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Engineering Education Research Statement

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Engineering students should be able to understand circuits to give the basis for pursuing electrical engineering. Courses focusing on the theory and application of electric circuits can never be left out in any engineering curriculum. However, the biggest challenge is attracting new students to circuits, hence unique skills, approaches, and methodologies are necessary. If these new methods are designed and made accessible to educators, it would highly renew students’ interests in circuits.

The study of circuits is essential to help evaluate energy systems that circuits emulate. The electric circuit theory course is therefore essential for beginners in electrical engineering education, as the future engineers need to understand the design principles of a broad range of electrical devices. However, circuit analysis relies heavily on mathematical concepts and physics principles, although students build circuits intuitively due to lack of knowledge. Therefore, basic electric circuit theory course is an important starting point in electrical engineering.

While studying, students need to understand and master passive components, node and mesh equations, steady-state analysis and transient analysis. This will help solve the challenges that students face in presentations of the Laplace transforms involving unit, impulse step functions, and parabolic functions. Laplace transforms methods to change a time domain differential equation to Laplace domain algebraic equation to ease the calculation, and an inverse form is applied to shift it back to the original. At this point, mathematical analysis becomes ambiguous and rhetorical, bringing confusion to students and making it difficult to understand.

To facilitate learning, I would like my research to focus on three points that I find necessary. First, the complexity of Laplace transforms in an engineering context. Second, difficulties engineering students encounter while handling Laplace transforms and thirdly, a teacher’s perspective on the role of Laplace transforms in engineering education. I believe that to generate renewed interest in circuits, better teaching tools and new delivery methods need to be adopted to entice newcomers into the world of electrical engineering.

Electrical circuit theory also inculcates critical thinking and problem-solving skills which results in a great sense of responsibility in students. I have worked with undergraduate students for over six years and this has made me realize that constructive alignment in fundamental concepts requires multitudes of knowledge and functional expertise to apply what is learned in the classroom to real-life situations. I would like to explore innovative domains of knowledge in engineering education whereby advanced technology imitates real-world engineering problems. I can only do this through the facilitation of Purdue University, the most experienced faculty I know. My goal is to foster a finer and better learning environment for the students in engineering education.

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