEPS) in 2014.

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Anthony A. Maciejewski Colorado State University

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Anthony A. Maciejewski received the BS, MS, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Ohio State University, Columbus in 1982, 1984, and 1987, respectively. From 1988 to 2001, he was a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette. He is currently a professor and head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University. He is a fellow of the IEEE. A complete vita is available at: http://www.engr.colostate.edu/ ~aam.

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Melissa D. Reese Colorado State University

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Melissa D. Reese received a BS in International Business/Finance and an MBA in Management/Organizational Development from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1998 and 2006, respectively. She is currently the department manager of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University.

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Abstract

This work in progress describes how a multifaceted faculty team in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) is redefining teaching and learning in the junior year of the undergraduate degree program. Also known as the rigorous "technical core," it is well known that students struggle to grasp, and see the relevance of, extremely abstract and mathematically intense concepts introduced in the middle two years of the curriculum. With the goals of increasing overall understanding and reversing the alarming ECE national retention trend, the team is emphasizing knowledge integration – which builds on the concept of "nanocourses" – to help students connect the dots between topics and understand why they are learning material.

In 2015, the ECE department received a five-year RED (Revolutionizing Engineering Departments) grant from the National Science Foundation to perform research that leads to scalable and sustainable change in engineering and computer science education for the nation. This paper describes how the department is, in effect, throwing away courses to overcome the challenges of the current educational system. Because the new pedagogical and organizational approach calls for a holistic view of the undergraduate degree, faculty members are thinking beyond the walls of their own classrooms to ensure students gain a big picture understanding of the discipline. This paper outlines the detailed process that allowed the faculty to step out of their traditional roles to prepare for revolutionary change and lay the groundwork for knowledge integration by dissecting, rearranging, and synchronizing content from seven ECE courses in the junior year.

This paper also explores the motivation and process for implementing and assessing a series of knowledge integration (KI) activities, which serve as vehicles for helping students grasp the commonality and correlations between core concepts across the curriculum. In an environment conducive to dialogue, inquiry, and problem-solving, KI activities bring together into one room all the faculty members and students from the technical core for hands-on, group exercises. In addition to showing students firsthand how problems can be approached from multiple perspectives, KI activities illustrate societal relevance by demonstrating how anchoring concepts are integrated to form the building blocks of familiar applications such as the smart phone.

After months of preparing for change, the team is energized by their early successes, but the idea that people are resistant to change has been affirmed. This paper shares the challenges the team has faced, and the steps they have taken to gracefully address student opposition and anxieties. As the department prepares for the next phase of the project, it seeks feedback and lessons learned from the engineering community to improve the project and extend the work to institutions across the country.

Chen, T., & Notaros, B. M., & Pezeshki, A., & Roy, S., & Maciejewski, A. A., & Reese, M. D. (2017, June), Work In Progress: Knowledge Integration to Understand Why Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29166

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